Hawaii's pro-liaison informed us yesterday that there was a chance Ikaika Alama-Francis would bench press for scouts before the draft. Today sources from his camp told us that will not happen.
While Alama-Francis has been lifting in training, completing 25-30 repetitions of 195-pounds on the bench, the feeling is there is no need to have him push it and possibly injure his pectoral muscle again this close to the draft. Hawaii coach June Jones has verified to those who ask that Alama-Francis completed 37-reps at 225 pounds last spring.
Alama-Francis is in Indianapolis this weekend, with a host of other draft prospects, for the combine recheck. Team physicians will check the progress of his injured pectoral muscle and try to diagnose when he'll be 100%.
As previously reported Alama-Francis will be in Pittsburgh on Monday to meet with the Steelers then Cleveland the following day to interview with the division rival Browns.
The Miami Dolphins and Green Bay Packers have been added to the list of teams he will also be interviewing with soon.
Alama-Francis, who completed defensive line, linebacker and tight end drills yesterday, will put together a workout tape doing all three once again for teams which have requested it.
While it was reported that Alama-Francis had a dinner date with New York Jets head coach Eric Mangini last week that was just part of the story.
Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum was also in attendance as were two additional linemen from Hawaii, center/guard Samson Satele as well as guard/tackle Dane Uperesa.
Sources said this was good scouting by the Jets as it made more sense to meet with these players out in Carson, California then go to the expense of flying them to the northeast from Hawaii.
Safety Leonard Peters looked solid today. Peters, who ran official times of 4.85 and 4.84 seconds at the combine posted a 4.69-second forty today according to most stop watches. While we cannot confirm an official visit has been set up with the New York Jets, the team did spend an inordinate amount of time with him at the workout.
Another player who looked terrific today was Oregon State offensive tackle Adam Koets. Since Koets hails from the surrounding area the NFL allowed him to workout. Sources told us he looked terrific in drills, displaying great movement skills and solid footwork.
The offensive linemen were put through a grueling workout by coaches Jackie Slater and Hudson Houck.
UPDATE 7:45 EST
The forties were run on field turf as compared to previous years when they were run on the Home Depot Center's tartan track.
Several scouts have told us outright that they were surprised Alama-Francis did not run faster.
At last year's junior timing day he ran 4.78 seconds at 275-pounds.
The Patriots were on hand at the workout. They said they do like Alama-Francis and would consider standing him up over tackle as an outside linebacker in their 34 system if they are able to draft him.
Alama-Francis did not lift today but has been lifting in recent training. Sources told us there is a good chance he will bench for scouts prior to the draft and they expect him to complete between 25-to-30 reps.
Hawaii's other defensive end Melila Purcell ran his forty in 5.1-seconds, turned in a short shuttle run of 4.72-seconds while also posting a 31-inch vertical jump and 8-foot-11-inch broad jump. Sources told us he looked good in drills.
Both Alama-Francis and Purcell went through tight ends drills and caught the ball well.
Running back Nate Ilaoa ran significantly faster today than he did at the combine. Ilaoa's time was 4.78-seconds in the forty with a short shuttle time of 4.52-seconds.
Offensive tackle Dane Uperesa, whose been suffering with a bad hamstring, was timed at 5.23-seconds in the forty and 4.56-seconds in the short shuttle. His vertical jump was 33-inches with a broad jump of 9-feet-6-inches. Uperesa completed 28 reps on the bench.
Center/guard Samson Satele looked terrific in drills. Satele did not workout and stood on his combine numbers.
As we reported yesterday Cal-Poly defensive back Courtney Brown has visits scheduled with the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers. Today the Tennessee Titans set up a date to personally workout Brown.
The field today was littered with NFL decision makers. Eric Mangini and Mike Tannenbaum from the New York Jets were on hand as were general managers Phil Savage of Cleveland, Randy Mueller of Miami and Green Bay's Ted Thompson.
Sources at the workout have told us that Alama-Francis weighed in at 276 pounds. He turned in a vertical jump of 35 inches and broad jump of 9-feet-6-inches.
Alama-Francis was not as swift as many had hoped in the 40, running times that ranged between 4.85 to 4.88 seconds.
He did looked terrific in defensive line drills, showing a great change of direction and was fluid moving about the field.
We expect to have several more reports over the next few hours so please check back.