A Wardaddy is a player who demonstrates outstanding toughness and ability on the gridiron. Each week I’ll feature local players who exhibit these qualities and break down their games.
One frustrating thing about being a Minnesota football fan is that the Gophers never seem as committed as other programs are to developing under the radar home-state guys. No offense to Fleck, but it’s gotten old seeing NDSU, Iowa, Iowa State and Wisconsin taking our raw athletes and turning them into NFL players. Here’s to hoping that changes soon as I will be following the career of Orono’s Danny Striggow very closely. Striggow is a long and lean edge defender with athleticism and a wrestling background that gives him a very intriguing skill set. Below I go into detail on what makes him an interesting get for any college program.
Long and lean with broad shoulders and ideal dimensions for an end or off-ball linebacker at 6’4″ and a listed 220 pounds. Good muscle tone with obvious room for growth. Broad up top with a sufficiently muscular lower body. Doesn’t carry unnecessary weight, looks like he’d have a six pack.
Plays linebacker and defensive end and looks completely comfortable at both. Plays with good toe dorsiflexion that allows him to play through his hips and attack the LOS. Good feet and ability to run forward and sideline to sideline. Well balanced to make open field tackles when given the opportunity. Looks relatively comfortable moving laterally but is more suited to do so from an edge position than stacked behind the line. Several instances of him closing space one-on-one with the QB and coming down with a deflection or forcing a run and chase situation. Very good hip fluidity that allows him to use his natural length to put him in a position to make plays.
Good stance that allows him to consistently explode upfield. Doesn’t show crazy burst off the snap but gains velocity with his 2nd and 3rd steps. Shows surprisingly solid ability to hand swipe and reduce his target area while still keeping his hips upfield. Closing speed is a plus and has the hip fluidity to run the arc as well as the technique work to use his length to affect the QB even if he can’t get the sack.
Outstanding toughness to explode into a gap and play through contact to blow up blocking schemes. Uses his length and athleticism to immediately occupy his gap and charge into the ball carrier. Explosiveness through his hips is evident when he’s able to link his feet and hand fighting to immediately knock blockers aside. Uses a hesitation+swipe+swim move which works fairly often with his hip fluidity. Has the lower body strength and length to set the edge and play half-man along with the intensity and power to torque a blocker back the other way if the ball cuts inside.
Not a huge sample size here. Typically plays linebacker on run downs or is blitzing on pass downs. A few shots of him during a scrimmage and it’s not bad. His biggest assets here (big surprise) are his length and fluidity. Very effective using his length and timing to bat down passes. Has to have at least 5 pass deflections on his Junior film alone. Could definitely see him having a big time career at linebacker should his future coaching staff decide that’s his best fit.
Pretty good flexibility to flip his hips getting around blockers and run the arc. Shows the tilt to corner offensive tackles and maintain leverage all the way through.
Impressive explosiveness when he uncoils his body. Consistently keeps a low center of gravity (in spite of his height) so that he can extend into blockers. Wrestling background definitely shows up here as he is a state champ and his brothers both wrestle for Michigan. Lower body strength allows him to stay engaged without having to work too hard. Several instances on film of him winning the leverage battle and shucking bigger players out of his gap.
Absolutely not a question from his hudl tape. Plenty of film of him bursting into the backfield and chasing plays to the sideline. Body type is such that he should have good stamina snap-to-snap and it shows. Plays special teams and makes plays. Very impressive instance of him getting downfield and redirecting a punt headed for the end zone for his teammates to down it. That’s heady, high-effort stuff and it’s great to see.
Danny Striggow is a long, lean and mean edge defender with the versatility to play stand up linebacker and special teams. Doesn’t have a huge repertoire of moves as a pass rusher but his length, explosiveness and fluidity mitigate that need. Consistently wins by threatening with speed in his 2nd and 3rd steps. Establishes good leverage at the POC and disposes of blockers with a very effective swipe+swim combo. Your quintessential midwestern defensive prospect that is tailor made for the Iowa’s of the world. He’s a state champion wrestler from a family of dominant wrestlers and that shows with his toughness and understanding of leverage. There’s always a place for edge defenders with toughness, length and athleticism so here’s hoping Fleck sees the light and prioritizes Striggow in 2020.
Image courtesy of Hudl.com