Player Profile #22 – OT Gabe Carimi

When Gabe Carimi steps on the field for his first NFL game this fall – if there are NFL games this fall – it will be not only his first game in uniform, but his first game ever. Although he grew up in Wisconsin and is a Packers fan, he’s never seen the game live and in person.

“I’ve never known anyone with season tickets and I haven’t felt like spending that much money to buy it, because I could just watch it on TV from the comfort of my home,” Carimi said. “Growing up I watched the Packers every Sunday – but once I got to college it was tougher because Sundays is when we watched all of our film, so I loved Monday games. Unless you know someone with Packer tickets, I wasn’t going to spend an arm and a leg on them. I was Packers fan growing up, but I’ll be switching my allegiance as soon as I get drafted.”

He’ll have plenty of opportunities to spread tickets around to family and friends once he’s into the league.

That will come soon … and this is the rest of his story.


Gabe Carimi (kuh-ree-mee)

Born – June 13, 1988 in Cottage Grove, Wisconsin.

Family – Parents are Sanford and Alayne Gardner-Carimi. Dad is a doctor in Janesville. He has an older sister Hannah, who was part of the women’s crew team at the University of Wisconsin. He grew up in the northeast section of Madison, before moving to the nearby town Cottage Grove. His mother has been to every one of his games since middle school and his father, has been to every college game and most high school games. Carimi roomed in Madison with his sister, a 2009 UW-Madison graduate.

Religion – The Carimi’s are Jewish and honor the Sabbath. Gabe has always kept up strict observance of the Jewish high holidays, meaning no work on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Those traditionally fall in the month of September. Carimi has checked the calendar, and the high holidays wouldn’t force him to miss any games until 2015. Carimi also fasts during Yom Kippur each year, even if it conflicts with the football schedule. Last year, he fasted for 24 hours before the Arizona State game, choosing to follow “Israeli time” and fast from noon to noon rather than the traditional sundown to sundown. “It’s kind of weird, because you’re not in the football mindset (after fasting),” he says. “You’re not on your ‘A’ game. But it’s something I believe in and I’m willing to make that sacrifice.”


  • Height – 6-feet, 7 inches.
  • Weight – 314 pounds.
  • Arm – 35 inches.
  • Hand – 10 3/8 inches.
  • 40-yard dash – 5.18 seconds.
  • 20-yard dash – 2.80 seconds.
  • 10-yard dash – 1.78 seconds.
  • Bench press – 29 repetitions at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 31½ inches.
  • Broad jump – 9-feet, 1-inch.


Carimi was part of the graduating class of 2006 at Monona Grove High School in Monona, Wisconsin. It’s a town of about 9,000 residents that is now completely surrounded by the city of Madison.

He shared the state’s large school Player of the Year honors as named by the Wisconsin State Journal. He was also a unanimous first-team All-State selection by the Associated Press and a Parade Magazine All-America selection in Fall ’05 as senior.

After the ’05 season, he was named all-state first team on offense and defense

Lettered four times in track and field and went to several state competitions throwing the discus.


2005 – The Silver Hawks lost in the quarterfinals of Division 2 state playoffs to Waunakee 20-14. Monona Grove finished 10-2 on the season. Carimi started at right tackle and defensive end.

2004 – MGHS reached the championship game of Division 2 state playoffs, but fell to Waukegan West 24-7 at Camp Randall Stadium. It was the Silver Hawks only loss of the season, as they went 13-1. Carimi opened all 14 games, playing on both sides of the ball.


Just about the entire Big 10 Conference was interested in having Carimi play football on their campus. He got scholarship offers from Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Tennessee and Southern Cal. He committed to his hometown Badgers in June 2005, and did not seriously consider any other school.


Carimi has graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in civil engineering. Construction and development have long been an area of interest for him, dating back to the seventh grade when he helped build a house for Habitat for Humanity as his Bar Mitzvah project. Carimi has done a pair of internships with the Madison firm Ruedebusch Development and Construction.


  • He won the 2010 Outland Trophy, an honor presented to the best interior lineman in college football.
  • Carimi was a consensus All-America selection.
  • He was named the Big 10 Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year.
  • Carimi received the Marty Glickman Award honored as the male Jewish Athlete of the Year presented by the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.


2010 – (Captain) The Wisconsin native started all 13 games and was one of the key performers in the Badgers 11-2 season and a trip to the Rose Bowl. He was named to the Academic All-Big 10 team for the fourth time in his career.

2009 – He started all 13 games at LT and he racked up another spot on the Academic All-Big 10 team.

2008 – Carimi started the 10 games he played in for the Badgers. He missed three games in the middle of the season because of a knee injury (sprained right MCL) he suffered in the first quarter of a game against Ohio State. He earned Academic All-Big 10 honors for a second time.

2007 – In his first season of play, he started all 13 games at LT, replacing All-America Joe Thomas who was a first-round draft choice in ’07 by the Cleveland Browns. He made the Academic All-Big 10 team.

2006 – Redshirt season, when he first began practicing at LT.


Strengths – With Carimi it all starts with his pass protection which he does at almost an elite level. He has quick feet, quick lateral movement and solid, fundamental footwork. His first punch can make a guy step back. In the run game he’s explosive coming out of his stance and with a strong upper body can hold the point of attack. He can get down field with good agility. May not be the fastest man on the offensive line, but he runs with control over his body.

Weaknesses – With his height, long arms and lanky frame there are times when he loses his leverage and can get pulled out of position. He’s got to learn to bend his knees all the time; bends too much at the waist.

Analysis – What’s not to like about this guy? While he’s not an exceptional athlete, he’s physically gifted, he’s tough and durable, plus he’s football smart, a team player, a leader and one of the hardest workers the Badgers. He’s developed that ability to be a gentleman off the field and a thug on it, without attracting the attention of the officials.


Said a scout for an AFC team – “He’s not quite at the same level as the guy he replaced up there (Joe Thomas). But he’s pretty damn good. Excellent pass protector and he’s better blocking for the run than people give him credit for.”

Said a scout for another AFC team – “Take him, plug him in and walk away from the position for about 10 years. Some might question his football commitment based on what he’s said about his religion, but that shouldn’t cost him anything in the eyes of teams that really spent time with him. Smart kid, just a little bit cocky, but a pleasant personality.”


“I am totally different person when I’m on the field. I play with a nasty streak. I’m not a guy who will be laughing and joking around. I take my job very seriously when I’m playing football, but as soon as I’m off the field I’ll be the first one to come say hi to you. This is part of the reason why I love football so much. You can be completely nice and gentlemanly off the field, but on the field it is a grimy sport and you have to be tough and physical. I’ve always been good at flipping the switch.”

When asked if he was the best offensive lineman in this year’s draft, Carimi said yes “Because of the players I’ve gone against, four potential first-round players [Ryan Kerrigan, Adrian Clayborn, Cameron Jordan and teammate J.J. Watt] this year, I have a better resume of going against better talent than anyone else, so that makes me more ready. I’m physically stronger and have more career starts and better knowledge of the game than any other tackle out there. That’s why I’m the No. 1 tackle out there.”


Monona Grove High school head coach Mike Stassi – “What he meant to us was everything. He’s just got a great leadership and work ethic that’s second to none. I really believe that when he gets to the Badgers he’s going to be the new wave of offensive linemen that can run and move. And this guy’s got it all.”

Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema – “Gabe is confident in the way he handles things. He’s confident in his academics. He’s confident in his faith. And that stuff all carries forward and I think that’s what shows up in his ability to handle players.”


Yes. Select him and he’ll either play right tackle for 10 years, or he’ll play left tackle for 10 years. If he’s on the left, then Branden Albert can move to right, or he can move inside to guard.

3 Responses to “Player Profile #22 – OT Gabe Carimi”

  • April 23, 2011  - James says:

    Read some place where his nickname is the Jewish hammer. I’d have no problem with Pioli taking this guy at 21. I like this kid.

  • April 23, 2011  - Tim says:

    Would be an excellent pick, if he is there. I believe it would reall improve our line if he ends up being able to handle the left side. Then you could kick Albert in to LG. Asomoah could take over at RG. Find a bigger, younger C & we won’t be as likely to be manhandled by the likes of Oak, Pit, Green Bay, San Diego, etc. If he & Albert man the two tackle positions, then we have MUCH better depth there with Barry R. as the swing guy.

  • April 27, 2011  - DRAFT COVERAGE LOG | Chiefs Football at says:

    [...] OT Gabe Carimi/Wisconsin [...]

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