One player rapidly moving up the charts and catching the eye of talent evaluators is Houston TE Fendi Onobun. Prior to Texas’ pro day on Wednesday, Onobun’s name dominated the breakfast conversation among scouts for the sensational performance he had at Houston’s pro day on Tuesday.
He wasn’t even on the radar a year ago at this time, because he had just completed a four-year basketball career at the University of Arizona.
Following his graduation from Arizona, however, he took advantage of a new NCAA rule that allows a player to enroll at another college to play a different sport for one, final, fifth year. Former Duke point guard Greg Paulus also utilized this rule to play quarterback for Syracuse last season.
While Onobun didn’t play much last season, catching just two passes for 33 yards and a touchdown, his raw athleticism amazed onlookers at the Cougars’ pro day. He was one of 13 players that worked out for 14 team representatives on a Tartan track, and his performance was the most noteworthy.
Onobun (6-foot-5 3/4, 252 pouns) ran the 40-yard dash in 4.45 and 4.50 seconds, had a 37 1/2-inch vertical jump, an 11-foot, 1-inch broad jump, a 4.15-second short shuttle, a 6.80-second three-cone drill and did 16 bench press repetitions at 225 pounds. He also had 34 1/8-inch arms, very long for a tight end.
While Onobun clearly has no idea how to run routes, and is still adjusting to the sport of football, coaches love extremely athletic prospects that they can mold and teach for a couple years. Expect to hear Onobun’s name called in the draft at some point, despite the fact he has barely played football.
On a related note, Houston co-offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury, who helped run the pro day workout, is a rising star in the coaching ranks. He is one of the most impressive young coaches around, so remember his name down the road.
– Gil Brandt