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March 16, 2012

Halahuni works toward NFL dream

Scouts from the NFL were in Corvallis on Friday to evaluate ten former Oregon State football players who are working toward fulfilling their NFL dreams. One Beaver that spent the off-season transforming himself was H-back Joe Halahuni, who spoke to BeaverBlitz.com after his workout.

Joe "The Tank" was almost unrecognizable. He shed nearly twenty pounds, shaved his head and grew a beard during his stint in training.

"I worked out with a guy in Utah named Dave Stroshine and I also had a nutritionist," Halahuni said. They did a great job out there."

When Halahuni left for training after the 2011 season, he weighed in at 258. Today he weighed 240.

There is no 'official' stat keeper during Pro Day. Each scout keeps their own time, so many of the numbers that we have are unofficial times that were taken by Oregon State strength and conditioning coaches or the sports information department.

Halahuni benched pressed 225 pounds 19 times and ran a 4.73 forty yard dash. He was very impressive in the L Drill, clocking an unofficial 6.70 time which was the best of the group.

"I did pretty well," he said. "I was looking to do a little better in some things, but overall I think it was a solid day."


"Just to be able to come out here and do this is such a blessing and I'm just happy that I made it to this point," he continued. "I didn't see this happening four years ago, it went by so fast."

The college years do in fact go by fast and as Halahuni spoke with us, his nine month son Sione, went from playfully smiling at me to falling fast asleep on his Dad's shoulder.

Being in Corvallis was comforting to the athletes, it is home. The unwavering support of teammates, both past and present was also important.

Several former players including Stephen Paea, Jacquizz Rodgers, Keaton Kristick, Al Afalava, and Kyle DeVan were all in town cheering on their former teammates.

"I remember watching them do pro day when I was a freshman and sophomore and everytime I was like I can't wait to be in their shoes," he said. "It was nice to see Keaton Kristick out here. He is one of my best friends and it was nice to see him out here supporting us."

Now he must wait.

"I graduated last year," he said. "We'll see what happens, hopefully I'm playing football somewhere."

"I don't care what position," he laughed. "I'll snap, quarterback, whatever they want me to do, I just want to play. I love football."

Wherever he ends up, he knows that he'll continue to support Oregon State.

"I remember a little bit ago me and Mike Remmers were talking about the Emerald Bowl," he said. "We were on the scout team and we didn't think we'd ever make it. We were going against our defense and we were getting our butts kicked every single play, but they made us better. This whole thing was a great experience. I love it here and I'll always come back to support the guys because I know how hard they're working."

Other notable stats from Pro Day included:

Brandon Hardin had a huge day for the scouts running a 4.38 forty and bench pressing 225 pounds 24 times. This was Hardin's chance and he took full advantage. He saw his stock rise with today's performance.

After some disappointing numbers in last month's NFL Combine, receiver James Rodgers rebounded with a 4.49 forty and solid performances on the L Drill and short shuttle where he clocked a 6.93 and 4.19 respectively.


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