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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Onobun shines in football pro day workout

The transition from the hardwood to the gridiron is starting to pick up some speed for Fendi Onobun.

After weeks of personal anticipation, the former Arizona basketball player finally got his chance to show NFL scouts his abilities, despite a shortage of playing time during one season as tight end at the University of Houston.

He certainly didn’t hold back.

Onobun’s performance in the Yeoman Field House in the Athletics/Alumni Center in Houston, Texas during the Cougars’ official pro day workout on Tuesday earned him an April 6 visit with the Seattle Seahawks and a visit with the New York Giants on April 11.

More than a dozen NFL teams were represented while Onobun and 10 of his Houston teammates worked out.

“”It was stressful,”” Onobun told the Daily Wildcat. “”It’s just an intense atmosphere. You want to do so well. This is what you’ve been training for. You make sure you’re eating right and lifting right.

“”All these scouts are watching your every move,”” he continued. “”You want to perform the best you can, but at the same time you want to have fun and be loose. But you want to realize you don’t get many opportunities to do this.””

After just four hours of sleep, Onobun was still able to run a faster 40-yard dash (4.48 seconds) than all tight end invitees at the NFL Combine save for Pittsburgh’s Dorin Dickerson. He would have placed fourth among tight ends at the Combine in the vertical jump, second in the 3-cone drill, second in the 60-yard shuttle, first in the 20-yard shuttle and first in the broad jump.

Onobun ran 14 routes during the workout and caught all but the first pass from quarterback Blake Joseph from Sam Houston State. He said he had a few scouts pull him to the side to talk to him after his workout.

“”I was nervous. I was jittery, but that was normal,”” Onobun said. “”Once we got into the drills my confidence grooved and I got more confidence. After I got through all that I was just doing me.””

Onobun, who is being projected as a late NFL Draft pick or a free agent signee, had his mother, father and two little brothers on hand to watch his workout, along with several friends. Cowboys tight end Martellus Bennett, who went to high school with Onobun, also took in the pro day event with his father.

Current Houston Rocket forward Jordan Hill, who played for the UA basketball team from 2006-09, couldn’t make it because he had a team shootaround.

Onobun had a chance to play basketball professionally overseas, but decided to take advantage of his size and athletic ability. After four years at the UA, he was granted a transfer to Houston, where he played for the football team for a full season, raking in two catches for 33 yards and a touchdown, not to mention a wealth of experience.

“”I’ve learned so much in the last eight months,”” he said. “”I look at my form in my first day of two-a-days and I didn’t have any form. I look at myself today on film and I’ve come a long way. I’ve been blessed. God has given me a real opportunity.””

But Onobun knows he has far to go.

“”Now that my pro day is over, it doesn’t mean I’ve crossed the finish line,”” he said. “”I’m just beginning.””



Body: 6-foot-6, 252 pounds

40-yard dash: 4.48 seconds

225-pound bench: 16 repetitions

20-yard shuttle: 4.15 seconds

60-yard shuttle: 11.64 seconds

3-cone drill: 6.78 seconds

Broad jump: 11 feet, 1 inch

Vertical jump: 37.5 inches

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