Sam Cosmi: 6-foot-7, 310 pounds and modern-day Hercules.
The Washington Football Team was spoiled for a decade by the services of Trent Williams at left tackle. Ron Rivera and Scott Turner attempted to plug the hole left by Williams’ absence with Cornelius Lucas and Geron Christian last season. Still, the team sought their franchise piece on the O-line by selecting Cosmi out of Texas at No. 51 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.
What they got is an exemplary pass blocker, a freak of nature and a gentle giant. Cosmi’s high school offensive line coach Leonard Moses saw firsthand what a physical specimen he was.
One day while Cosmi was trying to finish his 345-lb power clean lift, the lineman didn’t complete the exercise and was simply standing with the barbell in his hands. Moses, thinking Cosmi was struggling to complete the lift, motivated him to finish the power clean. “As quick as the words left his lips, Cosmi dropped his hips and snatched the bar to his chest with ease.
‘Good job!’ Moses praised, but as he turned to one of the other coaches, all he could say was, ‘Oh my God,’” writes Washington staff writer Zach Selby.
No big deal. Just a high school junior casually hoisting a barbell to his chest with the equivalent weight of Shaquille O’Neal. But that’s not the only story that has elevated Cosmi’s strength to mythical status. How about the time he carried a 300-lb statue of the Virgin Mary 15 yards into Moses’ backyard singlehandedly? Or maybe the time he pushed a 900-lb laminate beam through a narrow doorway in Moses’ house?
Cosmi’s power changed the look of his high school coach’s house, just like it could change the look of Washington’s offensive line.
“He set the bar in the weight room. And by the time he was [in his] sophomore to junior year at Texas, he set the bar in the Texas weight room,” Moses said. “And that's not me saying that. That's other parents of other players and coaches saying that. Everybody else looked to see how hard Cosmi was working to see if they were working hard.”
Cosmi’s feats of strength will have Washington fans salivating, especially given the issues the team has had with injuries on the O-line. Geron Christian, now on the Houston Texans, suffered a season-ending ankle injury that precluded him for 11 games. Brandon Scherff was placed on IR for the third straight season with an MCL sprain. Rookie lineman Saahdiq Charles missed the first five games, then saw two snaps vs. the Giants in Week 6 before dislocating his kneecap.
Cosmi could finally be the stalwart the team needs on the offensive front. Now that Morgan Moses (who hadn’t missed a game in six seasons) has been released, Cosmi is looking to become the next Iron Man in burgundy and gold. That might not be wishful thinking but rather realistic, given what Leonard Moses has said of Cosmi’s power.
“He has violent hands. When he hits you, it's like two bricks going through your chest,” Moses said. “He's not going to be flashy. It’s going to be steady, and then all of a sudden you'll look up and go, ‘Oh my gosh.’”
Cosmi’s strength is matched only by his gentle attitude. He won’t scream at his teammates, nor judge them for their mistakes.
“He would always hold other kids accountable,” Moses said. “And in a way that they didn't fire back at it. It wasn’t ‘Hey man, you better get that done!’ It was just like ‘Hey, did you get all your reps there?’”
Cosmi already has the overwhelming approval of line-mate Brandon Scherff. It might not be too long before he gets the same from fans in the nation’s capital.