Wednesday, June 21, 2000
Sixteen with isle tiesBy Pat Bigold
set for training camp
There will be 16 players with Hawaii ties entering NFL training camps with 12 different teams next month. Last season, 15 from the islands went to camp.
Six of this year's players are rookies while last year only two were.
Eight league veterans from Hawaii who spent time under contract last season do not have NFL contracts for 2000.
The University of Hawaii has six players under contract in the league.
Defensive tackle Ma'a Tanuvasa and kicker Jason Elam of the Denver Broncos are the senior Rainbow alumni.
Left tackle Adrian Klemm, who will soon sign a contract with the New England Patriots, led three Rainbows in the 2000 draft.
UH linebacker Jeff Ulbrich wound up going to the San Francisco 49ers in the third round, and guard Kaulana Noa went to the Super Bowl champion St. Louis Rams in the fourth round.
Wide receiver Dwight Carter signed on as a free agent with the 49ers and might contend for the kick returning job.
The two other new faces are former Farrington and University of California fullback Josh White, a free agent with the 49ers, and former Punahou and Ohio State punter Scott Terna, a free agent with the Green Bay Packers.
Former Kailua High School, BYU and UH offensive lineman Joe Wong, who sat out his 1999 rookie season with a knee injury, is listed on the active roster on the Miami Dolphins. He was a seventh-round pick last year.
Leilehua product Adrian Murrell amassed 4,489 yards (including three straight 1,000-yard seasons) over his first six NFL seasons with the Jets and Cardinals.
But Murrell, who helped lead Arizona to an NFC wild card playoff win over Dallas in 1998, fell on hard times last season with only 553 rushing yards and no touchdowns. He was traded to the Washington Redskins where he hopes to rejuvenate his career.
Probably the most promising veteran local player is third-year Chicago Bears center Olin Kreutz (St. Louis). Having received votes for the Pro Bowl in only his second season, Kreutz is expected to play a major role teaming with Cade McNown to revive the franchise this season.
The player making the biggest jump financially between seasons was Molokai's only NFL player.
Defensive lineman Kimo von Oelhoffen was signed by Pittsburgh to a four-year, $11 million free agent deal, with a $3 million signing bonus. Von Oelhoffen had spent his previous seven seasons with Cincinnati.
These players with Hawaii ties will be in NFL camps next month:
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTSAdrian Klemm, 6-3, 308, OL, rookie (University of Hawaii).
DENVER BRONCOSJason Elam, 5-11, 200, K, ninth year (UH).
Maa Tanuvasa, 6-2, 270, DL, seventh year (Mililani, UH).
NEW ORLEANS SAINTSChris Naeole, 6-3, 313, OL, fourth year (Kahuku, Colorado).
MIAMI DOLPHINSJoe Wong, 6-6, 313, OL, second year (Kailua, BYU, UH).
CHICAGO BEARSOlin Kreutz, 6-2, 300, C, third year (St. Louis School, Washington).
PITTSBURGH STEELERSChris Fuamatu-Ma'afala, 5-11, 254, RB, third year (St. Louis School, Utah).
Kimo von Oelhoffen, 6-4, 305, DL, eighth year (Molokai, Boise State).
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERSJeff Ulbrich, 6-0, 245, LB, rookie (UH).
Dwight Carter, 5-8, 174, WR, rookie (UH).
Josh White, 6-0, 255, FB, rookie (Radford, Farrington, Cal).
SEATTLE SEAHAWKSItula Mili, 6-4, 265, TE, fourth year (Kahuku, BYU).
WASHINGTON REDSKINSAdrian Murrell, 5-11, 214, RB, eighth year (Leilehua, W. Virginia).
BALTIMORE RAVENSDan Robinson, 6-4, 213, QB, rookie (UH).
GREEN BAY PACKERSScott Terna, 5-11, 210, P, rookie (Punahou, Ohio St.).
ST. LOUIS RAMSKaulana Noa, 6-4, 320, OL, rookie (Honokaa, UH).