NFL scouts are known to search every place in the world that has organized
football in order to find the
proverbial “diamond in the rough”. The Cleveland Browns, however, do
business in one of the best regions for finding football talent in the counntry.
In the case of one particular offensive lineman, they haven't had to travel very
far at all to keep a close eye on his collegiate career.
April 12th, the Browns will entertain a prospect they found just a stone’s throw
away from Berea. Walsh
University OL Mike Galassi will be in town to work out and interview with the staff. The
NAIA based Catholic university is located in nearby
North Canton, Ohio and plays their home games at Fawcett
Stadium (a.k.a. the Football Hall of Fame stadium). Galassi himself
is a former resident of Strongsville, Ohio.
The All American left tackle started out at Kent St.
University before landing on the Cavalier squad. During his
sophomore season, Galassi was a starting guard for the Golden Flashes.
Academic problems led to his transfer. In two years since leaving Kent State,
Galassi excelled not only for the Walsh football team, but also in the classroom.
Galassi recently participated at the
Ohio State pro day, and caught the attention of
scouts. At 320 pounds,
the tackle ran an impressive 5.02 forty yard dash. A legendary
weight room worker, Galassi’s bench is also well over 500 pounds. The 6' 4" lineman certainly has all the physical talent necessary to
compete at the next level.
Those who have seen some of play in college will laud his nasty demeanor,
toughness, and dominant run blocking. In his very first practice with the
Cavaliers, the coaching staff was downright giddy after seeing the mammoth
tackle literally lift a teammate off the ground and slam him down during drills.
Even so, some areas of Galassi’s game will need to be addressed immediately
in order to be a pro prospect. Specifically, he needs to work on his technique and
ability to participate in a pro style offense. Hand play has always been a concern with the prospect,
as he often played too wide
and outside of his base. Holding penalties were a concern at
Like most small school linemen, Galassi will have other challenges. The
offensive system the former Cav has been supporting could
generously be described as archaic. Moving the big lineman back inside to
guard, allowing him to take advantage of his strength and overall athleticism,
is a likely route if he is to be successful as a pro.
Prospects who play under legendary head coach Jim Dennison are certain to
have some particular qualities. Galassi will definitely know the
rigors of hard work. Walsh never takes off the pads in practice and
is generally “full go” all the time. Cavalier players are constantly
preached to approach everything with a Positive Mental Attitude.
Plus Walsh is a winning small-school program. While the small university does not
compare with the likes of their neighbor, Mount Union, the Cavs have had only one losing season under Dennison and are generally ranked nationally every
season at the NAIA level.
Galassi will not even be the first product out of Walsh to get a long hard
look at the professional level. Just last season, another Walsh
product, Rayshaun Kizer, also received an opportunity with the New York Jets
before being cut during training camp.
It just goes to show that no matter where a prospect winds up, NFL scouts do
not forget them. If they have talent, someone will find them.