Kassem Hopes To Play Early

Brooklyn (NY) ASA offensive lineman Ali Kassem is back home in Cincinnati as he finishes up his school work before heading to NC State later this summer.

Brooklyn (NY) ASA offensive lineman Ali Kassem is back home in Cincinnati as he finishes up his school work before heading to NC State later this summer.

"I'm actually taking courses back home," said Kassem. "I found out a couple of my credits wouldn't transfer so I just have to finish up these two online courses and I'll be good to go.

"I have a 3.52 GPA so I don't think it's going to be an issue for me. I'm not sure yet of my major, but it's probably going to be Accounting or Finance."

Kassem emerged in January as a target for the Wolfpack, picking up offers from NC State, Rutgers, Texas San Antonio, Kent State, and Akron.

He took visits to NC State and Rutgers before initially selecting Rutgers. However, hours later he would change his commitment to NC State.

"I really like the coaches at NC State," said Kassem. "They seem like great guys.

"I'm still very happy with my decision. I love NC State... everything about it. The more I researched it the more I love it. I can't wait to get down there."

Kassem said that on his official visit to NC State he weighed over nearly 380 pounds, and he, and head coach Dave Doeren, knows that is too heavy.

"He is a big man," Doeren said of Kassem.

"I'm 347 pounds right now," said Kassem. "I've been working hard here at home to get in shape for when I get to NC State. I was about 380 on my official so I've lost about 33 pounds.

"My target weight was initially 350 pounds, but my playing weight is 330 so I'm trying to get as close to that as I can before I get to NC State. as close as I can before I get to NC State. But, I do know my coaches want me no bigger than 330."

It's been an interesting journey for Kassem. He signed with Western Michigan in 2010 out of Cincinnati (OH) Moeller High School, but left WMU the spring of his freshman year and returned to Cincinnati.

Kassem enrolled at ASA College, located in Brooklyn, New York, in the spring of 2012 and played this past season with the team. The Avengers finished with a 9-1 record and ranked 5th nationally.

He will enroll at NC State with two years left to play two seasons. His goal? To earn a starting job.

"I believe the coaches want me to play right guard and eventually right tackle," he stated. "They are telling me that I can come in and play at right guard and progress to maybe a tackle down the road.

"I'm trying to be ready to go for fall camp so I can hopefully work my way on to the field."

Ali Kassem Video Highlights (Hudl.com)


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