Mike Droogan ’16, Ben Yankelitis ’16
He sat in Athletic Director Kurt Ruch’s office on the morning of Wednesday, April 27 like a regular student – smiling, laughing and talking.
But not many Malvern students are 6’7”, 277 pounds and about to be drafted in the NFL.
After entering Penn State as a walk-on, Malvern Alumnus Carl Nassib ’11 is eagerly awaiting the NFL Draft April 28, after a meteoric rise to the national spotlight his senior year.
Carl Nassib ’11 came back to talk with teachers while he’s spending time at home to watch the draft tomorrow night with his mom.
“I’m going into the draft with a very open mind,” he said. “What will be, will be. I cannot really control much now.”
A busy period of workouts, interviews and plane rides will culminate with this year’s NFL Draft.
“I’ve spoken with GMs, coaches, scouts, trainers – every level top to bottom. They’re trying to figure out if you’re a good guy,” Carl said.
Carl remembered one interview where two coaches got up real close to him and badgered him.
“Everything I answered was wrong and I sat back and I said to myself, ‘they’re doing this on purpose,’” he said. “I refocused my gameplan.”
In addition to going through interviews, Carl got invited to work out at the NFL Combine. There, he performed a variety of workouts to showcase his physical abilities in front of coaches and scouts.
“The first few nights, you’re getting three to four hours of sleep and then you’re supposed to run your fastest 40 [meter dash], … so most people don’t get that,” Carl said. “It was tough, but it was a good experience.”
Although he was an All-American, Lombardi Trophy winner for best Defensive Lineman/Linebacker, and Division 1 leader in sacks, Carl said he still surprises himself sometimes when beating players in 1 v 1 drills.
He said he asks himself after big plays, “Am I actually good at this sport?”
His humility shines through when you talk with him.
Another aspect of the draft process that Carl has really enjoyed is getting the chance to interact with the other prospects.
“It was really cool getting to meet all the guys who I see on TV,” Nassib said. “I thought they were all gonna be pompous jerks, but they were all really down to earth. Making new friends has been really awesome.”
Throughout the draft process, Carl has noticed that the all the players at the combine got there as a result of their humility and work ethic.
“The thing I’ve learned is the people who rise to the top and become the best in the country are the most humble, hardworking guys,” Carl said.
He has taken a lot of these lessons from his brother, Ryan, a fellow Malvern grad in the class of 2008 and quarterback for the New York Giants. Carl said he has gotten many questions about Ryan during interviews.
Carl has learned from Ryan that it is important to “simply work harder than everyone else and be a good person. That’s really all you gotta do to be successful,” Carl said.
A highly noted aspect of Carl’s path to this point is the fact that he was not a starter until his senior year at Penn State. He was not even a starter while at Malvern. The underdog role has helped fuel his fire.
“In life when people aren’t the nicest to you, you remember those experiences and use them as motivation to prove people wrong,” he said. “A good skill in life is to take a bad experience and make it into a great and positive thing.”
Carl’s journey to this point certainly included his time and experiences at Malvern. Carl was a MECO leader and still keeps the values he learned close to his heart.
“Unitas, caritas, and veritas,” he said with a Spanish accent as he had just spoken with spanish teacher, Señor Jim Kirchner.
“I love Malvern and it’s great to come back to see [the students] even if it does make me feel really old “ he said. “[The teachers] are all great. I don’t know one I didn’t get along with.”
The whole Malvern community will be waiting anxiously with Carl to hear his name at the Draft on April 28 and watch him in the fall as a professional.
Mike Mayock, NFL Network Draft Analyst, called Carl in an interview with The Blackfriar Chronicle, “one of the best stories of the draft.”
“The more teams get their coach’s involved, the more Nassib is rising up boards,” Mayock said. “These defensive line coaches love his toughness and his work ethic.”
NFL.com projects Carl as a third or fourth round pick. Mayock agrees and sees maybe even a higher result.
“I think he’s gonna go to plus or minus the third round,” Mayock said. “I think he eventually can be [a starter], depending on how quickly he comes along.”
Carl is ready to move on to the next phase of his football career.
To continue his success in the NFL he is going to “keep doing what I’ve been doing my whole career – putting my head down, going to work, and staying humble.”
“I’m excited to get on a team and work hard and kick some butt,” he said.