NEW YORK (ABC 4 Sports) - Utah State linebacker Bobby Wagner became the first local player taken in the NFL Draft when the Seattle Seahawks took him in the second round with the 47th overall pick. Wagner is the highest drafted Aggie player in 32 years.
"I was actually in the bathroom when I got the phone call," Wagner said. "I was on the way to the bathroom when I got a call from my agent and then I got a call from a Seattle number and I never got to go to the bathroom. I finally got to go. We got the phone call right before the pick and I got to tell them and everybody screamed. When my name went across the screen, everybody screamed again.”
Wagner (6-0, 240 pounds) has great speed and strength and has the ability to play either inside or outside linebacker. Wagner could become a starter with Seattle right away.
"It’s a great feeling," Wagner said. "It kind of surprised me a little bit because I thought the Rams might have taken me, but I knew that Seattle had a lot of interest in me since they had me in for some visits and they put me through a lot more than the other teams. I knew they were pretty interested in me but when they drafted a linebacker in the first round (Bruce Irvin of West Virginia) I wasn’t so sure, but I’m excited to be on the Seahawks and I can’t wait to get up there and get to work. I’m also very glad to remain on the West Coast.”
Wagner led the Aggies with 147 tackles during his senior year, including 11.5 tackles for loss. Wagner intercepted two passes and recorded four sacks.
Wagner also had an interception at the Senior Bowl and was named the game's most valuable player. He was invited to participate in the NFL combine, but contracted pneumonia.
Fully recovered at Utah State's pro day, Wagner impressed scouts when he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.47 seconds.
For the second year in a row, the first local player selected comes from Utah State. Last year, Curtis Marsh was drafted by Philadelphia in the 3rd round.
Wagner is the highest drafted Utah State player since Rulon Jones was taken with the 42nd pick by the Denver Broncos in 1980.
“It means a lot," said Wagner. "It means all the hard work has paid off. It’s been a long road to get where I’m at right now, so I’m grateful for the things I’ve gone through and learned from everything I’ve been through. It is a blessing and an honor.”