Hoffman-Ellis, other Cougs now wait for calls

WASHINGTON STATE linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis went undrafted Saturday on the third and final day of the NFL draft and now awaits what figures to be an array of calls from teams looking to sign him as a free agent. He joins a group of fellow Cougs, none considered as draftable as Hoffman-Ellis, who now look to sign on as free agents.

Hoffman-Ellis, predicted by some pundits to be drafted in the fifth or sixth rounds, told CF.C this past Monday he was good with being drafted or signing as a free agent -- he just wanted to get on with the process of proving himself good enough to play in the NFL.

Immediately after the draft ended late this afternoon, Hoffman-Ellis -- known to have a good sense of humor -- tweeted, "And as the eerie calm settled over the room, the silence grew deafening -- as if all existence had been cancelled out."

Hoffman-Ellis has been working out in California, waiting anxiously for this weekend after running a 4.54-second 40-yard dash at WSU's Pro Day.

A number of other outgoing Cougs hope to sign free agent deals in the coming hours and days.

Jared Karstetter, a prolific receiver at WSU, said Friday he has been preparing in Spokane at an APX training facility to improve his strength and speed. He told CF.C he's been catching passes and working out with Marshall Lobbestael whenever he gets the chance as well.

Karstetter said teams at WSU's Pro Day event last month told him they like the durability he displayed during his college career. He never missed a start due to injury during the four seasons he donned the Crimson and Grey.

Lobbestael may have more trouble catching on with an NFL team. The quarterback who had a breakthrough season in 2011 says he's been training by himself since the 2011 season concluded with a 38-21 loss in the Apple Cup. According to Lobbestael, teams who attended WSU Pro Day were impressed with his arm strength and mobility. However, his agents told him after his workout that scouts weren't impressed with his accuracy.

"I wasn't that impressed with my accuracy that day either," Lobbestael quipped in a phone interview.

The Oak Harbor product says he plans to return home if he can't get a tryout with any teams. Lobbestael wants to take some time off while staying ready if a team calls. Meanwhile, he plans to help coach high school football before returning to school to earn his teaching credentials.

Logwone Mitz doesn't sound like an athlete ready to give up on his playing career. Despite limited playing time at WSU, Mitz and 20 other local players who are draft eligible worked out for the Seattle Seahawks on April 6.

Mitz says he had a "solid showing" at the tryout despite being less than 100 percent. A high ankle sprain in a senior all-star game derailed his workouts heading into WSU's Pro Day. Nonetheless, Mitz features an NFL-type body that could tempt the Seahawks into giving him a longer look. Mitz is the son of former Seahawks defensive linemen Alonzo Mitz.

Left tackle David Gonzalez, offensive guard B.J. Guerra and defensive lineman Brandon Rankin aqre other Cougs who would seem in line for a free-agent shot. NFLdraftscout.com ranked Gonzales No. 29 of the 81 available offensive tackles in the draft.

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