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Star-Bulletin Sports

Tuesday, April 18, 2000

N F L _ I S L A N D E R S

NFL Hawaii

Rainbows become
free agents

Three more UH players keep
their NFL dreams alive with
contract offers

By Pat Bigold


Three University of Hawaii football players have gone to the pro ranks as free agents since last weekend's draft and yet another was expected to get his chance today.

All-time Hawaii passing leader Dan Robinson accepted a free- agent contract offer from the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday while receiver Dwight Carter and center Dustin Owen will join third-round pick Jeff Ulbrich and sign with the San Francisco 49ers.

Linebacker Yaphet Warren is expected to sign with either the Tennessee Oilers or Seattle Seahawks.

"It hasn't really sunk in yet," said Carter, who averaged 16.3 yards per catch last season and scored nine touchdowns.

"Maybe when I get on the plane and I realize I'm not going home to L.A., I'm going to play (in San Francisco), then it'll sink in."

Carter said it will feel more comfortable knowing he'll be with Owen, with whom he's played four seasons, and Ulbrich.

"Carter is a real bright kid with a great work ethic and probably runs about a 4.5 and is just a very intelligent player," said Rainbows head coach June Jones.

Carter is listed at 5 feet 10 inches in the Hawaii media guide but is actually shorter.

In a league that is favoring bigger receivers, that could pose another obstacle for the fleet-footed Rainbow.

"I think that's (height) overrated," Carter said. "I really don't think height should have anything to do with it if a player has the ability to play. But I understand the trend if they have bigger corners, but I still think it's overrated."

Jones agreed.

"Usually if a kid can play, they don't care about his height," Jones said. "Obviously, everybody would like a kid like Jerry Rice but there are only a few of those."

The 49ers probably will ask Carter to show what he can do on special teams, something he has not had to play very much at Hawaii.

"I haven't had any real experience with it but I feel that if I practice at anything I will excel at it," he said.

Jones said he thinks Carter can handle special teams.

"He didn't return here for us but he did do some of that in JC and high school," he said. "He'll have to show he can learn, but he can do a lot of things so he'll get noticed."

Owen said he got a call this morning from the 49ers.

"Most of the centers they have now are hurt, so they're going to bring a guard over for first string, and I'm going to go in as second string center after that," said the 6-2, 318-pound Owen.

Playing in the shotgun formation almost all of the time, Owen was credited with 21 pancake blocks in 1999 and his line allowed one sack every 24 passes.

Jones said he's pleased that Robinson will get his chance with the Ravens.

"I think Baltimore is a good spot for him.," Jones said. "He'll be competitive in arm strength with any of the guys on their roster. He has all the intangible qualities, so he chose a good team to go to."

Left tackle Adrian Klemm was the first Rainbow drafted when the New England Patriots took him as the 15th pick of the second round. Ulbrich, a linebacker, went as the 24th pick of the third round to the 49ers, and guard Kaulana Noa went as the 10th pick of the fourth round to the Super Bowl champion St. Louis Rams.

UH Athletics
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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