Seattle Seahawks

Building the framework of an NFL career

Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Brandin Bryant, left, blocks Mark Glowinski during Seahawks training camp Aug. 6.
Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Brandin Bryant, left, blocks Mark Glowinski during Seahawks training camp Aug. 6. The Associated Press

If there is one thing Mark Glowinski Sr. wants the world to know about his son, it’s that nothing is taken lightly.

“He is a worker,” Glowinski Sr. said. “He keeps his head down and works.”

That is a good thing when you are a starting offensive lineman in the NFL — as Mark Glowinski is at left guard for the Seattle Seahawks.

The wide-bodied, scraggly-bearded big man isn’t much for chit-chat, either. He would rather just be left alone to work on his craft — and make a living.

“He’s very chill,” Seahawks right tackle Garry Gilliam said. “He will flash you a smile here and there. The fact we are a couple of PA (Pennsylvania) boys, we have a connection. He’s different with other people.”

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To get to know Glowinski, the 6-foot-4, 310-pounder, we had to dig a little bit — deeper than usual.

Glowinski grew up in Wilkes-Barre, a city located in the northeast corner of the state. It is in Luzerne County, which is primarily known as logging country sitting on the perimeter of the Pocono Mountains.

Go 115 miles south along state Highway 476, and you are in Philadelphia. Head 120 miles southeast on Interstate 80, and you are in New York City.

“We did a lot of fishing and camping — that is, until football took over,” Glowinski Sr. said.

Football wasn’t really the first sport that occupied Glowinski’s life full time. Bowling was.

He spent a considerable amount of time at Chacko’s Family Bowling Center, whether it was to compete in a youth league, tag along for his father’s Saturday night adult league, or even show up to help sell raffle tickets.

“We used to measure (his height) every year in the same spot of the building — until I recently painted over it,” said Dan Chacko, the owner of the bowling alley. “He even bowled a 300 (game) here. He was a good kid.”

Eventually, football won out — starting with the two-hand touch games with friends in the neighborhood.

“We’d try to dodge cars throwing the ball around,” the lineman said. “And because you were out there so often, they knew when you would be out there. So if they didn’t want a football (to) hit their window, they stayed away.”

He couldn’t get enough of college football — specifically the Miami Hurricanes. And he surprisingly looked up to skill-position stars Reggie Bush and Vince Young, not any of the sport’s top offensive linemen.

“I felt like (blocking) is what I did, not watched,” Glowinski said.

Glowinski kept growing. So did his interest in football when he arrived at G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) Memorial High School in 2006 — the same school former NBA guard Bob Sura went to.

Even after enjoying a couple of all-league-type seasons at G.A.R., he never seemed fully convinced he had a future in football. So he started taking part-time vocational school classes in residential construction — the same field in which his father worked.

“I had football as my No. 1 priority, but I still wanted to have that trade background,” Glowinski said.

When it was time to choose what college he wanted to attend, Glowinski did not have enough core credits to move on to a four-year university. So he enrolled at Lackawanna College, a private two-year junior college down the road in Scranton.

Lackawanna College coach Mark Duda, a former NFL defensive lineman, remembers the first day he saw Glowinski out for practice.

“I saw him over the fence ... and he could move so well,” Duda said. “I told him, ‘You are going to be a D-I player. And he said, ‘Really?’ I told him he was going to have a a huge career because he had all the tools. And the raw power he had was unusual.”

After gaining another 50 pounds and starring at Lackawanna for two seasons, Glowinski chose West Virginia University over the other 25 NCAA Division I programs that offered scholarships.

And in the 2015 NFL Draft, Glowinski was selected in the fourth round (No. 134 overall) by the Seahawks.

As a rookie, he made his first career start against the Arizona Cardinals at right guard — a game that left a lasting impression on Seattle offensive line coach Tom Cable.

“I keep going back to that when I look at him and evaluate him, because he doesn’t have any doubt. All those things have subsided,” Cable said. “Now he can go focus on him and being the best him. You see a confidence with him now.”

Glowinski is still that homebody that likes to get to the outdoors. When his father visits in Seattle, the two will go fishing in Lake Washington.

And he occasionally thinks about if the NFL did not work out, what would he be doing now?

“I am able to carry lumber pretty easy,” he said with a chuckle.