Sept. 3, 2003
Eric Steinbach, David Porter, Ben Sobieski, and Bruce Nelson all graduated and were either drafted in last spring’s NFL draft or signed via free agency. It seems to be an offensive line that was decimated by graduation. But for Robert Gallery, its just business as usual: “People graduate every year and we just happened to have four guys on the line graduate.”
Actually, even as Robert was fortunate to have learned from the likes of Steinbach, Porter, Sobieski, and Nelson, Robert is teaching others about the various ins and outs of the offensive line. “It’s just kind of my role this year,” said Gallery.
The players he is instructing should indeed learn a lot. Besides the fact that Robert is a senior, and has learned under some of the best offensive line talent in the nation, he doesn’t seem to be bothered by what the “experts” think. He is just focused on this season, and takes it game by game. “Every game’s a big game,” said the senior tackle.
Being a great teacher is something that he has had a great deal of practice with, not only on the field, but in the classroom. His major is education. And even though it may be rough on an athlete to find time for both studies and sports, Robert does work hard to focus on both football and his education. “During the season, that’s all I think about.”
Indeed it is something that he thinks about and his actions reflect it very well. In fact, he does it so well that he is featured in Sports Illustrated as one of the nation’s most intelligent offensive lineman. “I guess I fooled them,” he quips, and says that he will not view the article until the season is over.
All kidding aside, Robert considers it an honor to be in Sports Illustrated, but what’s even better is that he has a close relative on the team to share it with, his younger brother, John Gallery, second-team punter. They spend a lot of time together just hanging out and talking about family. “We’re still pretty much best friends,” said John. “It’s great to be able to see him develop and to have him here,” said Robert of his younger brother.
In fact, Robert and John aren’t the first Gallerys to be on the Hawkeye football team. It all started with Nick. The remaining brothers saw what the fans at Kinnick were like and knew that it was for the Hawkeyes that the brothers Gallery would play. “That kind of started it all off,” recalls John. Indeed it started a great tradition of the Gallery name on the Hawkeye rosters.
Well, as one can plainly see, Robert will be filling a lot of roles this fast-approaching season, but expect him to meet all those roles with flying colors on the way to another great season for the Hawkeyes.
Written by Jared McNeill