With the NFL Draft approaching next week, analysts generally predict that only two Huskies are sure things to get picked — Jake Locker and Mason Foster. Safety Nate Williams is also a lot of boards as a possible late-rounder.
Then there’s linebacker Victor Aiyewa, who isn’t generally listed, but who said this week he’s remaining optimistc.
“From talking to my agent, they said I’m still like a late-round to free agent-type guy,” said Aiyewa, who is back at UW and enrolled in classes this quarter to finish a degree in Sociology this spring. “So right now we are just kind of hoping that things will work out for the best. You don’t really know what can happen, just kind of hoping for the best.”
The 6-foot-1 Aiyewa participated at UW’s Pro Day late last month where he impressed observers with his physique — he says he’s up to 230 pounds after being listed last year at UW at 219.
But he says his 40 times were a little slower than he hoped for, in the 4.7-4.8 range.
“But I think it went pretty good in that I was able to gain weight and show that I was able to still move,” he said. “I gained about 10-15 pounds of muscle so I think it was a good showing that I was able to put on what I would need to be efficient at the next level.”
He said he has been timed previously in the 4.5-4.6 range and that “I was kind of upset about it (his Pro Day time) but I know if you look at my film you can tell I play a lot faster than 4.8.”
Aiyewa led the Pac-10 in tackles-for-a-loss last season with 21 in his first year as a starting linebacker for the Huskies, having previously played safety. He also was 18th in tackles with 81. Aiyewa battled injuries earlier in his UW career before finally being able to stay on the field all last season.
“A lot of teams said going into the season they didn’t know much about me and later in the season I caught a few eyes and throughout this process I caught a few eyes, so I think it’s looking pretty good,” he said.
Aiyewa said he’s had one private workout, with the Seahawks.
“They were talking about linebacker and special teams and I think I have a lot of flexibility because I played both positions (linebacker/safety), so wherever they need me at,” he said.
Aiyewa spent the winter months training at a facility with other prospective draftees in Redondo Beach, Calif., before returning to Seattle this quarter.
He said while being drafted is not a certainty, he just wants a chance.
“I’m pretty sure I will be able to make a team,” he said. “I know I can play football. … I feel like I haven’t reached my ceiling and my full potential yet so I feel like I still have a lot more growing to do, a lot more playing to do.”
Here’s a highlight tape of Aiyewa’s UW career:
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