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NFL scouting report

Zips lineman in good position

Guard/center Alleman impresses scouts at UA after emotional combine

By David Lee Morgan Jr.

Beacon Journal sportswriter

Throughout a life, certain experiences and incidents have a profound effect -- moments that can change that life forever.

University of Akron offensive guard Andy Alleman experienced that two weeks ago when his mother, June Alleman, suffered a stroke on the evening before he was to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. It left her with some paralysis on the left side of her face.

``I caught wind of it when I got down there (to the combine), and it was tough,'' Alleman said after his workout Friday at the 2007 NFL Pro Day at the UA Athletics Field House.

``I wanted to do a little extra (today) for her. I got a chance to clean up some things out here, and I think I blew them away. I think I'm sitting pretty nice.''

After the combine and the workout Friday, Alleman is the No. 1 guard in the country in the bench press (30 repetitions of 225 pounds), broad jump (8-feet-10), pro agility short shuttle (4.38 seconds) and three-cone ``L'' drill (7.44 seconds), which also is the fastest time in the country for an offensive lineman.

Scouts were impressed with Alleman's intensity in Indianapolis and again Friday.

Alleman, who is expected to go between the second and fourth rounds of the April 28-29 NFL Draft, said he was doing only what he always has done: play hard every time he steps on the field.

``That's how I've always approached the game since I was little,'' Alleman said. ``It's a lot easier to attack something when you're well-prepared. It's a lot easier to let it rip, and I'm very, very happy with my overall performances.''

One of the scouts Alleman impressed was Steve Marshall, offensive line coach with the Cleveland Browns.

``This is like a job interview for these players, and (Alleman) worked hard and did a great job,'' Marshall said. ``He's definitely going to have a chance to play at the next level.''

Alleman knew that years ago.

He was heavily recruited as a junior at North Canton Hoover High School, then transferred to Massillon Washington for his senior year. That season, he did not earn all-state accolades, despite having 22 scholarship offers.

He went to the University of Pittsburgh as a linebacker, then was moved to the defensive line before transferring to UA.

``I switched schools and switched positions, but my mentality has always been the same,'' Alleman said. ``Not to sound cocky, but in the back of my mind, I knew this day would come.

``In high school, I switched schools, and people doubted me. In college, I transferred from Pittsburgh to Akron, and people doubted me. And even when I came to Akron, I moved from defense to offense, and people doubted me.

``Other than my family and some close friends, no one thought I'd get this chance, and people counted me out. But I've been waiting for this opportunity for nine years -- four years in high school and five in college -- and it's been a long nine years.''

Former Ohio State University coach John Cooper, who is a consultant with the Cincinnati Bengals, said Alleman's versatility is what makes him an attractive player.

``He's very athletic, and the thing that gets people excited is he can play guard and center,'' Cooper said.

Alleman acknowledged that he played center in practice last season and for a few downs in a game against the University at Buffalo.

``If you can find a guy that played defense, and all of a sudden he's moved to the offensive side, then the athletic ability is going to jump out at you. He'll get a shot to play'' in the NFL, Cooper said.

UA coach J.D. Brookhart, a former assistant under Mike Shanahan with the Denver Broncos, agreed.

``He made himself a better player every day,'' Brookhart said of Alleman. ``He will play at the next level, and in my opinion, he's a first-day draft pick. I don't know if it will be the first round, but it'll be the first day.''

Zips quarterback Luke Getsy also worked out for scouts in passing drills. He had received mixed reviews last month at the combine but showed improvement Friday.

``I thought his arm strength was a little better,'' Brookhart said. ``I think he could be a late-round pick.''

Other UA seniors who worked out were Jason Giachetti (long snapper), Kiki Gonzalez and Jermaine Reid (defensive line), Jason Need (defensive back), Tim Crouch and Mike Donaldson (offensive line) and Mark Groza (linebacker).

Three guests were invited to the workouts: wide receiver T.J. Peterson and running back Marcus Mason of Youngstown State University, and wide receiver Joe Konrad of John Carroll University.

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