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Pirate
Time
Machine
No. 21

With Ron Cherubini
©2001-2003 Bonesville.net


Jody Schulz

Imposing, Vicious, and
Lovin’ Every Minute of It

In the early ’80s, Jody Schulz was
a quarterback-killing Machine

By Ron Cherubini
©2003 Bonesville.net

(Photo Courtesy ECU Media Relations)

Once asked who the most talented, pure football player he ever coached was, Ed Emory without hesitation said Jody Schulz.

To quantify that, one need only look at the East Carolina roster during Emory’s tenure as head coach of the Pirates.

Among the names of Ernest Byner, Stefon Adams, Kevin Ingram, Norwood Vann, Steve Hamilton, Jeff Pegues, Clint Harris, Ricky Nichols, and the rest of the talented cast, Emory points to Schulz.

At 6-4, 230 pounds, Schulz was imposing as a player, but perhaps even more noticeable was the combination of speed and aggression that the defensive end brought on every play. Simply put, he loved to crush quarterbacks and he did it often enough and with such viciousness, that after his senior season, he became the highest ever draft pick in ECU history (prior to Robert Jones) when the Philadelphia Eagles picked him 46th overall in 1983.

The road to ECU and the NFL was a not an easy one for Schulz, at least early on, and there was even a point when he almost packed it in before he ever gave collegiate ball a try. His prep days in Chester, MD, were spotted at best. His prep team was horrible. He dropped out of school for a while, got into trouble with the law, and had tragedy strike close to home.

But there were some people — some important people — who kept Schulz moving in the right direction at the right times in his life.

“I lived what I feel like was the ultimate dream,” Schulz said. “I got through the adversities. I was fortunate enough to have a good family life at home. I had my share of trouble as a kid with the law. I didn’t push myself in high school, I sat out one year in high school, I contemplated getting married and then she was killed in an auto crash. I ended up later in front of a judge for some trouble I had gotten myself into, and he basically said, ‘Back to school or jail.’”

His troubles and the sudden loss of his high school sweetheart had derailed Schulz’s plans to go to Chowan Junior College by one year, but he gradually pulled himself together and headed down to give college football a try.

“When I got down to Chowan, they had eight defensive ends in front of me,” he said. “There were so many kids there for football that I didn’t even have a helmet. Finally, enough kids quit until I got a helmet. I went to Chowan because I needed some help with my grades. I went to a high school that was terrible in football. We won more games in my first season at Chowan than I did my whole time in high school, and the defense (at Chowan) was good. We were usually ranked in the top ten defensively in (the) junior college (division).”


Photo: ECU Media Relations

Schulz was a star at Chowan and, since his team played against East Carolina’s Junior Varsity team, it didn’t take long for the man he would play for in the Division I-A ranks to get wind of the talented defensive end.

“We played the East Carolina JV team,” Schulz said. “I guess that is why Coach Emory took a liking to the players at Chowan. About eight or nine of (us) ended up at East Carolina.”

ECU assistant coach Gary Fast recruited Schulz for Emory and when Schulz came up to Greenville he liked what he saw — and he really liked Emory. But, he also was being heavily pursued by a number of other schools, including Wake Forest, Maryland, Virginia Tech and Tulane.

After the 1980 season at Chowan, Schulz returned home to help his family run the family business, a number of seafood restaurants on the Maryland shore. While working with the family, Schulz was trying to decide where he would sign to play football the following year… until all thoughts of football left his mind when a tragedy struck his family.


The Schulz family businesses include Salt Ponds Marina
Resort
(pictured) and Fisherman's Inn. (Submitted photo)

“I am in the volunteer fire department, and was then, along with my brother Tracy. It was December 22nd and I was home in bed,” Schulz recalled. “It was 11 or 12 at night and my pager went off and it notified our station that there was a fire down at the Fisherman’s Inn – our restaurant. The restaurant burned completely to the ground. It was terrible and I was contemplating not even going to school. I thought maybe I should stay home and help my family.”

Schulz takes the time after practice at
Eagles training camp to sign an autograph
as Jody’s proud father, Sonny, looks on.
(Submitted Photo)

But Schulz’s father Sonny would not have it.

“My father told me there was no reason in the world for me to stay at home,” recalled Schulz. “'You need to finish what you started,' he told me."

So, Schulz started sorting out in his mind the pros and cons of each offer on the table for football.

“Honestly, I was kind of leaning toward Wake Forest because I really liked the linebacker coach,” Schulz recalled. “When Coach Fast called me, I told him that I wanted to go to Wake and was leaning toward the ACC.”

Well… Emory was not having any of that.

What follows is a true story about the lengths that Emory went to get his man.

“I got off the phone with Coach Fast and didn’t think anything of it,” Schulz said. “The sun had not yet set that day, and I live six hours from Greenville. By sunset, Coach Fast was at my door. There was so much going on with the fire, and when I answered the door I was surprised. Coach Fast told me, ‘Coach Emory sent me to spend some time with you to answer any questions you might have so we can get you to come on down to ECU.”

So Fast and Schulz and his parents talked football. The Schulz family finally explained to Fast that maybe Wake was a better situation. So Fast left.

“The next morning, I hear a knock on the door and it’s Coach Fast,” Schulz said. “So I say, ‘Coach, I thought you were going back last night.’ He said, ‘Let’s spend a little more time together because I want to be sure that you get to know everything you need to know about East Carolina.’ So we sat together until 2 p.m. or so and he went on and left.”

Undaunted.

“The next morning, at around 11, it’s Coach Fast again at the door. I said, ‘Coach, what are you doing?’ He said, ‘Well, I just thought I’d stop by to make sure you were sure.’ So, I asked him when he was going back to Greenville, and he said to me, ‘Well, Coach Emory told me not to come back until I had a signed Letter-of-Intent from you.’ I think he really meant it and knowing Ed, I believed it.

“The look Coach Fast had on his face, I said to him, ‘Christ, Coach, are you going to be without a job?’ Coach Fast said, ‘Well… Coach was kind of blunt…’”

Fast called Emory to deliver the news that the former Pirate skipper did not want to hear, so Emory insisted on coming up that night to hear it in person.

Emory often would call on Greenville's famed Hallow brothers, who had a plane, when he needed to make a critical recruiting visit. And they, as usual, obliged the fiery coach. But it would not be without drama.

“We told him that a winter storm was rolling in,” Schulz said. “We live on an island (Kent) and we only have a little airport, but he insisted. Well, it was 11 p.m., then 12 a.m., then 12:30 a.m. and it is literally a blizzard. We were waiting at the airport. Back then, Ed was a big, big man and we had got a call from them saying that they had to unload fuel for Ed and they got a late start, but they were on their way.

"It was snowing its ass off at the airport and you couldn’t even see the runway. And do you believe it? The snow stopped just long enough to let them land the plane. Amazing. He got off that plane and I signed that Letter-of-Intent. I never looked back.”

From that point on, Schulz knew he was playing for the right guy. And Emory, he knew he had a special player.

After working his way through the fodder at Chowan, Schulz knew that no matter what awaited him at ECU, he was going to work his way into the lineup. Emory, on the other hand, expected Schulz to come in and lead his defense.

“Coach Emory had said that there were positions available, but that we all would have to work for them. With Ed, you had to work for your meals,” Schulz said. “(The guys from Chowan) fully expected to start, but we worked hard to earn (the positions).”

Schulz lead the 1981 defense and Emory posted his first winning season. It was that season that caught the eyes of the NFL scouts.

“During my junior year, scouts were coming in to look at some of the seniors,” he said. “A lot of the (ECU) coaches told me that the scouts were asking about me. I was very excited. You know, as a player, you dream about that from the time you are 11 or 12 years old.”

With scouts well aware of Schulz, he followed his junior season up with another solid season in 1982 and it was pretty much common knowledge, at least at ECU, that Schulz would likely be a fourth rounder and it would probably be Green Bay. But, Schulz was pursuing a different course at the time.

“We knew… everyone of us on that ’82 team knew that the ’83 team was going to be an ass-kicking team. We really believed that team would win the national championship and I wanted desperately to be part of that team,” he said. “So I went to Coach Emory to see if I could get a red-shirt year out of my freshmen season at Chowan. I was on my hands and knees with Coach Emory and (Chowan) Coach Garrison to see if there was any way they could somehow swing another year at ECU.”

Schulz had played too much at Chowan as a freshman to have any chance of that happening and his former coach told him as much. Emory, as much as he would have loved to have Schulz back, knew his defensive star was ready for the next level.

Schulz looking to get his mitts on former
Washington star Joe Theismann.
(Submitted Photo)

The NFL scouts fell in love with Schulz’s physicality off the edge. For Schulz, it was merely his natural inclination.

“I can only (assess myself) by what was repeated to me (by observers),” Schulz said. “I guess it was my aggressiveness, tenacity, and that I got to the quarterback. I loved pass rushing.

"Football is a rough game and I loved it. I guess part of it was my nastiness. I am not a rah-rah person. Not a trash-talker, but I loved the hitting. The contact.

"Anybody who has ever played football on the collegiate level or higher misses the contact. Honestly, I miss the violence of the game. You don’t get that anywhere else. You gotta have a sense of violence in you or you don’t succeed in the sport. And once you leave (the game), you don’t have that anymore. You never again get to pad up and knock the hell out of somebody.”

Schulz was quick to admit that he needed only look around on the ECU field to see some of the toughest, best defensive players in the country.

“Our whole defense was great,” he said. “The whole team was aggressive. We were fast and every guy wanted a piece of whoever was running the ball. I remember, probably, the hardest hit I ever felt was by one of the twins, Donald or Ronald Reed. I’m not sure which one it was… I think Donald.

"I was tackling a ball carrier and I guess I was twisting him around and got turned. Donald came up and was trying to hit the ball carrier, I think, and he hit me instead and it was one of the hardest hits I ever sustained as a college player. Guys like Steve Hamilton, he was such a good guy and a tough, tough defensive lineman. Jeff Pegues… what can you say about him? He was good.”

Though he wanted to be part of the 1983 team, Schulz also knew that he was ready to go to the NFL. He was convinced, based on feedback following outstanding appearances in the Japan Bowl and the Blue-Gray All-Star game, that he would go in the fourth round and it would probably be Green Bay, a team that told him they were going to take him.

“Where you get drafted, a lot of times, is about where you play,” Schulz said. “If you are at a bigger school, you usually get picked sooner. I really thought I would be drafted by Green Bay and when Philadelphia picked me, Green Bay actually was next to pick.”

The surprise for Schulz went beyond who picked him. Thinking he would be picked quite a few hours later in the day, Schulz was as surprised as anyone when he heard the announcement on television that Philly was next to select and that they had selected him.

“I got a call during the day from someone with Philadelphia and I was extremely happy,” he said. “When you get drafted, you realize what an honor it is. Hell, I would have played for nothing. It’s every boy’s dream to play in the NFL. Of course, now, looking back, I played five years but should have played 10 or 12. In hindsight, I wish anyone other than Philadelphia had drafted me. The turf there (in Veteran’s Stadium) should be outlawed… it should be a crime to have to play on that turf and it didn’t help my career.”

After a two-sack, 10-plus tackle performance in his rookie debut, Schulz appeared to be on his way right out of the gate, but then, the dirty side of football got him, truncating a promising career.

“My first game was in Green Bay and I remember thinking, ‘This is where Vince Lombardi walked the building,’” Schulz said. “I remember some of the other rookies, who had played in new stadiums in college, were talking about (how bad Lambeau Field) was, and Harold Carmichael came over with some of the other veterans and said, ‘You ought to kiss the ground… this is hallowed ground.’

“Then the game starts and at first you’re overwhelmed (by the magnitude of the experience) but then you focus. I remember that the game was on television and John Madden was announcing. My mom taped the game and Coach Madden said some good things about me. I had a good game and I thought, ‘This is where I want to be.’”

Work ethic was never a problem for Schulz, who, as he puts it, “…even at East Carolina, I never felt secure.” Though a high draft pick, it never occurred to Schulz that he was already on the roster when he reported to his first camp. And that camp was a rude introduction into the big leagues.

“The 1983 summer camp with the Eagles was extremely hot and it was so hard for me to keep weight on with 2½ -hour workouts, and then meetings at night. There would be a van waiting for us to take us to the hospital where they had a room for us to go and get IVs to replenish fluids. Every night, I would be in there with two IVs, one in each arm. It was tough.”

Though Schulz was working to earn time, the Eagles had already penciled him into the starting lineup as the left outside linebacker as a rookie, and in that game in Green Bay he delivered.

“In my first game for the Eagles, I didn’t make a big deal about it because I was so focused on what I had to do,” he said. “I did think about (the fact) that I was starting in an NFL game, but I didn’t dwell on it. There is so much to learn in the NFL. In college, you just fold your ears back and go, but in the NFL, you spend as much time in the classroom and on film as you do on the field, if not more. It is a lot of work… and I loved it.”

What Schulz didn’t love was just a few weeks later against Denver, when he first injured his knee.

Schulz goes airborne and blocks a punt
against Dallas. (Submitted Photo)

“I looked at four years of college and never missed a day of practice for injury,” he said. “I never had a serious enough injury to keep me out of practice, let alone a game. And then I go to Philly and get hurt.”

That injury, was the beginning of a dark series of events that illustrates how mixed priorities can spell the end to a promising career.

“The head trainer (Otho Davis) was the cause of my shortened career,” Schulz said. “Some of the atrocities and lame duck treatments and unnecessary surgeries were sinful… really. Otho Davis… of course, he is dead now, but he was a piece of garbage.”

As it unfolded, Schulz tweaked his knee against Denver. Subsequently, in the next game against St. Louis at the Vet, he got his leg caught in the turf and was hit on the knee. Schulz knew it was a bad one, but Davis taped him up and sent him back in — and he was hit again and again.

“It was a horrible experience.”

What followed was four years of bungled prognoses, too many shotgun surgeries, hurried returns to the field, and frankly, unethical guidance given to a wide-eyed guy in his early 20s. And, admittedly, Schulz’s love for the game and fiery desire to play only made it easier for the trainers to convince him he was ready to go when he was not.

Schulz played three seasons under Marion Campbell before Buddy Ryan became the head coach, then he struggled through two more with Ryan. Schulz did not want to play any longer for Ryan, but the rules in the league at the time left him with no real options.

“My options were to play for the Eagles or don’t play, so I decided to get out,” he said. “The manner by which my career ended leaves a sickness in my stomach. Mainly because I think about the opportunities I would have had, if I had not (landed in Philly).”

Since he had the requisite three years or more in the league, Schulz was able to officially retire from the NFL, but that gives him little solace. Along with the creeks, cracks, and pops in the knees, Schulz was also left with a bitter taste, which keeps him away from the game these days.

With many friends left in the NFL in former teammates Bill Cowher and Herman Edwards, college teammate Ernest Byner, and friends Jeff Fisher and Wilber Montgomery, Schulz did consider re-entering the league in a scouting role, but the thought of traveling most of the year soured him on that idea, though he admits if the right opportunity came along, he might jump back in.

But today, Schulz has his hands very full and his active lifestyle keeps him fit.

In addition to running his family’s restaurant business alongside his parents, Schulz also opened his Salts Pond Marina Resort on Kent Island, where he lives with his wife and four young boys. He is in his 25th year with the Kent Island Volunteer Fire Department and he and family manage his 123-acre farm in their spare time.

He still works out and has been a regular regional qualifier in the Fire Fighter Challenge, an event dubbed as the “Toughest Two Minutes in Sports.” He downplays it by saying that these days, “…I drive the truck more often than I run into burning buildings.”

Schulz is very proud of his service and what volunteer firefighters represent.

Schulz, in water to the right, at
work, recovering a safe that was
tossed  in a river after a robbery.
(Submitted Photo)

“I’m in my 25th year in the volunteer fire department,” he said. “My brother is the chief and I am actually running for president (of the volunteer firefighter organization). (Kent Island) had the first boat in the county… the first dive rescue team for body recovery in the tri-county area. I’m in the political side of it now, trying to get a new firehouse built, raising impact fees, negotiating rights agreements.”

His family has seen fires claim two of their restaurants, so the department holds a very special place in Schulz’s heart.

“In 1990, our crab house burned down,” he said. “Once again, fire struck us. (The volunteer department) means a lot to me. When I first joined, it was the thing to do in a rural area. All my friends had joined. It just got in me and I stayed with it.”

As a firefighter, Schulz felt the pain of September 11th in a way that only a member of that brotherhood could.

“Obviously it was horrible,” he said. “I don’t think a lot of people realize what was going through those guys' minds when they were running up the stairs while everyone else was running down. Well, we do… it’s public service. It is what it means to serve. We all felt the pain.”

For Schulz, as deep as he loves the fire department, he is truly enjoying his family these days and the fruits of his labor.

“My mother and father are very active (in the restaurants),” he said. “They are good management people and that is good because I don’t want to do it all. I have a family… four kids, a nice house, and a 123-acre farm, and I want to spend time with my kids.

“I think my oldest realizes what it means that I was a former NFL player, but none of them are real football fans. They do love sports, but right now, they are young and they are into soccer. Still, sometimes they come home and one of their school friends might (have) asked, ‘Your dad was a pro football player?’ and then they might ask me a question about it. But I have some old films from East Carolina, so some day I’ll show them.”

In reflecting on his career, where Schulz is a little bitter about his NFL experience, he is nothing short of certain about his ECU career.

“I’ve always been big on being part of creating something special, and that drew me to ECU,” he said. “To me, it means more to be part of the growing. We were always the underdogs. I remember in 1981 against Missouri, there were signs that said, ‘Where the hell is East Carolina?’ No respect. Hell, that game, the police even pulled over the bus on the way to the damn game. That (chip) drew me to ECU. The element of players there, like the old Raiders… with Coach Emory – the Bear Bryant of East Carolina – he bled purple and it got to you.”

And more on his former coach:

“It was a shameful thing when (ECU) fired Coach Emory,” he said. “It’s embarrassing to ECU that he is not in the Hall of Fame. All the other coaches used ECU as a stepping stone. Ed would still be there today if they would have let him stay.”

Like his former coach, Schulz took life lessons away from his football career and is a better man for it.

“I kept fighting to make (it) through East Carolina to the NFL,” he said. “(I learned) anybody can do anything they set their mind to if they have a passion for it. I really miss playing still and I try not to think about it that much. I still have a bad taste about the way my career ended because I wanted to quit on my own terms. But, I learned that a man has to fight his own battles and take care of himself.”

In the early ‘eighties, the Pirate Hall-of-Famer fought many battles for East Carolina… and usually won them.

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JODY SCHULZ BIO BOX
Name:

Jody Schulz
 

Age:

42
.

 
Sport:

Football
.

Years at ECU:

1981-82 - Transfer from Chowan Junior College
.

Position/Jersey No.

Defensive End/ No. 95
.

Hometown:

Chester, MD
.

Currently Resides:

Chester, MD
.

Occupation:

 Restaurant Owner
Fisherman's Inn
fishermansinn.com

Marina Owner
Salt Ponds Marina Resort
saltpondsmarinaresort.com

Land Developer

Retired NFL player, 1988 from Philadelphia
 

Marital Status:

Married - Sherri
 


The Schulz Homestead

Children:
  • Dusty, 10

  • Kirby, 7

  • Kolby, 5

  • Dorsey, 3

Schulz with wife Sherri, and boys, from left
to right, Dorsey, Kolby, Kirby, and Dusty at
Christmas in 2002. (Submitted Photo)

Quotable: 

“Do you want to hear a tragic story? I grew up in a small town. The first year they organized Little League Football in our county, I wanted to play so bad. There were six teams and we went down on a Saturday morning to get my first uniform. I was 12-years old. I was so excited. So my first day of practice was on a Monday and it was scheduled for after school. But we were all excited so we had a pickup football game at lunch that day and I go out there and break my collar bone. I missed my first-ever season.”
.

TEN QUESTIONS

1. Who is your favorite current Pirate and why?

“I have to say that I don’t follow the team to that level.”
.
.

2. What do you miss most about ECU?

“I miss, other than the football, I miss the camaraderie of the team. Before-game and after-game antics. The togetherness, the college spirit.”
.

3. Where is your favorite spot on the ECU campus?

“At the time, you only had to be 18 to drink, so just about anywhere on campus was great. Of course, downtown was always great!”
 

4. What was your dorm room and favorite dorm story?

“Belk dorm, all the way on the end, 114 maybe. My suitemates were Smokey Norris, who was my roommate, Greg Quick and Mike Grant, Kenny Phillips, Amos Twitty – there were about nine of us who came in from Chowan (JUCO) in the spring of 1981. I remember, one night, there was a fraternity party we raided. We stole a keg and we took it back to our room. We were taking it out of the back of my pick- up truck. The frat had called the campus police and they were looking for someone in a truck with a keg. I was on the ground and Amos Twitty and Mike Grant were handing me the keg out of my truck. About that time, the police came around. They ran and I’m holding the keg. I try to carry it up the steps. The security called Coach Emory. They told coach it was two black guys and a white guy. Coach Emory relayed that message to Coach (Gary) Fast and he knew to come right to our room. We had the keg hidden in the closet. He said, ‘I don’t want to know anything about anything and you ought to take that keg back.’ And we did… the next day.”

.

5. Greatest Moment as a Pirate football player?

“That is a hard one. I don’t (know) if I have one. What I loved was sacking the quarterback. Every time I got one in Ficklen, it was a great moment for me. The greatest moment, I guess, was Senior Day. Getting to walk my parents out there with me was a special moment. I was always so focused on the team doing well. I guess the single best moment was probably draft day in 1983. Amos was there at his apartment and the draft started at 8 a.m. and we had a keg tapped at about 7:30 and we were watching the draft. The first round takes a couple of hours and I thought I would be picked around the fourth round, so I sat back and drank. By the time we were in the second round we had drained one keg and were into the second, and then they announced that I was a second-rounder to Philadelphia. Everyone piled on me and we broke Amos’ couch. Then three or four coaches came over and we saturated them with beer and they kept on going. I worked so hard for so long, Junior College and then college… it was the culmination of it all. I remember we were so hammered, the coaches said the television stations wanted to interview me, so they got food and coffee to sober me up for the interviews.”

.

6. Most disliked opponent?

“N.C. state and Carolina definitely.”
.

7. Athletic Influences?

“There were a bunch, but a couple who stand out are coach Jim Garrison at my junior college. He was a big influence to me to keep my nose to grindstone. At ECU, cut and dry, it was Ed Emory. When I was picked to go to the Japan Bowl (North vs. South), the game was in Yokohama Japan. I was also selected for the Blue-Gray game in Montgomery, Alabama, on Christmas. Coach said, ‘Don’t treat these games as a showcase. You go down there and work your ass off. Don’t worry about friends and it will help you on draft day.’ And it did, I went one, maybe two rounds earlier because of that.. Ed was a very positive person. I remember when I was going to the Japan Bowl and Coach wanted me to have an ECU jacket, and he was going through a box of jackets and they were all medium or large and he was determined to find me an extra large. The last one was extra large, very positive type.”
.
.

8. Favorite coach?

“Ed Emory… what a wonderful person. He said football was your fraternity and he kept us together.”
.
.

9. Best Locker Room Story

“We had a guy there named Greg Quick. He had a scholarship at Clemson and transferred to ECU. He was a big kid, 6-6 300-pounder at 17 years old. And, he had a big, big head… literally. Coming from Clemson, he was a big talker. We didn’t have a helmet to fit him and had to special order one. He would always ask our equipment managers, Choo and Doc, every day, ‘Is my helmet here yet? Cause when it gets here, I’m going to show these guys and kick their asses all over the field.’ So, some of us asked Choo and Doc to take a big box that the toilet paper came in. Get an empty one and stick it in front of Greg’s locker. It was huge, really, like 2 or 3 square feet. Choo comes out and tells Greg that his helmet has arrived. Greg got all excited and he started talking sh(xx) on his way to the locker room and he gets in there and all that is there is a big, empty toilet paper box. That was fun.”.
.

10. Best Emerald City hangout?

“The Elbo Room was the hangout, but all downtown was fun. We went down as a team, drank as a team, got in trouble as the team.”
.

Special Bonus Feature

‘Brawny Man’ just another interesting part of Schulz

When Jody Schulz tells you a little bit about himself, it becomes quickly apparent that he has a never-ending drive to do things. He is a true outdoorsman in the mold of the All-American kind of guy. From managing his 123-acre farm to immersing himself into the world of the firefighter, the former NFL player possesses the rugged good looks and the physical lifestyle that is the stuff that many in advertising have long capitalized on. From the Marlboro Man to the Brawny Man, Americans are drawn to those guys referred to as — a “man’s man.”

In his life, Schulz has done many things and along the way, some of them have been off the beaten path. For instance, speaking of the Brawny Man, one of Schulz’s friends actually sent in a nomination to Brawny in their Do You Know a Brawny Man? promotion. As his neighbor wrote in nominating Schulz to Brawny:

“Jody, a rugged man who resides in a log cabin, is most definitely your man. A collegiate Hall of Famer and five-year Philadelphia Eagle linebacker, his teammates voted him the 1986 Ed Block Award recipient for courageously overcoming serious knee injuries. Jody still benches 425 pounds! As Vice President of Kent Island Volunteer Fire Department, he leads its dive rescue team. He consistently places in the top 20 of the National Firefighter Challenge. He recovered the body of my own father-in-law who drowned in 1995. Jody has raised thousands (of dollars) for various charities at his own Crab Deck Restaurant, voted best in Maryland’s Hall of Fame. Typical of his charitable spirit, he is donating the Durangos, if won, to the family of a fellow firefighter recently paralyzed in the line of duty. Jody is a loving husband, devoted father of four young boys and an awesome friend.”

Though he didn’t win the title because he was a former professional athlete, Schulz dose epitomize the all-America boy image. And, it seems, his friends and neighbors are not the only ones to recognize this.

When a neighbor asked Schulz to put his
name in to become the next Brawny Man,
he sported his fire gear for the send-in pic.
Schulz was eliminated because he was a
former pro athlete. (Submitted Photo)

With commercials out of the picture, Schulz went straight for the big screen. After a friend suggested he try out, Schulz went to an open casting call in Baltimore for a football movie a few years ago and got the part. Playing the part of a Dallas coach, Schulz enjoyed his brief foray into Hollywood as a cast member of the movie The Replacements. Of meeting Gene Hackman and Keanu Reeves, Schulz said, “They were nice.” But, of the Hollywood experience, Schulz thinks he will keep his career to the one movie.

“It seems like an awful waste of money, how they make movies,” he said. “The time and money they spend on shooting a film is just wasteful. It was fun… you know, I made minimum wage and we started at like 5:30 in the afternoon and finished at 7 a.m. up at Ravens Stadium.”

Schulz takes in the experiences his life has brought his way with the curiosity of his youth. His four boys and his sprawling farm keep him more than busy and he is deeply involved in his community. Like his playing days, his motor is always running and he is always open to new experiences.

Chances are, whatever rolls his way next, Schulz will excel at it.

 

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02/23/2007 02:10:26 PM

 

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