Wednesday, April 19, 2000
Warren a chance
in the NFL
Seattle will move the formerBy Pat Bigold
University of Hawaii linebacker
to defensive back
Yaphet Warren has learned that in football, you must be ready to adjust.
He made his name in the high school ranks as an all-state defensive back at Hazen High in Renton, Wash.
But when he was a sophomore at the University of Idaho, he was told he was "too aggressive'' to play cornerback.
"So, they switched me to linebacker, and it was a hard transition for me," said Warren, who played two seasons at linebacker for the University of Hawaii.
Now the Seattle Seahawks apparently think the 6-foot-1, 203-pounder - the Rainbows' second leading tackler last season, isn't too aggressive for the National Football League. They want to sign him to try out at strong safety.
"My agent called me with the good news this morning while I was in class," said Warren yesterday during a workout at Cooke Field.
He is the fourth Rainbow to sign as a free agent with an NFL team since Sunday.
Earlier this week, center Dustin Owen and receiver Dwight Carter reached agreements with the San Francisco 49ers. Quarterback Dan Robinson said he will sign with the Baltimore Ravens.
Three Rainbows were taken in the NFL draft over the weekend: tackle Adrian Klemm by the New England Patriots in the second round, linebacker Jeff Ulbrich in the third round by the 49ers and guard Kaulana Noa in the fourth round to the St. Louis Rams.
"It's not a problem getting back (to defensive backfield)," said Warren. "I consider myself an athlete and I can make the transition very quickly."
Warren said he realizes his size doesn't make him NFL linebacker material. He said that he'll play anywhere to help the Seahawks.
"But it really matters how much heart you have inside," he said.
Warren's first year at Hawaii was a wash after he pulled a hamstring on the third day of camp.
"That just about ended my season because it never healed correctly," he said. "In the games that I did play, I was mostly one-legged. I wanted so bad to contribute to my team but my leg wouldn't let me."
But in 1999, during the Rainbows' stunning turnaround, Warren made 104 tackles, had five sacks for minus 42 yards, blocked a kick, recovered two fumbles and forced three fumbles.
Ka Leo O Hawaii