Potential first-round pick or not, former Boise State defensive end Kamalei Correa finds himself star-struck at times while being courted by NFL teams.
“When I met with the (Indianapolis) Colts, I saw coach Chuck Pagano,’’ Correa said Thursday. “I was like, ‘Man, I see you on TV. You’re Andrew Luck’s coach.’ At first, I was like, ‘Wow, this is crazy.’ ”
Pagano was among the 45 scouts, coaches and general managers, representing all 32 NFL teams and two CFL teams, at Boise State’s pro day Thursday. Eighteen other former Broncos took part in the event, which brings together pro personnel and college athletes for a day of workouts.
Correa opted in December to forgo his senior year with the Broncos, and the Hawaii native has appeared in many mock drafts as a first- or second-round pick in the NFL Draft on April 28-30. Boise State’s two STUD ends before him, Shea McClellin and Demarcus Lawrence, were taken 19th and 34th overall, respectively, in 2012 and 2014.
“It’s been exciting, been a lot of ups and downs, the waiting game, who likes you, who’s interested in you,” Correa said. “It’s been fun. It’s a process you only get to do once in your life. Shoot, I’m trying to enjoy every second of it, from meeting with these teams to pro day, going out with my boys one last time.”
Correa checked in at 6-foot-3, 242 pounds Thursday and opted not to run the 40-yard dash after he posted a 4.69-second time at the NFL Combine last month.
In the broad jump, Correa’s mark of 117 inches topped his combine mark by 9 inches, and his 34-inch vertical was an inch better. His 6.87-second time in the three-cone drill was second-best among the former Broncos. He was fluid in his drills and moved well with so many eyes on him.
“I feel like I answered some questions the scouts may have, whether it may be my coverage skills, my hips or my movement. I feel like I covered that — I think everything went smoothly,” Correa said.
One of the more quiet Broncos in recent seasons, Correa couldn’t help but smile and call it “an exciting process, a little overwhelming process.” Though he is projected to be a high draft pick, he said the decision to leave Boise State early was not taken lightly.
“It’s not easy to leave a good program like this. They’ve done a lot for me,” Correa said.
As the process continues before the draft, Correa will likely meet with several teams at their facilities. He’ll also work out for teams in Boise, as he did for the Titans on Wednesday. In addition to Pagano, others on hand Thursday included Falcons coach Dan Quinn and General Manager Thomas Dimitroff, Seahawks offensive line coach (and former Idaho head coach) Tom Cable and Bengals linebackers coach Jim Haslett.
“I’m doing everything in my power. ... It’s now up to these teams to take what they want from it and I’m just waiting for someone to take a shot at me, because I know they won’t regret it,” Correa said.
THOMPSON, ODHIAMBO SEIZE OPPORTUNITY
Safety Darian Thompson and offensive lineman Rees Odhiambo wanted their shots to impress Thursday for different reasons.
Thompson’s subpar showing at the combine, in part due to illness, had him looking forward to Thursday, while Odhiambo didn’t take part in on-field drills in Indianapolis while recovering from ankle surgery.
“It was never really something I worried about, because I knew I had pro day, and I came out here and capitalized today, I think,” Thompson said. “I feel like I ran better, definitely. Overall, I believe I had a good day.”
Thompson ran the 40 in 4.69 seconds at the combine and posted an unofficial time of 4.5 seconds Thursday. Thompson said he met with the Eagles on Monday and the Titans on Wednesday. He said the Panthers will work him out next week in Boise, after which he will visit the Steelers.
“I’ve never been a great tester my whole life, but I know how to play football,” said Thompson, seen by many as a pick in the first three rounds.
Odhiambo had surgery on both ankles last year, with a broken ankle keeping him out the Broncos’ final five games.
“This whole month has been about getting back in shape. I had to learn how to do some things all over again,” Odhiambo said.
Though he didn’t run the 40, Odhiambo took part in drills with center Marcus Henry, led by Cable.
“I feel like I did all the football drills really well,” Odhiambo said. “That’s what I was trying to focus on, showing I can play again, that I’m good to go.”
DEAYON, SWR SHOWCASE SPEED
Three former Broncos — cornerback Donte Deayon (4.49), nickel Mercy Maston (4.42) and receiver Shane Williams-Rhodes (4.4) — ran unofficial sub-4.5 times in the 40.
Deayon and Williams-Rhodes posted two of the top three vertical leaps, at 37 and 38 inches, respectively. Not invited to the combine, Deayon said the chip on his shoulder “will stay, whether I’m invited to the combine or not.” He said he has a visit to the Giants on April 17.
“The things that they say about you, go out and prove them right. The things they say you can’t do, prove them wrong,” Deayon said.
NO PENALTIES FOR BSU IN TURNER CASE
Boise State issued the following statement Wednesday regarding former defensive lineman Antoine Turner, who earned national attention after he was homeless before arriving two years ago. He did not play last season as a senior after playing 13 games as a junior in 2014.
“Antoine Turner was held out of the 2015 football season as Boise State conducted an investigation in conjunction with the NCAA regarding a transfer eligibility matter stemming from his time in junior college,’’ the statement read.
“Boise State received a formal decision this week stating that Turner has been rendered permanently ineligible, and that no further action is required of the University. Additionally, no penalties were levied against the school.
“While Turner’s collegiate football career is over, he has remained on scholarship while continuing his coursework toward a degree in communications, and is expected to graduate the summer of 2016.”
Boise State pro day results
TOP THREE IN EACH DRILL
▪ 40-yard dash: Shane Williams-Rhodes 4.4 seconds, Mercy Maston 4.42, Donte Deayon 4.49
▪ Vertical jump: Williams-Rhodes 38 inches, Rondell McNair 37.5, Deayon 37
▪ Bench press (reps at 225 pounds): Justin Taimatuia 31, Marcus Henry 28, Antoine Turner 24
▪ Short shuttle: Williams-Rhodes 4.11 seconds, Taylor Loffler 4.13, Deayon 4.17
▪ Three-cone drill: Deayon 6.7 seconds, Tyler Gray 6.86, Kamalei Correa 6.87
▪ Broad jump: Deayon 10 feet, 7 inches, Kelsey Young, 10-0, Gray and Loffler 9-11
▪ 60-yard shuttle: Deayon 11.09 seconds, Williams-Rhodes 11.24, Young 11.47
*Unofficial results provided by Boise State