Sunday will be an important time for former UH receiver Greg Salas’ pro future. More specifically, it will be an important 40 time.
Salas leaves California Wednesday for Indianapolis, where he will participate in the NFL Scouting Combine. He will go through interviews, physical examinations and receiving drills leading to Sunday’s 40-yard dash. With his size (205 pounds and a little taller than 6 feet 1), sure hands and football IQ, Salas can boost his stock with a sub-4.6-second performance in the 40-yard dash.
At UH, Salas has been recorded in the 40 only once, as a second-year freshman in 2007, when he ran 4.56. That was 12th best among the Warriors, ahead of Daniel Libre, JoPierre Davis, Aaron Bain and Gerard Lewis. The fastest time that was year was 4.45 seconds, by Jason Rivers, C.J. Hawthorne and Ryan Keomaka. In recent years, UH decided against conducting 40-yard dashes after two linemen suffered pulled hamstrings that kept them out of spring practice. Last year, special teams coordinator Chris Tormey timed only the kickoff-coverage candidates in the 40; Salas was not in that group.
Salas wants to run the 40 at the combine because it offers the best situation: Indoors; on turf; against other receivers in similar conditions, and in front of coaches, general managers, scouts and personnel directors from every NFL team.
Some players opt to save the 40 for their schools’ pro days. But Salas is following the correct practice of using Pro Day as a makeup if he does not do well at the combine. If he runs a fast 40 at the combine, for instance, he can skip that activity at Pro Day and concentrate on the other drills. It also would give him cushion against any problems at Pro Day. The past three years, four UH pro prospects suffered hamstring injuries while running the 40 at Pro Day.
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For NFL hopefuls who completed their NCAA eligibility more than a year ago, March 3 is a significant deadline.
The collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the players association expires at the end of that business day. With a prolonged lockout likely to follow, there is a great chance there will be an idle NFL offseason. That means no OTAs, which mean, essentially , no tryouts for unproven free agents.
People in the know tell me if an unproven free agent does not sign with an NFL team by March 3, it would be best to head to the Canadian Football League. Or the Arena Football League. It might mean not playing in the NFL this season, if there is a season, but it’s a chance to build stats and a resume. The alternative is not very attractive.
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First, congratulations to Jessica Iwata for being named the Verizon WAC Hitter of the Week.
Second, wouldn’t it be something if leagues had title sponsors and it actually was called the Verizon Western Athletic Conference? Surely, the sponsor would pour money into the product and advertising. And imagine if a team is on the bubble for an NCAA tournament berth. A Verizon ad could be: “NCAA … can you hear me now?”
I’m just saying.