Star-Bulletin Sports


Former Hawaii quarterback Nick Rolovich played for Washington coach Steve Spurrier in the Hula Bowl, and now he has a chance to make it in the NFL in a tryout with the Dallas Cowboys.

No draft, no cry,
Rolovich to try out
with Dallas

Lelie back to work out

By Dave Reardon

Nick Rolovich returns to the scene of one of his biggest triumphs Thursday. This time, instead of turning around Hawaii's season, he will try to start a pro career.

Rolovich, UH's record-setting quarterback, accepted a tryout offer yesterday from the Dallas Cowboys.

"It's just like a pre-draft workout, it gives them a chance to see a guy they didn't get to look at before," said UH coach June Jones, who helped arrange Rolovich's invitation.

Dallas is where Rolovich, replacing the injured Tim Chang, led the Warriors to a 38-31 overtime victory against Southern Methodist. UH went into that game 1-2, and the victory was the springboard to Hawaii's 9-3 season with Rolovich improving each game.

Although he finished with a flourish (20 touchdown passes in the last three UH games and MVP of the Hula Bowl), it wasn't enough for Rolovich to propel himself into the NFL Draft -- or even into a free-agent deal.

"I don't have a contract yet, I've just got an airplane ticket," Rolovich said of the Cowboys' offer. "I'll give it my best shot."

Rolovich was hopeful after praise from Washington Redskins coach Steve Spurrier at the Hula Bowl and a good workout with his hometown San Francisco 49ers two weeks ago. But the draft came and went without his name being called. Then an entire day passed while teams filled out their free-agent signings.

Rolovich's agent, Leigh Steinberg, and Jones worked on finding the best possible situation for him. It turned out to be the Cowboys.

Rolovich, a lifetime 49ers fan didn't sound overjoyed about it, but Dallas just might be the best place for him. The incumbent quarterbacks (Quincy Carter, Ryan Leaf, Clint Stoerner, Anthony Wright) aren't quite All-Pro caliber, and the Cowboys didn't draft any quarterbacks.

"I talked to (quarterbacks coach) Wade Wilson about Rolo a couple weeks ago. It's a good situation for him because they don't really have it solidified at quarterback," Jones said.

Four other UH players already signed free-agent contracts: safety Nate Jackson (Tennessee Titans), guard Manly Kanoa (Atlanta Falcons), center Brian Smith (Baltimore Ravens), and receiver Channon Harris (Calgary Stampeders of the CFL). Safety Rob Grant was still weighing options last night.

UH Athletics

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