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John Wetzel and Emmett Cleary hope to be the next Boston College offensive linemen in NFL

02.21.13 at 5:14 pm ET
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INDIANAPOLIS ‘€” Boston College is used to sending offensive linemen to the NFL — Marc Colombo, Damien Woody and Anthony Castonzo are just a few who have gone on to become successful pros over the years — so BC tackles John Wetzel and Emmett Cleary hope to continue that tradition.

Neither are expected to be high picks — Wetzel could be a mid-to-late-rounder while Clearly will go late if he’s drafted at all — but Wetzel called Boston College’s reputation with NFL offensive linemen “a tradition I hope to carry on and then some.”

“When you have someone get drafted pretty much every year on the O-line, you want to keep that going,” Wetzel, a right tackle, said. “You don’t want to be the guy that breaks that tradition. It just makes me play even harder, because I know the tradition that BC has and the expectations for linemen that boosts me to a higher level.”

Said Cleary: ‘€œBC, they’€™re concerned about you as more than just a football player, so as much as developing my body and my skills, they help to develop you as a man, as an intellectual, as a person,’€ he said. ‘€œI hope that shines through in this process.’€

Playing at BC, both players had a lot of exposure to the Patriots, who held workouts at BC during the lockout in 2011. Cleary’s biggest observation?

‘€œ[Vince] Wilfork is the biggest human being I’€™ve ever seen in the flesh,’€ he said of the Patriots defensive tackle. ‘€œI couldn’€™t believe it.’€

Neither Cleary nor Wetzel have met with the Pats yet, but Wetzel said he’d happily play for them despite growing up a Steelers fan. As for Cleary, he said he’€™s seen enough of them to know what they’re all about.

‘€œIt’€™s a great franchise,’€ he said. ‘€œIt’€™s a case study in the NFL on how to run an organization. It’€™s been cool seeing that up close. They’€™re on TV all the time. I wouldn’€™t say I’€™m a fan, but I’€™ve been following them my whole career.’€

Wetzel got to meet Logan Mankins one offseason and was pleased to find that Mankins’ meanness — something he admires — was limited only to his play and that he was “welcoming” as Wetzel picked his brain about the NFL.

Though they obviously play different positions, Wetzel, who came a stripe away from being a brown belt in karate — looks up to Mankins for his toughness. He said that Mankins, a Fresno State product, plays with the “BC mentality.”

“[Jeremy] Trueblood and Marc Columbo, they were all aggresssive-style players before me,” Wetzel said. “That’s another tradition I want to carry on, being a tough blocker, a tough lineman in the NFL.”

Read More: 2013 combine, 2013 NFL draft, Emmett Cleary, John Wetzel
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