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Five things to know about Nick Allegretti

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The Washington Commanders invested a chunk of their free resources into improving the offensive line, signing starters as well as backups who could provide valuable depth. Guard Nick Allegretti could fill either role, and he's ready to compete with a new team. Here are five things to know about the former Chiefs offensive lineman.

1. He was an all-state wrestler and dominant high school athlete.

The term "athlete" is mostly associated with skill players in the NFL, but Allegretti is proof that there are offensive linemen who go against that stigma.

Allegretti, ranked as the No. 11 high school center in the country by 247sports, was a stalwart for the Lincoln-Way East High School. Not only did he know how to finish plays -- he did not allow a sack during his junior or senior seasons -- but he also knew how to finish blocks. He had 125 pancake blocks in his career, highlighted by 56 in 2013.

Allegretti drew heaps of praise during his senior campaign, earning all-state Army All-American accolades as he helped his team reach the IHSA class 7A quarterfinals. Allegretti also wrapped up an impressive wrestling career, finishing with a 45-2 record and ranking third in class 3A.

2. He collects coins.

Everyone has a hobby, and for Allegretti, that involves collecting coins.

Allegretti's interest in coins goes back to his childhood, when he collected wheat pennies -- a penny that had two wheat stalks rather than the Lincoln Memorial. His passion for it, however, didn't develop until he took a trip with a family friend to a local coin store when he was 13. He was hooked by the history behind each coin and why they were valuable. Eventually, it turned into a healthy obsession.

Allegretti now has thousands of coins, and he'll occasionally share some insight on some of his favorites. **He was a guest on The Coin Shop Podcast that aired March 11 to talk about a coin he found dating back to the 1700s.**

"Every coin, whether you think you're gonna remember it or not, you do," Allegretti said. "There's a story behind coins."

Allegretti isn't the only Commanders offensive lineman who likes to collect historical objects. Andrew Wylie is an avid card collector and specializes in Pokémon, football and Marvel cards. So, perhaps he and Allegretti can bond over the excitement of hunting down a rare item.

Take a look at Nick Allegretti's time in Kansas City before coming to Washington. (Photos via The Associated Press)

3. He caught a touchdown pass.

Offensive linemen almost never get the chance to catch touchdown passes. We say "almost" because Allegretti is one of the few who can claim to have accomplished it.

The Chiefs were on the cusp of putting things away in their playoff matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers. With the ball at the Steelers' 1-yard line in the third quarter, Patrick Mahomes rolled to his right before dumping off the pass to Allegretti, who had just slung T.J. Watt to the ground.

Allegretti made the easy grab at the goal line to put the Chiefs up 28-7. His fellow offensive linemen were the first to congratulate him, and he celebrated by spiking the ball. Even more impressive was that Allegretti didn't even know the ball was coming to him.

"I go in there and I'm hyping everybody up, selling it the best I can," **Allegretti said.** "Usually by the time I turn out, the ball's gone, and I'm going to celebrate with somebody else. I turned around, and the ball was coming. I'm glad I didn't have 100% [knowledge] that ball was coming to me, because I probably would have been a little more nervous."

The play was probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but perhaps offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury can replicate the play this season.

4. He was a semifinalist for the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year.

Allegretti wasn't just a leader on the football field at Illinois; he was a fervent supporter of giving back to the community and often got recognized for it.

Allegretti, a two-time Wuerffel Trophy nominee for his community service, was named as one of 20 semifinalists for the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year award during his senior season. The award is presented annually to the FBS college football player who "has demonstrated a record of leadership by exhibiting exceptional courage, integrity and sportsmanship both on and off the field."

Each winner receives a $10,000 contribution in his name to his school's athletic scholarship fund.

Wisconsin's D'Cota Dixon ended up with the award that year, but that doesn't take away from all that Allegretti did for his community at Illinois. Allegretti was an active volunteer with the Tom Jones Challenger League, which provides an opportunity for people with physical or mental challenges to participate in physical activities. He also served as a chapter president for Uplifting Athletes, which raised over $88,000 for rare disease research and awareness.

Commanders head coach Dan Quinn is looking for players who know how to win, both on and off the field, and Allegretti certainly checks that box.

Excitement was in the air the Washington Commanders' incoming free agents made their first trips to the facility. Check out the top photos of their arrival.

5. He wants to compete.

Allegretti has started in 13 regular season games and the Chiefs' Super Bowl win over the San Francisco 49ers, but he's never been a full-time starter at any point in his five-year career.

Allegretti was looking to change that in 2024, and he wanted to join a team where he had an opportunity to compete. He viewed Washington as the prime spot for that.

"This was a great opportunity," Allegretti said. "I have a ton of respect for Coach Quinn and what he's been able to accomplish in his career. It looked like I had a great opportunity to come in here and compete. That's all I wanted."

The Commanders entered the new league year with several open spots on the offensive line. Starters like Charles Leno, Nick Gates and Saahdiq Charles are gone, leaving Sam Cosmi and Wylie as the only holdovers. Allegretti doesn't have much starting experience but was part of a unit that protected Mahomes as he put together an MVP season in 2022 and earned another Pro Bowl in 2023.

Allegretti isn't looking for guarantees; he just wants a chance to show what he can do to contribute.

"I have a ton of respect for the guys in Kansas City," Allegretti said. "I enjoyed my role there, but I think I had gotten to the point in my career where I wanted to come and be a starter in Week 1. That's my goal."

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