University of Virginia Cavaliers
Brooklyn, New York
Xaverian High school
When you are a three-year starter playing for a struggling team, battles in the trenches are your only salvation as the losses continue to mount. After four seasons with the Cavaliers, Aboushi has emerged as one of the “toughest hombres” in the Atlantic Coast Conference, bringing his own brand of “Brooklyn Justice” from the streets back home to the playing field at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville.
When judging the ability of Aboushi, teams need to step in the film room and watch game tapes, watch his practices sessions, watch how he goes about business preparing to take on his next opponent. What team decision makers will find is a player that leaves it all out on the field, one that plays with a “search and destroy” attitude that even has defensive players calling him “Sir.”
When judging Aboushi, you need to leave the stopwatch at home. The Cavaliers left tackle is not one who will impress you while running around in shorts. You need to wear your equipment well in order to play this game. To judge his performance on a 40-yard dash, shuttle drill or vertical jump is not the way to truly appreciate what he brings to the game coming out of the huddle. The defensive lineman is his sworn enemy and the Brooklyn native is ready for war.
Rather than impress teams at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, where he proved that he is no Bruce Jenner competing in the decathlon, recent activity, most notably practices in Mobile preparing for the 2013 Senior Bowl highlights the Cavalier’s skill set and what he can do in the trenches.
During those practices, Aboushi shined with his best traits – aggression and physicality, which could be a better fit on the right side of the line rather than out on an “island” on the left side in the NFL. He had an excellent performance controlling defensive ends throughout the practices, especially when winning most of his one-on-one battles vs. Brigham Young defensive end Ezekiel Ansah.
As a drive blocker, Aboushi shows proper hand technique, punch and placement, knowing how to get under an opponent’s numbers to lock on and steer wide. He consistently drives with his legs in attempts to walk the defensive end back off the line of scrimmage and has very good relationships working with the interior lineman on combo blocks and double teams. He might lack great speed, but somehow manages to quickly locate and stalk second level defenders on outside running plays.
A position coach in the NFL has to love the attitude Aboushi brings, as he is a very combative type who knows how to deliver multiple punches to shock and neutralize a lethargic opponent. He plays until the whistle and relishes delivering the knockdown block, as he feels that anyone opposing him will soon be knocked to the ground.
Even though there are times where Aboushi will get overaggressive in trying to defeat his blocking assignment, he has quick recovery skills that he utilizes mostly when trying to stymie spin moves. As a trap blocker, he stays low in his pads and is rarely off-balanced when moving into the second level. He is very good at locating targets to attack when in space and when working in-line, he squares his shoulders and uses his arms with force to widen the rush lanes.
The son of Palestinian parents, Aboushi grew up on the tough streets of Brooklyn, New York. The ninth of ten children, he proudly states he was “born into a football team.” His parents both still speak Arabic at times. He wasn’t the only one of the Aboushi sibling to play college football, as his brother, Aymen, was a second-team All-Patriot League defensive tackle as a senior at Fordham University.
Aboushi attended renowned Xavarian High School, which has been one of the Catholic school powerhouses in the tri-state area for decades. He played on both sides of the ball, but the All-City tackle had the recruiters flocking to the school for his skills as an offensive player.
The four-year starter earned a four-star prospect rating from Rivals.com, as that recruiting service placed him 23rd among the nation’s offensive tackles and third among all the prospects in the state of New York. Super Prep placed him seventh among the state’s players and ESPN ranked him 26th at his offensive position.
As a senior, Aboushi earned second-team All-State honors as an offensive linemen, as he also added first-team All-League, All-Brooklyn and All-City honors. In 2008, the National Honor Society member recorded 70 tackles, including seven sacks after having posted 81 tackles with seven sacks as a junior.
Aboushi first signed his national letter-of-intent to attend Boston College, but later changed his mind and enrolled at the University of Virginia. It appeared that the coaches were going to red-shirted him as a true freshman in 2009, but after standing on the sidelines for the team’s first four games, he made his collegiate debut vs. Indiana, seeing his playing time steadily increase during five more contests that year.
After backing up Landon Bradley at left tackle in 2009, Aboushi earned the starting job at right tackle in 2010, starting the first five games there before replacing Bradley on the left side for the team’s final seven games. He posted eight touchdown-resulting blocks and provided excellent blind-side protection for Virginia quarterbacks, as the Cavaliers averaged 265.5 aerial yards per game, ranking third in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Coming off that sophomore season, Aboushi went on to dominate as the full-time starter at left tackle in 2011. The team recorded an 8-5 campaign, as the junior was credited with 103 knockdowns and thirteen touchdown-resulting blocks. With Aboushi crushing any edge rusher that dared to attack the pocket, the team averaged 237.69 passing yards per game, as he teamed with the same four starters on the offensive line in every game, as that unit would limit opponents to only sixteen sacks, the 24th-lowest figure in the NCAA.
The team captain captured All-ACC first-team and All-American recognition as a senior. The Cavaliers managed to win only four games, but their left tackle was nearly perfect, as he had at least ten knockdowns in each game and graded at least 90% for blocking in all twelve contests. Unfortunately, the team did not have a running corps, finishing 96th in the nation with an average of 128.5 yards per game on the ground.
Asked during a Senior Bowl practice interview on why he plays the game of football, Abushi proudly replied, “One of the reasons why I play this game is because you get to beat up on people without getting into trouble. I love finishing plays, I love dominating opponents, I love making opponents give up and surrender to your will.”
In 42 games at Virginia, Aboushi started his final 37 contests, including 32 assignments at left offensive tackle and five more on the right side…Set a school record by grading at least 90% for blocking consistency in each of his final fifteen games (all twelve in 2012 and final three in 2011)…As a starter, he delivered 305 knockdowns and recorded 34 touch-down-resulting blocks.
Aboushi received All-American third-team honors from The NFL Draft Report after the team captain led the league with a career-high 141 knockdowns while grading at least 90% for blocking consistency in each of the twelve games he started at the demanding left tackle position…Added first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference recognition from the league’s coaches…A member of the watch lists for both the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award, he was also selected the Touchdown Club of Richmond’s Offensive Lineman of the Year…While he started on the left side, he would also see action at right tackle, based on the team’s field position during the course of a game…Named ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week for his play vs. Penn State, as he graded 94% while posting fifteen knockdowns, including one that upended strong-side linebacker Mike Mauti to give QB Mike Rocco time to find Jake McGee with a game-winning 6-yard touchdown pass with 1:28 left in a 17-16 decision, as the Cavaliers gained 263 yards passing…In a 41-40 triumph over Miami, the left tackle again provided the heroics on Virginia’s game-winning possession, as he posted three of his fifteen knockdowns for the game during that series, coming up with trap block that flattened defensive tackle Earl Moore, who fell back on to linebacker Jimmy Gaines. Rocco used that opportunity to flip a 10-yard scoring pass to McGee with 0:06 left on the game clock for a 41-40 triumph as the Cavaliers generated 482 yards, including 388 passing…Also recorded a solo tackle vs. Miami.
An All-ACC first-team choice by The NFL Draft Report as a junior, Aboushi was one of thirteen players on the team to play “Iron Man,” as they all started each game for the Cavaliers…All five offensive linemen started at their respective positions throughout the season, the first time since 2004 that any Virginia unit can claim that feat…Led the team with an 87.8% grade for blocking consistency that produced thirteen touchdown-resulting blocks and 103 knockdowns…The chemistry on the offensive line was evident, as they limited opponents to just sixteen sacks, ranking third in the league and 24th in the nation for a team that averaged 399.77 yards per game…Was twice named the ACC’s Offensive Lineman of the Week, winning the award following his thirteen knockdown blocks that helped the Cavaliers roll up 360 yards of total offense in a road win at Indiana…Was again named the award recipient as he posted eleven knockdowns while Virginia recorded 470 yards of total offense in their road win at Miami…Assisted on a tackle in the Southern Mississippi clash.
Aboushi was one of seven players on the team to start all twelve games for the Cavaliers, as he took over right tackle duties for the first five contests before shifting to left tackle for the final seven clashes…Recorded 61 knockdowns and eight touchdown-resulting blocks, providing excellent pass protection as the Cavaliers placed 25th in the nation with an average of 265.5 aerial yards per game…In his first collegiate starting assignment, he was named ACC Co-Offensive Lineman of the Week after producing ten knockdowns and two touchdown-resulting blocks vs. Richmond…Saw action in 897 plays, including 838 on offense and 59 with the field goal/placement squad.
Originally expected to red-shirt, Aboushi did not play in the Cavaliers’ first four games before making his debut vs. Indiana…His playing time increased each passing week, seeing action in a total of six contests behind Landon Bradley at left offensive tackle.
No major injuries reported.
5.45 in the 40-yard dash…1.86 10-yard dash…3.09 20-yard dash…4.84 20-yard shuttle…
7.92 three-cone drill…23 ½-inch vertical jump…8’4” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 17 times…32 7/8-inch arm length…10 ½-inch hands…80 7/8-inch wingspan.
Aboushi attended Xavarian (Brooklyn, N.Y.) Catholic High School, playing football for head coach Joe DeSiena…Played on both sides of the ball…An All-City offensive tackle, the four-year starter earned a four-star prospect rating from Rivals.com, as that recruiting service placed him 23rd among the nation’s offensive tackles and third among all the prospects in the state of New York…Super Prep rated him seventh among the state’s players and ESPN ranked him 26th at his offensive position…As a senior, Aboushi earned second-team All-State honors as an offensive linemen, as he also added first-team All-League, All-Brooklyn and All-City honors…In 2008, the National Honor Society member recorded 70 tackles, including seven sacks after having posted 81 tackles with seven sacks as a junior.
Business major…National Honor Society member…Ninth of ten children…Was honored by
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in September of 2011, with about a dozen other Muslim athletes at a reception in Washington D.C., commemorating Eid ul-Fitr…Brother, Aymen, was a second-team All-Patriot League defensive tackle as a senior at Fordham University…Born 6/05/91…Resides in Brooklyn, New York.
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