Galassi Looks Back on "Frustrating" Tryout

Despite not getting a contract from the Browns, offensive lineman Mike Galassi still thinks he has NFL talent. The OBR's Marty Gitlin talked to the NAIA All-American as he ponders his next steps...

"I definitely put a lot of pressure on myself. I kind of wish the scouts had talked to me after my senior year because that did end up putting more pressure on me. But I was hard on myself more than anything else."

Still, though he could not secure an invitation to the NFL combine, he did participate in the Ohio State Pro Day, during which he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.98, which is rather speedy for an offensive tackle who tips the scales at well over 300 pounds. Coupled with the encouraging words he had received from pro scouts over the past two years, it was no wonder he waited by his phone on the second day of the draft.

It never rang.

"I didn't need to watch on the first day," says Galassi, who knew he wasn't going to be taken in the first three rounds. "On the second day I was told to sit by the phone, so I did. The fourth round went, then the fifth round, sixth round and seventh round. It got really stressful for me. When the draft was over and no one had called me, my heart sunk.

"I had done everything I needed to do. The Browns called me two hours after the draft. All they offered was a tryout. They were the first ones to call, so I took it. The Giants called two days later and I told them about the Browns tryout. The problem for me is that I needed to go to a team that needed an offensive lineman and the Browns didn't need one. And when I got back to the Giants, they said their camp was full."

Others in Galassi's situation might throw up their hands in frustration and move on with the lives. But he believes in his heart and his mind that he boasts NFL talent.

"I'm not going to put it aside," Galassi says with conviction. "If you want something bad enough, you never give up. If someone calls me, I'll be there tomorrow. I'll pay for the plane ticket. I'll pay for the hotel. I want to play. I've known since I was a little kid that I wanted to be a ballplayer. I'm not going to give up on my dream."

Galassi does have a practical side. He studied sociology and criminal justice in college and even served an internship with the Canton police department. But though he is frustrated at his current lack of opportunity in football, he is still weighing his options. He has friends who are playing in the Canadian Football League and is considering that possibility.

If that doesn't become a reality, Galassi is looking into pursuing his master's degree and getting into coaching. He is open to anything, but he is closed at this point to the notion of chucking his football career.

"It's kind of awkward at this time of my life," he says. "I wish I knew what I wanted to do."

Such doubts are not unfamiliar to most 23-year-olds fresh out of college. All of them must not only believe in themselves, but convince a decision-maker who does as well.

In this case, it's a football coach and GM. And Mike Galassi is determined to find one who appreciates his talent.

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