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SBT Article: Alex Anzalone & the Construction of a Star Linebacker

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Tyler James at the South Bend Tribune put together a really interesting piece on LB Alex Anzalone, Notre Dame verbal commit and the guy hoping to take on Manti Teo's #5 jersey - and his contribution to the Irish defense - starting in 2013. James follows Anzalone from Anzalone's perspective, rather than from the perspective of the Notre Dame football program, which provides some interesting insights into the recruiting and decision-making process from the athlete's end. An excerpt: "...'We talk to the parents as well as the kid because it's a real team effort to take a kid from one level and go into two or three levels higher,' [Anzalone's trainer] Schaeffer said. 'It involves nutrition and consistency and timing and work effort and ethics as far as the work effort. He had it all. He had the family behind him. He had all the bases to work with, it was just a matter of putting the package together, getting busy with it.' "The results started to show quickly and Anzalone [then just 165 lbs., trying to add 40 lbs. more] was adding about a pound a week. ...'My dad was mainly the one who I relied on to help me out with eating everything,' Anzalone said. 'Sometimes he would have to force-feed me. I think one time I threw up. It was pretty intense what I had to do to get where I wanted to.' "As his trainer, Schaeffer could see Anzalone had all the motivation he needed within himself. 'That's what makes a kid like that good. They have to be self-generating,' Schaeffer said. 'They have to be really, really hungry and motivated because there are a lot of things that they have to do for me when they're not with me. I never had to worry about that with Alex. He always got it done.'"

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