The hype surrounding Andy Katzenmoyer was easily comparable to another star college linebacker, Brian Bosworth. Katzenmoyer was a constant on the college football highlight reel punishing opposing QB’s and RB’s. The bruising linebacker donned the #45 jersey during his playing days at Ohio State. This was an honor that had not been granted to any other player since Archie Griffin, the only 2 time Heisman Trophy Winner wore that number. Katzenmoyer was “a consensus All-American selection, adding USA Today National Defensive Player of the Year. Katzenmoyer was a three-year letterman at Ohio State … He started all 37 games during his college career … Despite playing only three seasons at Ohio State, he finished his career ranked fifth on the school’s career record list with 197 solo tackles and 18 quarterback sacks and fourth with 50 stops behind the line of scrimmage.” www.patriots.com
Unlike Bosworth, Katzenmoyer exhibited signs of greatness early in his NFL career. Drafted 28th overall by the New England Patriots in the 1999 NFL Draft Katzenmoyer would immediately be inserted into the starting lineup. Questions of Katzenmoyer’s intelligence raised some concerns to many NFL scouts as his draft stock would somewhat slip to ladder end of the first round. An article published by Sports Illustrated would expose Katzenmoyer’s academic career and the potential help that he received while enrolled in the university.
After putting up solid numbers in his only two NFL seasons, Katzenmoyer would disappear from the New England Patriots and the NFL, never to be seen from again at the pro level. A neck injury suffered his rookie year left Katzenmoyer vulnerable and scared. Making the decision that much easier for him to inexplicably walk away from the only thing he knew at the time, the only thing close to a guarantee that he might succeed in.
After years of remaining out of the lime light, Katzenmoyer has recently re-surfaced. He’s Emerged stronger and more confident then ever. He has become a business owner, a family man, and a mentor. He has opened up his own training facility (Lift Personal Training), got married, and took a job serving as the defensive coordinator for Westerville South High School. In his first interview since leaving the game Katzenmoyer sat down with the New York times, explaining his disappearance and his new found lifestyle. “My life is so regular…It’s so bizarre to think back 8 or 10 years ago and how my life has changed. What’s most strange is that I’m happier now living a normal life than I was back playing football…I knew that staying in the spotlight and my name still being around wouldn’t help me discover who I was, NY Times” The Big Kat has even returned to the classroom on his way to receiving his degree in Health Promotion and Fitness at Otterbein College.
Avoiding the complete categorization of an NFL bust, Katzenmoyer walked away from the game to find himself and prove his critics wrong. He has demonstrated perseverance and determintaion in succeeding in life outside the gridiron. Today Katzenmoyer can walk tall and know that he didnt make a joke of himself, unlike his college comparison Brian Bosworth who transitioned into a D-List Hollywood action star. If you’re ever in the area you can now find Katzenmoyer settled into his new role as a personal trainer with his wife Ashleigh and roaming the sidelines from a whole new angle… with headphones and a clipboard.