This Thursday many of the most talented college football players in America will gather at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for the NFL Combine.Â Among those players will be Michigan State standout tight end, Charlie Gantt.Â Spartan Nation recently caught up with Charlie to talk about his combine preparation.
Getting to the NFL Combine has been a dream of Charlieâ€™s since he was young.Â â€œIt all comes down to one day of testing and a few interviews,â€ he said, â€œitâ€™s a lot of pressure, but itâ€™s something Iâ€™m really excited for.â€Â And no doubt he should be excited, with a strong showing in the Combine, Gantt could garner significant interest from much of the NFL where tight end is an increasingly valuable position.
NFL teams are currently salivating over Ganttâ€™s blocking ability.Â Charlie has shown throughout his time as a Spartan an incredible talent as a blocker.Â While some tight ends shy away from their duties on the line, Gantt is just the opposite.Â â€œItâ€™s just something I really like to do,â€ he said, â€œI give a lot of credit to my coaches for making me the blocker I am today.â€Â With so many tight ends in the NFL becoming oversized wide receivers, Charlie will be a welcome addition to any team due to his willingness to mix it up in the trenches.
But just because Gantt is a great blocker doesnâ€™t diminish his ability as a pass catcher.Â â€œI think people really underestimate my receiving ability,â€ he explained.Â Most fans and scouts probably only remember Charlie catching the famed â€œLittle Giantsâ€ fake punt against Notre Dame, but those people are missing the big picture.Â Charlie is a sure handed tight end who runs precise routs.Â And at 6â€™5â€ he will create significant matchup problems in the NFL.Â â€œPeople havenâ€™t been able to see his pass catching ability to its full extent,â€ Gantt continued, â€œbut Iâ€™ve gotten my speed up in the offseason to improve my receiving game.â€
Of course the most high profile aspect of the NFL Combine is the 40 yard dash.Â He said of the race, â€œthe technique is important, but when it comes down to it you just have to run.â€Â Gantt is hoping to run around a 4.7 in the test on Combine day.Â To put that into perspective, the 21st overall pick of last yearâ€™s draft, Jermaine Gresham, ran his 40 in 4.73 seconds.Â If Charlie can get his time into that range, combined with his exceptional blocking ability, plenty of NFL teams will want to call his name on draft day.
However, Charlie wouldnâ€™t be at this point if it wasnâ€™t for the support of his family and friends.Â He said of his family:Â â€œMy parents raised me to be really hardworking, they never just handed anything to me, I always had to work.â€Â He continued, â€œThey taught me discipline and hard work, and thatâ€™s translated onto the football field.â€Â But where his family pushed him, his friends certainly kept him grounded.Â When speaking of his roommates, Jesse Johnson and Jon Misch, Charlie spoke of the need for a sense of humor.Â â€œI would have gone crazy living with my roommates if I didnâ€™t have a sense of humor.â€
Charlie Gantt will forever be a legend at Michigan State.Â Not just for his incredible play on the field, but because of the impression he left as a leader on the program.Â As he takes the next step to the NFL Combine in a few short days, Spartan Nation is confident that heâ€™ll continue to excel as a representative of the MSU football program.