SENIOR LINEBACKER Daniel Gawronski
Senior linebacker Daniel Gawronski is a returning letterwinner who locked up the Lobos' starting middle linebacker spot with an impressive spring campaign. The coaching staff believes he had the best spring of the linebackers. Gawronski saw significant playing time backing up Charles Moss in the middle last season. He is a solid tackler and has an excellent grasp of the system. Gawronski is an intimidating, physical player who brings some real toughness to the middle, particularly against the run. He is outstanding in the weight room, winning the 2002 Beefmaster Award for players weighing 251-275 lbs. And holds LB records for bench press (465 lbs.), squat (660 lbs.) and incline press (407 lbs.), but is working to improve his mobility. Gawronski was an academic all-conference honoree last season with a 3.05 GPA. This season Gawronski is second on the team with 57 tackles (32 solo) in eight starts at MLB. He has four tackles for a loss of 19 yards, including 52 tackles in his last six games (8.7 avg.) after notching 20 in his first 15 games at UNM (1.3 avg.). He also has 2 sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Against Utah he had a career-high 12 tackles (6 solo), including one TFL, in 64 snaps and did an excellent job of open-field tackling...scooped up a Utah fumble and rumbled 29 yards to set up a Lobo field goal in the third quarter. Gawronski also had a pair of QB hurries. He had an outstanding effort, notching a team-high eight tackles (5 solo) in 77 snaps against San Diego State. He had several big hits on the night, including a jarring sack and forced fumble on QB Adam Hall. Gawronski also had a nice hit across the middle to break up a pass. In the Utah State game he finished with five solo tackles, including his first career sack in the 3rd quarter. Gawronski dropped the USU QB for a 7-yard loss on a 3rd-and-10 play after the Aggies had advanced to the UNM 47-yard line. New Mexico scored on the ensuing possession to put the game out of reach. Against New Mexico State, he did a nice job in run support, getting in on nine tackles and played the entire game. Gawronski was in on eight tackles, helping the Lobos limit Washington State to 87 rushing yards, 95.3 below their season average. In the BYU game he had a breakout performance with a career-high 10 tackles (7 solo), including one TFL, in 45 snaps. Against Texas State, Gawronski had a pair of tackles and a 4-yard INT return, following Sidney Wiley's lateral, in his first career start. In 2002, he had15 tackles, including eight solo stops, five tackles for loss in 13 games on the year.
Question: What are your personal goals on the field for the rest of the 2003 season?
Daniel Gawronski: "To do anything to help my team win conference."
Q: What is the toughest challenge playing linebacker?
DG: "It's always a challenge to make big plays because you always want to do something to help win a game for your team."
Q: Which part of your game do you feel you need to continue to work on to become a more complete player?
DG: "All aspects, because I feel I'm not a complete football player yet and to be honest there is always room for improvement."
Q: What non-football talents or hobbies do you have? Which hobbies would you like to pick-up or improve off the field?
DG: "Being a father to my little son Abran is really important to me. I just hope I can do as good a job as my parents did for me."
Q: Who is the best player you have played with or against?
DG: "John Abraham, who now starts for the New York Jets."
Q: Where's the toughest place you've had to play on the road and why?
DG: "I have not played anywhere that's tough because I love to go into the opponents house and whip up on them in front of there home crowd."
Q: What's the best class you've taken at UNM and why?
DG: "Statistics, because Mr. Bourns was always there to help me when I didn't know what in the world was going on during his class."
Q: What is the best part of Rocky Long's defense?
DG: "Exactly what you said, its Rocky Long's defense and regardless of what team tries to copy it they can't run it and perfect it like Coach Long can."
Q: What made you choose UNM? What impressed you?
DG: "The coaching staff of course. They were honest to me right from the start and I knew they would help me become a better person and a better football player."
Q: What is your routine in the weight room that allows you to become a Beefmaster Award winner?
DG: "To make myself feel pain because if I'm not feeling any pain I think that I'm not working out hard enough to make myself stronger."