Brandon on Scott Mruczkowski: "He was a captain"

When the Chargers drafted Scott Mruczkowski with their final pick in this year's draft, they continued two of their draft day trends. Not only did they continue to add depth to their offensive line, but they added yet another versatile athlete to their team as well.

A conversation with Gregg Brandon, Mruczkowski's former head coach at Bowling Green, helped bring to light this performer's vast array of skills.

"He's very versatile," Brandon said. "He played guard and center for us, but he could probably play tackle too. He was our best offensive lineman, not just because of his play on the field but because he is so intelligent."

It is that intelligence which prompted Brandon to move Mruczkowski from guard to center, where he would be responsible for making the majority of the line calls.

Intelligence was not the only reason for the move.

"He's great at center because of his leadership abilities and because of his long snapping skills," according to Brandon.

Mruczkowski's long snapping skills were cited several times by Brandon as an undervalued aspect of the game which Mruczkowski has mastered. With David Binn secured as the team's long snapper, it could be several years before Mruczkowski is called upon for such duty.

With that in mind, it was the aforementioned leadership skills that impressed Brandon the most.

"He was a captain," Brandon said, "and our players vote for captains, so I think that means something. He's a very well respected kid."

Scott Mruczkowski earned his respect both on and off the field. Not only did he excel athletically, but academically as well.

"He's earned his degree, which was important to him," Brandon said. "He's a quote-unquote student athlete. He's never gotten in any trouble off of the field, and he's just a good citizen."

Brandon predicts that Mruczkowski's transition to the pro game will be less daunting than that endured by most rookie offensive linemen. This is because in addition to having the smarts to thrive on the next level, Mruczkowski has the size to hang with the big boys immediately.

"He's a strong kid," added Brandon. "He already weighs 320 lbs., and he's light on his feet. He won't have to gain any weight on the pro level."

Coach Brandon feels as though the most difficult adjustment Mruczkowski will have to make will be getting accustomed to the increased intensity displayed on the next level.

"The intensity level will pick up, and so will the speed of the game," Brandon said. "That's true for everybody though."

While that may be true for everybody, not everybody has such an elite understanding of the game as does Mruczkowksi.

"He has a good command of the game," according to Brandon. "He's a good student of the game."

After hearing Coach Brandon boast about Mruczkowski's strength, intelligence and technical proficiency throughout the entire conversation, it seems as though the Chargers may have continued a third trend with this selection.

After all, the Chargers best value pick in last year's draft was Shane Olivea, an offensive lineman selected in the seventh round who exceeded all expectations from the day he was drafted. Perhaps for the Bolts and their latest potential seventh-round steal, lightning may strike in the same place twice.

Michael Lombardo can be reached at

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