Zach Sammartino: 2020 Pro Prospect Interview

Name: Zach Sammartino
School: Dartmouth
Position: G/C
Height:  6’4″
Weight: 310

Q: What goals did you set and/or accomplish in your final collegiate season?

For my final college season, my team goal was to obviously win another Ivy League Championship, and we accomplished that feat going 9-1 and led the conference in rushing yards per game behind the O-line. As for my personal goals, I wanted to garner post season recognition. I ended up being 1st team All-Ivy as well as 1st Team All New England which is comprised of FCS and FBS schools such as Umass and Boston College. I also wanted to keep my personal zero sacks allowed statistic unblemished and I did, successfully graduating Dartmouth College allowing zero sacks.

Q: What would your coaches and teammates say about the type of player you are?

My coaches and teammates would say I have tremendous leadership skills and that I led by example. I was the only returning starter on the offensive line and we had our entire defense back and all of our skill positions. People believed the offensive line would be the weakness and I refused to allow that to be the case. I led the younger guys by example throughout the offseason and into the season and they all bought in 100% and what was thought to be a potential weakness turned into a strength of our team, allowing the fewest sacks in the league as well as leading the league in rushing. On top of the leadership skills, coaches and teammates would praise my ethic. I loved grinding every single day in the weight room, on the field, and in the film room. I took every opportunity to go above and beyond to better myself and become a complete, well rounded, player.

Q: When you are studying film, what do you focus on to improve your game?

If I am studying film on myself, I tend to look at my footwork first, specifically my first 2-4 steps, because if those steps are not quick, concise, and purposeful, you are already putting yourself at a disadvantage at the start of the play. After that I tend to look at my strike and how my targeting was and if I got my hands where they need to be to be successful. If I know I’m struggling with a specific aspect of my game, I will watch all my plays that involve that aspect, see what I need to work on, and then go film of pros or others who have that aspect of their game as a strength. When I’m studying my opponents, I tend to focus first on pre-snap tendencies. Then I study there pass rush and run stopping moves and how they transition from one move to another, and see what has worked well against them from other people who have played them.

Q: What separates you from the other pro prospects at your position?

I think what separates me from other pro prospects is simply my violence and finishing ability. I play through the whistle every play and don’t view the play as a success unless I flatten my opponent across from me. I think my finishing ability comes from a combination of strength and power, as well as good feet that don’t stop moving. As you can see on my tape, I play with an edge that gets combined with my strength and power and leads to me being able finish my opponents and put them on the ground. On the flip side, I believe I have quick feet and reactions due to the fact that I have never allowed a sack in my entire college career.

Q: What is your offseason plan to train and prepare for professional opportunities?

I am from Pittsburgh and have worked out with Terry Grossetti and Kyle Piper who are located at Grossetti Performance before. I had great results from working with them and plan to head back to Grossetti Performance for my draft prep because they have run an exceedingly successful draft prep program for years now.

Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?

I think I mentioned a lot of these before in what separates me. I believe I have great strength and explosion that has come from my unwavering commitment to the weight room throughout my career. On top of that, I have continuously worked on my foot speed and agility during my time at college and I think these last two years that becomes evident when watching my film. Finally, I play with a nasty edge that is needed in good O-linemen and attempt to finish my opponent into the ground every single play, play after play. Off the field, I enjoy the weight room and training just as much as I like playing football. I love and embrace every aspect of the grind, from practice, to working out, to film study.

Q: What is your final pitch to the NFL or any other pro leagues?

My final pitch to the pros is that there isn’t another player in the country who will outwork me in any aspect on and off the field and there isn’t anyone who plays with a nastier edge than me. I will come in and grind from day one and refuse to be outworked. Every snap I want to humiliate the man across from me and I never feel satisfied. I want to make the man across from me hate that he has to line up snap after snap and go against me all day long.