|John Wetzel and Emmett Cleary hope to be the next Boston College offensive linemen in NFL||02.21.13 at 5:14 pm ET|
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: ‘BC, 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. ‘I 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?
‘[Vince] Wilfork is the biggest human being I’ve ever seen in the flesh,’ he said of the Patriots defensive tackle. ‘I 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.
‘It’s a great franchise,’ he said. ‘It’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.”