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September 21, 2012

Mongelluzzo still transitioning to guard

Like many of his offensive lineman counterparts, Vince Mongelluzzo was not brought here with the intentions of being in the trenches - sort of.

Mongelluzzo, a 6-foot-3, 260 pound junior from Delmont, Pennsylvania, was a tight end as a freshman and has even caught a touchdown pass in his Colonials career. Now, Mongelluzzo, also known as "Mongo" to his teammates and coaches, is a starting guard on the Robert Morris offensive line.

Mongelluzzo knew the transition from tight end to guard wasn't going to be easy, but it's starting to pay off.

"It's been a difficult process. At first it was hard and now I'm getting used to it," he said. "It pretty much comes natural now. The hardest part was just learning all the calls on the line."

After being slowed up earlier in the season with a foot injury, Mongelluzzo is finally getting back the aspect of his game he feels is his strength: his speed. Being a tight end, Mongelluzzo thinks his speed helps him with pulling, something the guard often does in this system, and has given him quick feet.

A disadvantage Mongelluzzo faced last season was his playing weight. He said he played at 240 pounds, very small for an interior lineman, and this season is playing at 265-270 pounds. What did he do to bulk up?

"I just ate, ate, and ate some more. I got in the weight room a lot and that has helped me a lot with taking on bull rushes and stuff," he said. "It's a lot easier. I'm still not a typical size for a guard."

It's been a rough go for the offensive line through three games, but Mongelluzzo sees the light at the end of the tunnel.

"I think we're getting there. First couple games have been pretty rough but we've been playing alright and we're getting better everyday at practice. I think we're about to click soon," he said.

It still might be a work in process, not just for the Colonials offensive line but for Mongelluzzo too. He expects himself and his teammates to go as hard as possible and doesn't want anything less than a win.

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