Samuel Cosmi isn’t fazed by the chatter, speculation and mock drafts that go on behind the scenes.
The Atascocita native said he lets his work ethic and bruising style do the talking as he prepares for the NFL Draft.
“I have always felt like I was one of those guys that was under the radar,” Cosmi said. “Growing up, all I knew was, as much work as you put in is as much as you’re going to get out. So, I knew going to Texas I had to bunker down and just work. Knowing that expectations were so high I wanted to prove to myself and other people as well that I could be a big-time player.”
‘Dream come true’
Cosmi’s work ethic from the pop warner football, to Atascocita High School and wearing the burnt orange in Austin could potentially all come together at the end of the month.
The 6-foot-6 offensive linemen hopes to hear his name called early in the 2021 NFL Draft that begins on April 29. Cosmi is projected to go in the first or second round, according to most mock drafts.
Cosmi is one of several Greater Houston area offensive linemen that hope to hear their name called in the draft. Former Fort Bend Clements standout Rashawn Slater (Northwestern) and Bellaire Episcopal’s Walker Little (Stanford) are also hoping to get selected.
“Everything is a dream come true right now,” Cosmi said. “To be drafted into the NFL is going to be special for me and my family. I have had a lot of people in my life contribute small things and big things. It’s really exciting, but I know this isn’t the end of the road. Everything is just getting started.”
Growing up, Cosmi always rooted for the Houston professional sports team. He was a Texans fan and wouldn’t mind hearing from new Texans general manager Nick Caserio, but Houston doesn’t have a pick until the third round.
Maybe Cosmi ends up with Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City or with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He could end up protecting new Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz or get selected by Cincinnati to protect Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow.
Cosmi is learning to embrace the journey.
“I have talked to a majority of the teams in the league,” Cosmi said. “A lot have shown interest. With the draft you never know what’s going to happen. I’m just going to have to sit and wait for my name to be called. I’m going to play hard for whatever team picks me.”
Powerful pro day
It has been a process to become a coveted prospect.
In high school, Cosmi was 6-foot-5, 260 pounds. Today, he has packed on about 55 pounds, weighing in at 314 pounds with 33-inch arms at his pro day in Austin on March 11. Chipotle and the Texas cafeteria has helped Cosmi put on the additional weight, but he also took a nutrition class to do it in a healthy way.
He put on a performance at his pro day with 36 bench reps and a 4.84 40-yard dash. Cosmi jumped nearly 10 feet in his broad jump and 30 inches in his vertical jump.
The performance went viral on social media — however, if coaches or scouts wanted to see more of Cosmi’s athleticism they could pop on the West Virginia film and watch him catch a touchdown pass.
“I think I was able to perform really well,” Cosmi said on his pro day. “Super excited about my times and what I was able to show on how explosive and how fast I was. The scouts were there and the coaches. I think I proved to a lot of people that I’m strong, fast and explosive. Those are the three things that I have showed at my pro day.”
Journey to Texas
Coming out of Atascocita, Cosmi committed to the Houston Cougars and coach then-coach Tom Herman.
The three-star tackle was going to stay home and play in front of his family.
Then Herman left Houston and went to Texas. Herman didn’t offer Cosmi a scholarship until a week before signing day.
Cosmi was about to take a visit to TCU when Atascocita coach Craig Stump gave him advice that stuck.
“I asked him what he wanted to do, and he said Texas was his dream school,” Stump said. “I told him to think about how lucky he was that the coaches at Houston were going to Texas, his dream school and had offered him. He was a little upset that it didn’t happen sooner, but I told him in college coaching that Herman could be in the NFL, fired or anything else could have happened. College coaching changes every year. He took advantage of an opportunity, and it worked out.”
Always an Eagle
Cosmi still talks about the Eagles’ overtime victory against North Shore in the Region III-6A final during his senior season in 2016-2017.
It was a game that the Eagles were picked to lose because North Shore was one of the favorites to win a state title that year.
Cosmi and the seniors still have the deepest playoff run in Atascocita’s school history.
Cosmi is back home in Atascocita preparing for the draft and working out in the Eagles new state-of-the-art weight room. It is much bigger than what Cosmi had to work with when he walked the halls at Atascocita High School.
Now, he has a chance to make name for himself nationally that will bring more notoriety to the Eagles program as he seeks to become the first ever Atascocita player drafted.
But he’s still making an impact on the next generation of Eagles.
The Atascocita coaching staff often tell stories about Cosmi in the weight room every day working to get bigger, and his jersey or picture will likely go on the new “Wall of Fame” in the athletic wing.
“I think its huge,” said Cosmi on being the first player drafted from Atascocita High School. “Starting a legacy of more guys getting drafted here is huge. Being the first one is going to be a true honor. You know some young kid might be walking down the hall one day and see my jersey hanging there on the wall and he might say ‘Hey I want to be like that guy.’ If that can motivate a young kid one day to strive for excellence I will be happy.”