Former Gophers OL John Michael Schmitz preparing for NFL Draft Combine in Eagan

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John Michael Schmitz has a legit chance to be the first Gophers OL to get drafted in the first round since Brian Williams in 1989. Whether he goes first or second round, he’ll be just the second Gophers OL drafted since 2006. Daniel Faalele broke the string, going to Baltimore last year in the 4th round.

KSTP Sports’ Darren ‘Doogie’ Wolfson connected with Schmitz at Training Haus in Eagan during one of his training sessions. He works with former NFL OL Alex Boone and A.Q. Shipley, along with long-time influential trainer Bill Welle. It’s all about being ready for testing at the NFL Draft Combine in Indianapolis, which begins Feb. 28.

***Click the video box above to see our story on Schmitz, + to see full interviews with Schmitz, Boone, and Welle***

Schmitz was impressive last week at the Senior Bowl, staking claim to being the draft’s top-ranked center. Last year the top-ranked center, Tyler Lindenbaum (Iowa), was a first round pick.

Schmitz was named First Team All-Big Ten by both the coaches and media this year, becoming the first Minnesota center to receive the honor since Greg Eslinger was a First Team selection from 2003-05.

Schmitz was named First Team Midseason All-America Team by the AP, ESPN, PFF and CBS and PFF named him a First Team All-American at the end of the season, as well. Schmitz was a semifinalist for the Rotary Lombardi Award and for the Outland Trophy.