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H A W A I I _ S P O R T S


Wednesday, April 12, 2000



NFL hopes for
several Rainbows

Kaulana Noa, Adrian Klemm and Jeff Ulbrich aren't the only University of Hawaii players who will be paying close attention to this weekend's National Football League draft.

Granted, they are probably the only three Rainbows who will be selected in the two-day, seven-round affair, but there are several other players who could find a home in the NFL thanks to the connections of second-year Hawaii head coach June Jones.

He believes offensive lineman Andy Phillips, cornerback Quincy LeJay, linebacker Yaphet Warren, punter Chad Shrout and center Dustin Owen have opportunities as free agents.

"Teams can only take 80 players to camp, so that makes it more difficult," Jones said. "We used to be able to bring as many as 100 players, so that change means the guys need to choose a team that needs players at their position.

"A guy like Dwight Carter might have a problem because most teams already have their receivers in place. But that doesn't mean he can't sign with the Canadian Football League or with an NFL team in Europe. There are a lot of options for these guys if they work hard and stay in shape."

Jones has worked the telephones hard to get his players as many opportunities as possible to work out with different teams.

Granted, Klemm, Noa and Ulbrich have received the most publicity because they not only took part in the Senior Bowl, but were invited to the NFL combine as well. An ankle injury in the Senior Bowl kept Klemm from running at the combine, but he did take part in the weight phase.

"I still had the chance to work out for every NFL team," Klemm said. "So, not being able to run in the combine didn't hurt me. I just hope I get selected the first day."

Klemm was rated among the top 80 players in the draft, so it's likely he will be selected during one of the first three rounds

Noa could also be selected as high as the third round. Because of Ulbrich's lack of size, he is likely to be picked in the later rounds. He led the Rainbows in tackles last year with 169. Warren was second with 104, but hasn't received as much attention as Ulbrich. Some of the NFL scouts in town for the Hula Bowl in January went to see Warren work out at UH.

Phillips and LeJay took part in the Hula Bowl. And while LeJay didn't play as well as he would have liked, Phillips raised a few eyebrows with his play on the field and in practice.

"I hope I get a chance to sign with an NFL team," said Phillips, who has attended nearly every UH workout this spring. "I'm just going to stay here and see what happens this weekend."

Owen is the fourth UH lineman who has a shot at the next level. All four give credit to Jones and line coach Mike Cavanaugh.

"Without Coach Jones, I don't think too many scouts would have noticed us," Klemm said. He worked hard to help us get the recognition we needed."

Spring game time change

This Saturday's spring game has been moved from the afternoon to the morning.

"They're having baseball and volleyball that evening, so we didn't want to conflict with those two events," Jones said.

The 10:30 a.m. spring game will be held at Cooke Field. Gates open at 8 a.m. An autograph session will be held from 8:30-9:30 with a seven-on-seven session before the spring game.

By Paul Arnett, Star-Bulletin

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