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
product about the whole process and this is what the big offensive lineman had
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
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
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.”
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
Playing both guard
and center while in college, which position did the Browns’ coaches key on with
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
“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?
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
“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.”