CFL draft profile: offensive lineman Chris Gangarossa, Wagner

Photo courtesy: Wagner Athletics

Chris Gangarossa
Offensive Lineman

Height: 6’6
Weight: 305
Hometown: Fort Erie, Ont.

Twitter: @cgangarossa1
Instagram: @chrisgango

Like many kids who are big for their age, Chris Gangarossa took naturally to the sport of football.

“In peewee league I was always one of the bigger, tougher kids,” said Gangarossa. “People would go to the back of the line when they’d see me coming in for drills. It was pretty funny. We’d do one-on-ones and guys would be skipping the line to get out of facing me.”

Though he enjoys playing along the offensive line, Gangarossa often played defensive tackle in high school. He feels the experience helped make him a better blocker, understanding the nuances of both sides of the line of scrimmage.

“I always liked defence. As a lineman, I think you always want to play defence a little bit to see what it’s like.”

Gangarossa attended three different high schools in an effort to garner an NCAA scholarship. Ending up at Canisius High School, located across the border in Buffalo, the blocker began receiving the attention of NCAA programs, including Buffalo, Old Dominion, and Maryland.

His SAT score wasn’t initially high enough to qualify for a scholarship, so Gangarossa attended Milford Academy — a prestigious prep school — for one semester of his senior year. It was then that Wagner College, located in New York City, offered him a scholarship to become a member of the Seahawks.

Gangarossa remained along the offensive line at Wagner but was moved around frequently, starting games at guard, right tackle, and left tackle.

“I like left tackle a lot. There’s a different type of demeanor. You’re more of a sought-after player and usually the most athletic guy on the o-line.”

The ability to slot in at multiple positions can raise an offensive lineman’s stock dramatically given the limited size of CFL rosters. Though he loves protecting the quarterback’s blindside, Gangarossa is open to playing anywhere as a professional.

“I know left tackle is mostly an American position in the CFL, so lots of guys I’m talking to have assumed that I’ll be moving to guard. I love playing guard, so I don’t mind that at all. You can put me anywhere on the line — even centre — and I’ll get the job done.”

Gangarossa takes pride in being the first member of his family to graduate with a four-year college degree. His next goal is to become a professional football player, something he should achieve following the CFL draft on April 30.

Gangarossa has a smooth kick-step that allows him to be effective in pass protection, though he also packs a punch in the run game. He bends well for his size and is difficult to knock off balance. Look for him to be an early selection on draft day.

Anonymous quote from a CFL scout: “He’s still raw, but I like his long, lean frame. He could be effective at guard, but looks like a tackle.”

Projected round: 2-3

John Hodge is a CFL insider and draft analyst who has been covering the league since 2014.