Last week I read where the Washington Redskins had lost starting left guard Kory Lichtensteiger for most of the pre-season, but should have him back for the season opener on September 9. On Monday he underwent arthoscopic surgery to remove loose particles from his right knee. Last year, he tore his right ACL and MCL.
Why does the name Kory Lichtensteiger jump out at me? Although I have not talked with him for some years, we recently became friends on Facebook. The last time I talked with him was at a BGSU summer camp. At that time, he gave me a hard time, because I did not rate him as one of the top OL guys in his class.. As I told him, at least I rated him.
Kory represents everything an NFL player should to be. Excellent character guy. Works hard to be better. Goes back to his home community to hold a camp. A prime example of one who has overcome the odds and is playing in the "League." Not only playing, but starting.
The first time I saw Kory was back in roughly 2002 or 2003. He played offensive line for a small school in the western part of Ohio named Crestview High School in Convoy, OH. Listed around 6'3-265, he was athletic and had reasonably good feet. Liked his OL instincts. Good bender, but really needed coached up on his pass blocking skills. Raw, but had some potential. Most of all, Kory was physical and played hard.
Bowling Green offered him a football scholarship and he accepted. Do not remember how many offers he had, but probably not many. You see, Crestview High School only has about 425 students and back in 2003, graduated in Kory's class. By no means is Crestview a winning program, year-in and year out. That is what is most amazing about Kory. He worked very hard to be a scholarship football player. At BGSU, he redshirted his freshman year and played center. In year two he moved to guard and started 12 games. He went on to win numerous all-conference awards and some All-American teams.
The Denver Broncos drafted him in the fourth round in the 2008 Draft. Injuries have hurt his playing time. Spent some time at Minnesota. Now he is with the Redskins. Measures 6'3-295.
Kory Lichtensteiger should be the spokesman for "if you are good enough, they will find you." Had some natural tools, but worked very hard to improve his abilities. Did not listen to people like me who were critical of his level of competition and pass blocking skills. In defense of me, he was tough, had good size, and could be an overpowering run blocker. Of course, he believed in himslf which is always huge.
A high school football player does not have play at a St Ignatius, a Cleveland Glenville, or at a Massillon to eventually play on Sundays. In fact, he does not have to play at the D-1 or D-2 high school level. Of course, it does not happen often, but D-5 or D-6 level football can produce an NFL caliber player. Crestview's own Kory Lichtensteiger is proof of that.