FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – John Cominsky’s journey to the NFL has been anything but the norm.
Coming out of Barberton High School in Barberton, Ohio, Cominsky was listed at three positions: Quarterback, wide receiver and safety. Also noteworthy? He weighed 215 pounds.
He had just one scholarship offer and that was to the University of Charleston in West Virginia.
Cominsky was asked to play defensive line and he did what he could to excel at it. The biggest obstacle Cominsky faced was putting on the weight necessary to play his new position.
Cominsky didn’t have the luxury most Division I college athletes have when it came meal options. He was on his own and on a tight budget.
In time Cominsky found the perfect meal that would provide the necessary 2,000 calories he needed: Peperoni pizza from Little Caesars.
“It was about the cheapest way to put on weight,” Cominsky said.
Cominsky said he ate one or two a week, early on so he didn’t feel heavy as the week went on and they got closer to the game.
As it turns out, it wasn’t the easiest transition for Cominsky.
“I redshirted that first year,” Cominsky said. “I spent a lot of time on that practice squad getting thrown on my head.”
Cominsky believes his background at the skill positions gave him an advantage as a lineman because he knows how to move in space.
Every year Cominsky played, he’s improved. He credits that to his work ethic.
“[I am a] hard-working, gritty guy,” Cominsky said. “You know what you’re going to get with me. I’m consistent, I fly to the ball. I’m a 110-percent kind of guy. That’s my claim to fame.”
Cominksy was the Mountain East Defensive Player of the Year in 2018 after a season in which he recorded 67 tackles, 16.5 for loss, three sacks and two forced fumbles.
When Cominsky left Charleston, he weighed 280 pounds and earned an invitation the Senior Bowl where his draft stock started to rise.
“It was really the stepping stone for me, a lot of boxes to be checked,” Cominsky said. “The limited competition at Division II, the Senior Bowl gave me an opportunity to show I could hold my own and win reps against some of these first-round guys. It was a golden opportunity for me and I took full advantage of it.”
With only four years at the position and playing against limited competition, Cominsky is looking forward to the opportunity to be coached by Dan Quinn, who worked him out ahead of the NFL Draft.
“I think my ceiling is way higher than where I’m at right now and I think my best days of football are definitely ahead of me,” Cominsky said.