Tony Boselli takes the last bite of his second Big Mac before he unwraps the Quarter Pounder with cheese and makes it disappear.
He’s sitting in one of the 11 Denverarea McDonald’s franchises owned by his father and uncle, wolfing down the profits before he starts working off the throng of calories in the gym.
Boselli is trying to get bigger in the days leading to the April 22-23 draft, not that his 6-foot-7, 323-pound frame begs for more size.
But because he is slotted as the best offensive lineman in the draft and his reputation already dwarfs the accomplishments of several all-time NFL greats, Boselli feels the need to fill those expectations with sheer mass.
“I want to add a few more pounds or so of muscle, maybe get a little quicker,” Boselli says as he chews. “I want to get stronger. I want to get bigger. I have to be awesome.”
In a draft replete with talented offensive linemen, USC’s Boselli is rated best. Most potential firstrounders are graded on whether they will be starters or impact players. Boselli is being judged by his Hall of Fame potential.
“Tony is the greatest college football lineman I’ve ever coached - and I’ve been around some great ones,” said USC coach John Robinson, who also coached Jackie Slater and other Pro Bowl linemen with the Los Angeles Rams from 1984-91. “He is absolutely a dominating player on this level, and I expect he’ll be that way in the NFL.”
For perspective, one must understand USC has produced 17 offensive linemen drafted in the first round since 1964 - Marvin Powell, Don Mosebar, Bruce Matthews, and Anthony Munoz among them.
Now Boselli is being favorably compared with Munoz, who for a decade was a perennial Pro Bowler.
“In line with our scouting evaluation, I don’t think John Robinson is overstating things,” said Broncos director of college Jeff Smith.
What makes Boselli so dominant? Simply, he is a rare combination of size, quickness and aggression.
“From a football standpoint, he’s a notch above everyone else,” said Dolphins offensive line coach Monte Clark. “He’s got good, quick feet. He’s strong, he’s smart.”
And Boselli has the attitude that makes scouts rave.
“I don’t know the play’s over until I hear a whistle or someone pulls me off my guy,” Boselli said.
Scouts have marveled at Boselli’s work ethic. He added 15 pounds of bulk just before his senior year by working evenings in the gym.
During the day, Boselli was busy playing a backbreaking role in the renovation of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which was damaged by the 1994 earthquake.
“I helped the carpenters by carrying lumber back and forth,” Boselli said. “It taught me what the real world is like. Those guys work construction every day of their lives and they don’t get an off-season.”
Boselli may surprise several experts and become the first pick of the draft.
“Whatever happens is great with me,” Boselli said. “I know that with all the attention I’m getting, some people have to be wondering if I’m worth it. I’m trying to fill some pretty big shoes with all the greats I’m being compared with. I think I’m man enough to fill those shoes.”
Raiders mull stadium
Long after the lights had dimmed on Rams owner Georgia Frontiere’s smeared makeup and disjointed explanations, NFL officials in Irving, Texas, quietly outlined plans to compensate Southern California for losing the Rams.
In 1997, expect the opening of a new $200 million stadium housing the Raiders and UCLA in the Hollywood Park area.
Discussions Wednesday revealed that owners are willing to give Raiders owner Al Davis and Hollywood Park two Super Bowls and cash to help with construction.
A vote formalizing that view is expected at the owners’ spring meeting in Jacksonville, Fla.
In 1998, expect an existing team to be moved to the Los Angeles area. Expect that this new team will not be like the Rams, or the Cincinnati Bengals, or any other club accused of poor ownership.
Under a new league proposal approved Wednesday, no team can discuss moving to the Los Angeles area without league approval.
The league will examine the candidates and choose a winner just in time for the beginning of negotiations on the new TV contract, which expires in 1997.
Hawks sign safety
The Seahawks have reached a twoyear contract agreement with safety Tony Covington.
The 5-foot-11, 193-pound Covington has played his four-year NFL career with Tampa Bay.
Seahawks coach Dennis Erickson said Covington can back up both free safety Eugene Robinson and strong safety Robert Blackmon.
Covington’s incentive-laden, twoyear contract is believed to be worth about $750,000. He made $227,000 last season.
The Rams will not match San Francisco’s four-year, $4.7 million offer to safety Marquez Pope.
The Chargers agreed to twoyear contract with Oilers safety Bo Orlando.
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