Annual Pro Day features 9 Eagles - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Annual Pro Day features 9 Eagles

Photo: EWU Athletics Photo: EWU Athletics

By Eastern Washington

With Albert Havili turning in an impressive performance in the bench press, nine former Eastern Washington University football players took part in testing for 15 professional football scouts at EWU's annual Pro Day on Friday (March 9) in Cheney, Wash.
Among those participating were Havili, projected as also being a possible linebacker or fullback on the next level. He bench-pressed 225 pounds 29 times for one of the most impressive performances of the day, which began inside in the EWU weight room and then moved outside to sunny, but blustery and chilly conditions at Roos Field.
Others taking part were defensive lineman Andre Lino; wide receivers Nic Sblendorio and Keonte White; defensive backs Victor Gamboa, Jake Hoffman and John Kreifels; running back Jordan Laurencio and punter/kicker Jordan Dascalo.
Besides speed, agility and weight-lifting, the tests include height, weight and other measurements. The former players are all hoping for possible professional football opportunities in the weeks ahead leading up to the NFL Draft in late April and subsequent free agent signings.
 "I think I did pretty well with the testing inside and outside," said Havili, a second team All-Big Sky Conference selection a year ago. "I felt like I met my goals – I wanted to get 31 in the bench press but I'm happy with 29.
"Just being back out on the red again felt nice," he added. "It was great to be out here with my class to show our stuff and play the game together again. My next goal is to make a 53-man roster – only God knows and only time will tell."
Dascalo was a first team All-Big Sky Conference selection a year ago and played in the National Football League Player's Association Collegiate Bowl in January. He punted for a 42.8 average as a senior to lead the Big Sky and rank 16th in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision. But his outstanding hang time helped EWU allow just 3.5 yards by opponents on punt returns to rank fifth nationally.
"We've had this weather out here before, so I was ready," said Dascalo, who averaged 41.4 yards per punt in his career at EWU. "I felt like I did everything I could and did everything well. I had some opportunities to do some kickoffs and punts, which I love to do and want to do at the next level."
"I'm so excited – I've had this dream for many, many years," he added. "Seeing it all come together now is amazing and I want more and more. I'm just going to take it as far as I can and give it everything I have every day."
Sblendorio had to catch balls in the cold weather, and that came after he had an impressive showing inside. He was a second team All-Big Sky selection a year ago and capped his career with 72 catches as a senior to give him 151 grabs for 1,990 yards and 11 touchdowns in 49 games as an Eagle.
"It was cold for sure and definitely was unfortunate weather for this – but it is what it is, and they'll take into account what we were going through," said Sblendorio. "But it was good to be back out here on the Red with my brothers. It was fun."
Among the marks Sblendorio had was nine reps of 225 pounds in the bench press, 34 inches in the vertical jump and nine-feet, four-inches in the broad jump. His best 40 time of 4.63 seconds was impressive considering the conditions.
"I was up and down – I hit some pr's but didn't hit some times I wanted to," he said. "I did good on the testing inside – the bench, the vert and the broad. I was up-and-down outside, but I was thankful for the opportunity.
"I'm hoping for a call – if I can get an opportunity I'll make the most of it," he added. "I'll keep in shape and see what happens."
The NFL Draft takes place in Arlington, Texas, and begins on Thursday, April 26 with the first round. Rounds two and three are on April 27, and rounds 4-7 begin on April 28.
Last year, wide receiver Cooper Kupp was drafted in the third round (88th overall) by the Los Angeles Rams to rank as EWU's second-highest draft choice ever, and Samson Ebukam was taken in the fourth round (125th overall) to rank No. 3 on EWU's list. Kendrick Bourne and Shaq Hill subsequently signed free agent contracts with the San Francisco 49ers and Houston Texans, respectively, and Jordan West had a free agent tryout with the Chicago Bears.
Ebukam was at Friday's Pro Day.
"Sammy is one of my best friends and I talk to him daily," Havili said of his fellow former Eagle defensive end. "I always ask how he is doing, and how the process was for him last year. Everything he's told me has happened, and everything I've expected is exactly what he says. I'm definitely prepared. Being able to play with him here helped me learn through all his hard work and effort to what he does and what he loves. He passed it down to me, and hopefully I can pass it down to any other younger player who goes through this program."
Sblendorio has also observed as Kupp went from relatively unknown at Eastern to a mainstay with the Rams as a rookie in 2017.
"It helps tremendously," Sblendorio said. "Even before those guys went through it, I've been to three or four Pro Days. I was able to see the guys perform on the big stage in front of scouts. It was good to see what they went through and what it was like. I knew what to prepare for so it definitely helps."
EWU Pro Day – March 9, 2018

Arm Length Hand
Vertical Jump Broad Jump Bench @225 40 Dash 10-yd Split/
20-yd Dash
20-yd Shuttle 60-yd Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
Jordan Dascalo
5-11.4 210 29 3/8 9 1/2 72 - - - - - - - -
Victor Gamboa 5-10.7 188 31 3/4 9 1/4 74 34 9'10" 15 4.62
- 4.2 11.38 6.8
Albert Havili 6-1.7 278 31 1/2 9 75 7/8 29 9'3" 29 4.92
4.59 - 7.31
Jake Hoffman 5-10.4 190 28 1/4 8 3/8 69 1/4 30 8'11" - 4.79
4.38 12.07 7.26
John Kreifels 5-8.5 205 30 1/4 9 3/8 72 3/8 35 9'8" 29 4.97
4.31 11.78 7.17
Jordan Laurencio 5-5.3 175 28 3/8 9 1/8 69 31 8'5" 12 4.87
4.5 11.7 7.0
Andre Lino 6-2.4 275 32 3/4 9 3/8 79 1/4 27 1/2 8'9"
20 5.30
4.49 - 7.51
Nic Sblendorio 5-10.6 180 29 3/4 8 7/8 70 3/4 34 9'2"
9 4.81
4.16 11.4 7.05
Keonte White 6-2.7 193 32 3/8 9 75 3/8 30 1/2 8'8"
12 4.90
4.52 12.11 7.24
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