Vandenburgh

Virginia Redbird

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MadBird

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On a positive note, Zeke Vandenburgh played a great game in his final appearance at Hancock. He had a great season for the Redbirds and will be hard to replace. Best of luck to him!

There's a long and storied line of Redbird linebackers, and Zeke surely ends up as one of the best ever. Listening to Spack talk about him, you know he feels very strongly about him and respects him hugely.

Galen Scott, Boomer Grigsby, Wilbert Brown, Cameron Siskowicz, Chris Stevens, Brian Gant, Pat Meehan, Mike Zimmer, Kye Stewart . . .. there's more, but you get the idea.
 

jbird

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He might not rate among the top LBs at ISU, but if you have a time machine that can transport you back to my prehistoric days of bad ISU football, the top LB was Anthony Office.
 

MadBird

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He might not rate among the top LBs at ISU, but if you have a time machine that can transport you back to my prehistoric days of bad ISU football, the top LB was Anthony Office.
Didn't list Office because I couldn't figger out if he was a LB or DE, but he was top notch, thanks for mentioning. Also came across Eddie Smith from the 70's, also great, an ISU Hall of Famer. And also from that era, a guy from my old area on the south side, Larry Lokanc.
 

Chi-bird

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Vandenburgh was probably the best linebacker I’ve seen at ISU. The lack of team success and not having NFL talent around him (sans Ridgeway) made him the guy that defenses schemed against week in and week out. Despite this, he was still able to play at a high level, and was very versatile. He could have been one of the better drop back/ coverage linebackers if needed. Instead, he put on a little more weight and bulk and went after the qb. I knew after one year of seeing him that we had something special.
 

crazzymark

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Technically he's a prototype he's not a linebacker he's not a lineman but in between
 

fourthandshort

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Been a lot of fun watching him developing into a superstar. For the Spack era, to me, he is very near the top, if not the top. He was the achor, the man, the centerpiece, etc who Spack rebuilt his post 2019 defense around. That transition was made much more difficult because of the pandemic, and Zeke carried that weight thru the transition back to a top 3 MVFC defense and top 10 FCS defense .. ignoring higher ranked defenses who played in very weak conferences.

We finished #14 in total yards per game at 318, but it was 5th if you remove teams who played in weak conferences with SOS in the lower and bottom quartiles.

We finished #16 in total yards per play at 4.93, but it was 6th when removing same.

We finished #18 in scoring defense, but 9th when removing same.

My view of good or great conferences with strong SOS's are: MVFC, Big Sky, CAA, and Southern. I left out Atlantic Sun as they drop off fast after JSU. who isnt even eligible for FCS playoffs since they are moving up. And they smoked everyone in their conference.

Observation on that note, Colonial SOS according to Massey was pretty weak, and they got 5 bids for playoffs due to records. Then reviewed their OOC schedules .. all their top teams played very weak OOC games. Can't help but think this was orchestrated effort given their conference's demise in playoffs over the last decade, other than the recently departed JMU. Yet they got 5 teams .. more on this later.

 
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fourthandshort

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Vandenburgh was probably the best linebacker I’ve seen at ISU. The lack of team success and not having NFL talent around him (sans Ridgeway) made him the guy that defenses schemed against week in and week out. Despite this, he was still able to play at a high level, and was very versatile. He could have been one of the better drop back/ coverage linebackers if needed. Instead, he put on a little more weight and bulk and went after the qb. I knew after one year of seeing him that we had something special.
This is very good point in comparing him to other great Redbird LBers.
 
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