D3 schools are not typically known for their NFL talent, however, the NFL has seen their fair share of DIII players making a difference in the NFL. Most recently, players like Ali Marpet (Hobart College), WR Pierre Garcon (Mount Union), Alex Tanney (Monmoth), Derek Carrier (Beloit), Nicholas Morrow (Greenville), Jeremy Vujnovich (Louisiana College), Jerrell Freeman (Mary Hardin-Baylor), Andrew Franks (RPI) and Joe Callahan (Wesley). The NFL may see another D3 player in the NFL, that is Wesley’s own LT Matt Gono.
I did get to watch Wesley’s NJACC championship game against Salisbury University, which I watched from the end zone as a spectator. It was obvious that Matt Gono was one of Wesley’s best players, as a huge picture of him is on the billboard by north end zone. Gono immediately stood out, with is impressive size (6’4 310), powerful frame, athletic ability. He did not seem to look the part of a typical D3 LT, he looked more like a D1 LT, at least FCS.
The next two games, I was able to watch Matt Gono from the press box, as an intern for the SID of Wesley Athletics. I had a vantage point, of seeing how good this kid is. His NFL size was apparent, even from the press box. Wesley runs a spread offense and runs a lot of outsize zone and RPO plays.
Gono could get an invite to the NFL combine. If he doesn’t he should receive an invite to attend Univeristy of Delaware’s Proday.
Keep in mind, DL and LBs are much smaller in D3, however, Gono passes the test of popping immediately. I did see some good and some bad.
NFL Size: 6’4 310
Uses good Leverage
Keeps low pad level
Quick initial first step
Gets to second level in a hurry
Has good kick step when pass blocking
strong base when pass blocking
Leader of the entire team
Lean build and can be bull rushed
At times, Leans into defenders instead of using arms in pass pro
Can whiff on blocks
Can get caught too high
NFL ready as it gets from D3, best fit in a spread offense or up tempo offense. Gets to the second level in a hurry and is quick off the ball. Strong at the POA and typically uses good leverage, however he can be caught blocking too high. Good pass blocker, but needs to rely on his footwork more. Strong base in pass blocking. Leader of the team and leads by example. Good use of hands and use of long arms. Tends to let hands drift outside, which causes holding. He projects as an NFL LT, but could move inside if arm length is inadequate. Has spent time at both RT and LT.