Shalom Life | May 03, 2015

This Jewish Offensive Lineman Could Be Your New Favorite NFL Star

300 lb., 6-foot-4 Alexander Marpet from Hobart College might just have the heart, and talent, the National Football League is looking for

By: Caitlin Marceau

Published: May 1st, 2015 in Sports » Local

Photo: Alexander Marpet

Credit: Yahoo


Alexander “Ali” Marpet is expected to be a high pick in the NFL draft, which starts this Thursday in Chicago. The offensive lineman from Hobart College in New York has proven himself on the field, with both strength and speed needed from top players. With his impressive 6-foot-4, 307 lb. stature, he was part of the Jewish Sports Review’s 2014 All-American football team, and was the 89th rated player amongst eligible recruits, and 14th amongst other offensive lineman.

Currently, Marpet attends a private liberal arts school of only some 2,400 students, which is located in Finger Lakes, studying for a major in economics and a minor in philosophy and public policy. Although the school has a 12-1 record and was ranked 9th last season, the school isn’t know for its athletics program. In fact, the Statesman competition in Division III doesn’t award scholarships for outstanding athleticism, and Marpet would make only the second player from it to be drafted for the NFL.

Marpet expects he’ll be selected early in the fourth round of the draft, which will likely take place Friday or Saturday. “I am a little excited and a little bit nervous,” he said in an interview, as reported by JTA.

Marpet and his family, along with some close friends, will be gathering at his father’s place in Hastings-on-Hudson for the draft. His longtime friend Jake Fuerst, a student at Tulane, will be flying in from New Orleans to support Marpet and wait for the news.

“It was a given than we’d show up,” explained Fuerst. Having known Marpet since the sixth grade, he spent countless Fridays celebrating the Sabbath with Marpet and his family. The two even went to Israel together for birthright.

Marpet had never considered playing football professionally. Like many other children, it was just a dream he never thought would be realized. However, he had a strong sophomore season while weighing only 270 lbs., which at the time, was considered small compared to other offensive linesman in the NFL. It was a season that encouraged him to pursue his dream, which was egged on even more when scouts began to take notice of him in his junior year.

“I saw him as a leader by example,” explained Michael Green, who served as the assistant offensive line coach at Hobart last season, and was a teammate two seasons before that. “He was a two-year captain because he was so dominant on the football field and because of how hard he worked. He was a mentor to other players and helped build their skills, their technique. And he’s been humble- never a cocky guy or egotistical, but confident.”

Marpet’s father, Bill, described his son as kind hearted and good natured, who’s always been “completely focused” on whatever task he’s set for himself. He proved his dedication to football on a family vacation to Jamaica in 2014, where Marpet kept up his foot and exercise routines to make sure he stayed in top shape.

Marpet explained that all weekend long he’ll, “be waiting for the phone call,” to let him know the news.

Division III players have little representation in the NFL. Marept will be the third player to be selected in the last seven years. Many who are picked don’t have much of an impact on the league or remain active for long, with Seattle Seahawks’ Steven Hauschka among the rare exceptions.

Marpet hopes to be able to represent Division III in the NFL, along with Jewish athletes, which he said would be a “huge honor.”

“I’m happy to wave that flag,” he said.

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