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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Former UA linebacker talks about prep for NFL Draft

Colin Darland
Colin Darland / Daily Wildcat Paul Vassallo 41

Former Arizona linebacker Paul Vassallo isn’t getting quite as much publicity as Nick Foles, Juron Criner, Trevin Wade or, more recently, David Douglas have in regards to his NFL prospects. But Vassallo was still one of the Wildcats’ most important players over the last two seasons as a starting linebacker.

Since transferring from Sierra College in Rocklin, Calif., after his sophomore year, the 6-foot-3, 247-pound Vassallo has been one of the Wildcats’ most prolific tacklers. In 2010, he registered 102 tackles and two sacks and in his senior season he had 70 tackles and one sack.

The Reno, Nev., native was in Tucson on Monday for the UA’s NFL Pro Day and participated in all the drills. Vassallo said he put up 16 bench press reps of 225 pounds and had a 32-inch vertical jump.

Daily Wildcat: What have you been up to since the season ended?

Vassallo: I took a couple weeks off and relaxed and tried to let the body heal from the grind of the season. On January 2, I went to Phoenix and started training to get ready for Pro Day.

How do you think you did at the Pro Day?

It went pretty well overall. I was happy with my agility and vertical, wasn’t as pleased with the broad jump and 40 (yard dash) but you know, as the day went on and overall, I was happy with my performance.

Have any NFL teams talked to you yet?

No teams contacted me yet, I spoke with several scouts on Pro Day and my agent did as well so hopefully now that Pro Day is over and done with, we’ll see what happens.

Have you been keeping in touch with guys like Nick Foles, (former UA linebacker) Derek Earls and Trevin Wade throughout the process?

I talk to the guys pretty often, especially leading up to the Pro Day, just making sure everyone’s been in the gym still. We all tried to work out together the week or two leading up to Pro Day.

Do you still talk to any of the current players?

Yeah, I definitely got pretty close with most of the linebackers, not many of them are coming back but I keep in touch with those guys. But, you know, it’s definitely just more text messages and phone calls than anything.

If you were the Colts, do you take (Baylor’s) Robert Griffin III or (Stanford’s) Andrew Luck with the first pick?

I played against Luck twice, and he’s a very good player. I wasn’t fortunate enough to play against RGIII, I saw him on TV, but I don’t think you could go wrong with either one of them.

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