B/R Interview: Iowa State's Ben Lamaak Prepares for the 2011 NFL Draft
The NFL draft is quickly approaching. We are officially less than one month from draft day and nobody is working harder than draft-hopeful Ben Lamaak.
His program weight for the Cyclones was 320 pounds. However, at his Pro Day, Lamaak weighed in at a trimmed-down 302 pounds. He's been working hard over the past few months to get his weight where it needs to be, so that he's at his best at the next level.
Lamaak knows something about hard work. When you speak to him, you can tell he is a grounded individual who is proud of where he came from and how he got to where he is today.
"My whole life, I have been the underdog. I come from a middle-class family in Iowa and I've earned everything I've gotten," Lamaak said.
It is clear that Lamaak is prepared to do whatever the coaching staff needs him to do. At Iowa State, he was moved all over the offensive line. It made him the versatile lineman he is today and ultimately a better football player.
When asked about which position Lamaak feels he is best suited for at the next level, he said, "Probably center or guard. Wherever the coaches feel would put the team in the best position."
He is a team-first guy. Wherever he goes and whatever position he plays, he is going to bring his hard hat and blue-collar work ethic with him. His move from tight end to tackle to interior lineman is a testament to his unselfish attitude.
Lamaak comes out of a spread offense that may leave some scouts questioning how he will perform in run blocking situations.
"I can run block, too," he said reassuringly. The Iowa State offense called upon him to pass block more, sure, but that doesn't mean he isn't a complete lineman.
Lamaak seems ready to move on to the next phase of his life.
After spending five years at Iowa State, he says that the two things he is going to miss most are his friends and being able to play for this school in particular.
"There isn't a pro team in Iowa, so Iowa State gets a strong following. I'm going to miss that and just putting on the shoulder pads and uniform there."
It is Lamaak's ability to adapt, his humility and work ethic that will make him valuable to any NFL team.
Indeed, any team looking for an interior lineman who is going to do anything he can to make himself and the team better can find that in Lamaak.
If nothing else, he provides solid depth as an interior lineman.
He has great quickness, which stems from his basketball and tight end background, as well as great strength that stems from his Iowa roots.
What's more, his can-do attitude and love for the game come through whenever he talks.
Lamaak may have to wait a while to hear his name called on draft day, but this draft-hopeful has the ideal attitude and is sure to be a willing contributor wherever he goes.
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