Recently signed as a Free Agent by the Baltimore Ravens, former Ohio State Buckeyes standout DT Nader Abdallah could be a player to watch.
Nearly considered a bust while at Ohio State because of his poor work ethic and weight issues early in his career with the Buckeyes, Abdallah changed the perception of his coaches in the second half of the 2007 season as a Junior, getting into shape and recording 19 tackles, three of them for losses.
His senior season with Ohio State was even better, as he earned an honorable mention for All-Big Ten honors, with 33 tackles that years, six of them for losses, and four pass breakups.
As a defensive tackle, Nader has all the tools. He's a tall and very strong young player who's able to hold his own even when double-teamed. He's pretty quick off the snap, and has great skills, with the only problem being a lack of balance when changing directions.
At 6 foot 5 inches tall and 297 lbs, Nader is a prototypical DT specimen. If he can develop the balance necessary, he can be a remarkable pickup for the Baltimore Ravens.
The maturity he gained from his life experiences will certainly contribute to his success with his new team. His family, including his mother and father, Younes and Izzieh Abdallah, went through some trying times over the last few years.
Originally from Metairie, Louisiana, the family was forced to relocate to Columbus, Ohio because of Hurricane Katrina. They eventually tried to return to Louisiana in order to rebuild their home there, but the parents have since moved back to their native Palestine.
Hopefully they're able to get NFL games on a television there in order to watch proudly as their son does his best to fulfill a lifelong dream of playing professional football.
I'm sure whether they can see him on TV or not, they're very proud of him already. He's a beast, and the Baltimore Ravens hope he's able to channel that ferocity onto the field, but he's also a gentle giant, who's into watching movies and just hanging out with friends.
We'll have the luxury of seeing what he brings to the Ravens this year. Hopefully it's a lot.