OBR Q&A: Mike Galassi, OL, Walsh

OBR Q&A: Mike Galassi, OL, Walsh

A little over a week ago, the Browns brought in a number of college players for pre-draft workouts. Two NAIA All-American lineman Mike Galassi was among them. OBR draft analyst Brent Sobleski talked with the local lineman about what it was like...

Small school prospect and two time NAIA All American, Mike Galassi, is preparing for the rapidly approaching NFL draft. A week ago the offensive line prospect had a personal workout with the Cleveland Browns. The Orange and Brown's draft analyst, Brent Sobleski, recently spoke with the Walsh University product about the whole process and this is what the big offensive lineman had to say….

Brent Sobleski, theOBR.com: Originally your career began at Kent St. before transferring to Walsh University of the NAIA. Why?

Mike Galassi, OL, Walsh: "Academic reasons. I kind of slacked off a little bit. Long story short, I would have lost a year of eligibility. Really didn't want to do that. Talked to my coach who told me about the NAIA. Said I could keep a year of eligibility, so that's what I did."

What were some of the differences you saw moving from the Division I level to NAIA?

"Level of competition. The teams we played, no one would really have heard of them. So definitely level of competition was much different."

Any positives from making the move?

"Corrected my wrongs. Focused on my academics. As a football player I shined individually as well as a team. Just a smaller setting that fit me well. Lot of people took a liking to me and I did well. Now I'm only 8 hours from graduating"

When did the realization come about NFL scouts were interested in you as a player?

"Have to say my junior year at Walsh. At Kent I was rated 22nd in the nation for offensive guard, if that even had any bearing. Couple scouts kept talking to me after that junior year as I prepared for my senior year."

Leading up the draft, what steps have you taken to prepare yourself for the next level?

"I have been working out at a place called the Hit Center. I now have a personal trainer. Think it has made me 110% better ball player. I'm more explosive faster and stronger. Been working out five days a week."

Getting the opportunity to show off your talents at the Ohio St. pro day, the buzz was you impressed scouts even will all the other talent present. First of all, what were your official measurements?

"Believe my forty was a 5.02. My weight was 310. My weight previously was 320 but I wanted to lose some going into this process to gain some speed. The Browns had me at 6 feet 4 and a half inches tall."

After the Pro Day, did a lot of team scouts come up to find out specifically who this small school prospect was that did so well?

"Yeah they did eventually. I surprised them maybe."

How is your recent weight room exploits progressing currently?

"My bench is over 500 pounds right now. Been working specifically on my explosiveness, so I'm not doing a lot of squats but more lunges and whatnot."

Now this past weekend [April 12th] was your personal workout with the Cleveland Browns. First and foremost, how did it go?

"Felt I couldn't do any better. It went really well. Actually had a fever while I was there. Just sick all week. Put that to the side and I was just really happy to be there."

From a fan's perspective, who has never been through the process, how is personal workout for an NFL team structured and what do teams put you through?

"Go into the locker room, they give you stuff to work out in. Then get the team physical. Then we met [General Manager] Phil Savage and [Head Coach] Romeo Crennel. That was really nice and was definitely happy to meet those guys. We then warmed up in the indoor facilities with the strength coach. Then they told me I didn't have to run the 40 yard dash but it might help if I did. So I ran two more 40's anyway. Did my shuttle run. Then right after that the O-line coaches were eager to see what you could do. "

Playing both guard and center while in college, which position did the Browns' coaches key on with you specifically?

"Actually they worked me out at guard and center."

So you have been taking some snaps then recently?

"Probably not as much as I should have been, but I did take some snaps during last season and the more versatility than better."

Throughout the day were there any film sessions or anything that encapsulates the mental aspects of the game?

"There was no film session. But there were two O- line coaches and the offensive coordinator present. One drill the coaches had bags, they run at you, sliding to one side to another. Jam, hit, Jam hit. Lot of cone drills, side to side movement. Lots of pulling drills. See how low you run around the cones. Just did a lot of positional drills and that kind of stuff."

Noticed earlier the plural usage when describing the day and how things went. What other prospects were present?

"Antwaun Molden from Eastern Kentucky. [Haruki] Nakamura from Cincinnati. A linebacker from Illinois. [Antonio] Steele I believe. There were a couple more, but I don't really remember their names."

When it is all said and done, how did you think you faired in your workout with the Browns?

"When I worked out with the line coaches; I could tell I was moving well, kept my hips low, and showed my explosiveness. They asked me about Kent and what happened. They just showed a lot of interest. I know I did well because the scout who had originally watched me came up and told me ‘Phil [Savage] wants to talk to you.' Phil told me I did a great job. They were happy I was there and even happier I did well."

Besides the Browns workout, any other teams showing interest?

"The Giants came in last week to visit with me. One of the O-line guys came down here and he put me through an extensive workout. I was outside for a while. Said they like guys who are fast, physical, could pull, and said I fit their system. Thought that workout went really well too."

The Jaguars also called me. Scout was at the pro day and talked to me for over 40 minutes. Said he watched some film and wanted to touch base because they were interested. I also know the Chiefs are interested. 49ers and Cowboys as well."

As a player, who is Mike Galassi?

"An aggressive and hard working ball player. Leader. Versatile. If you want me to play strong safety, I'll play strong safety if you need me to.

You described your strengths; now what areas do you need to improve?

Overly aggressive at times.

Any scouts express concerns over the simplistic offensive system Walsh employs?

"Yeah the Rams said I should be eating people alive because we ran the ball all the time. But it's hard when you have nine guys in the box every damn play."

When it is all said and done, do you expect to be drafted?

"I know I am on draft broads. I pray every night that I get drafted in the 6th or 7th round. I know coming from a small school and realize it might not happen. I just want to play for a team and help them out."

Originally from the Berea/Strongsville area, were you a Browns fan growing up? And would it be a dream come true to be a Cleveland Brown come April 28th?

"Yeah I certainly would be happy. I was born a Browns fan. I do have a picture from Halloween dressed up in a Bernie Kosar uniform."

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