Senio Kelemete (Kim Grinolds/Dawgman.com)
DALLAS - With the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine starting Wednesday at Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis, Dawgman.com caught up with former UW offensive tackle Senio Kelemete as he gets set to travel in Indiana the following morning. We will talk with Senio each night of the combine to get his thoughts on the process. Tuesday was a preview of coming attractions.
As soon as the Alamo Bowl game was over, when I took off the jersey and I knew I'd never be able to put it back on, it hit me right there and then. It was a fun career I had there. I'm grateful to coach Sark and for him to bring the coaching staff together and for him to change the program around since my freshman year of 2008. I haven't really been able to talk to the coaches - I've been a little busy lately - but today is one of my down days, so I was probably going to give coach (Dan) Cozzetto a call. I was trying to get in contact with Mason Foster a call too to see what his experience was.
After the Alamo Bowl, I got back to Seattle and had a couple of days to think about what agent I wanted to pick. I met up with my family and we decided to go with Angelo Wright. I felt real comfortable with him and my family, they felt comfortable with him. I just felt like everything he told me was the truth. And with (sports consultant) Joe Mendes sitting in with the agent meetings and having him go over stuff with me, I felt like (Wright) was the right guy for me. He was going to tell me the things I needed to get done and what I needed to do before the Senior Bowl and before the (NFL) Combine.
A couple of days later he flew me out to Texas, to Dallas - to a place called 4th and Inches in Dallas/Fort Worth. The trainer there was named Noel Scarlett. It all happened pretty quickly. I was down there for a good three weeks before the Senior Bowl. I was working on combine stuff - agility drills and football drills, position drills, stances and punches.
Then I went to Alabama for the Senior Bowl. It was fun. I was really in awe because I used to always watch the Senior Bowl when I was a kid, and then to see Jake Locker and Donald Butler and Mason Foster play in it…just for me to be able to go to that made me real humble, to get a chance to see some of the top players from around the nation.
Everyone is going to be good at the next level, and playing at the Senior Bowl there wasn't one guy there that was a pushover. There's great athletes there. Mentally and physically you really have to be really prepared for it. You can be physically ready for it, but if you're not ready for the mental game then it's going to slow your game down.
The one thing I got from the Senior Bowl was to be mentally prepared and be in the playbook, knowing what you're talking about position-wise.
Vinny Curry was pretty good. I think he's from Marshall. There was another guy from Virginia. I think his name was Cam Johnson. And when we played the game, Courtney Upshaw from Alabama and the D-End from North Carolina - Quinton Coples - he was pretty good. The D-End from South Carolina (Melvin Ingram)…I could tell that these guys are going to be ready to go and be right in the rotation.
The guys from the SEC, they are a lot bigger and a lot stronger. For one thing, the D-Ends are a lot stronger, a lot more stout than in the Pac-12.
The coaches really liked my mean streak and they really liked my athletic ability - my ability to bend from my knees instead of my waist. They liked my attitude toward the game and how I have a passion for the game…stuff like that.
After the Senior Bowl I came straight back to Dallas and got right back to it, right back to training to get ready for the combine. Physically I feel good. I'm bigger. When I played in the Alamo Bowl I weighed in at about 295, 293. At the Senior Bowl I weighed in at 300, and now I'm at 308-310. I got bigger and more explosive. I feel good. Even with more weight I feel like I'm in shape and I'm still explosive, quick and fast. That was the whole plan, to put on more bulk. When I weighed in at the Senior Bowl, I was the lightest offensive lineman there. They just wanted to put on more bulk, but I haven't lost my agility or quickness, so I feel great.
I'm leaving for Indianapolis tomorrow, and I want to put up great numbers and be that guy that stands out for being so athletic for my size. In my position group, I want to stand out with my short shuttle and l-cone drill. I'm going to do everything there. If I don't like what I did there, I'll come right back to Dallas and train on what I didn't like and then go to (Washington's) Pro Day and see if I do better.
I feel pretty confident, even though guys were bigger than me, and really tall. I feel confident. I feel like I'll be able to compete with the top-notch guys.
As of right now I have a pretty early flight - around 7:50. So I'll be up at around 4:30-5 o'clock, getting things ready. And when I get there they'll have people there and transportation to get to the hotel. I know the first day or couple days are just going through exams, x-rays and measuring stuff.
Going to the Senior Bowl, it was a pre-Combine experience. They had us fill out a lot of papers, they had us weight in and they measured us. It was a pretty long day, so going to the Senior Bowl was a good experience for what lies ahead at the combine. I feel pretty good, pretty confident in being mentally prepared for this.