Sobo: Browns Get Small School Visitor

NFL teams have limits on the number of visitors they can bring into their facilities, but can look at lots of local prospects prior to the draft. One from North Canton has promise. Draft fiend Brent Sobleski has the scoop...

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.

On April 12th, the Browns will entertain a prospect they found just a stone's throw away from BereaWalsh 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 times. 

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.


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