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    Hoosiers' DE is 'pumped up' to play in NFL

    Hoosiers' DE is 'pumped up' to play in NFL
    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    04/30/2006

    Indiana defensive end Victor Adeyanju (left) celebrates his fourth-round selection by the Rams with brothers Charles (center) and Richard at their parents’ home in Chicago.
    (AP)

    The Rams’ next minicamp is nearly two weeks off, which seems like a lifetime to fourth-round draft pick Victor Adeyan’
    ju.

    “Can’t wait, can’t wait,” a keyed-up Adeyanju gushed Sunday after the Rams made him the 113th overall selection.

    “This is the NFL, man. If you can’t be pumped up for this, you have no pulse. I’m ready to go. I’m ready to get to work.”

    Adeyanju, a 6-foot-4, 268-pound defensive end from Indiana University, is pegged for the spot left vacant when veteran Tyoka Jackson wasn’t re-signed. Adeyanju figures to back up Leonard Little on the left side and see some action inside in passing situations.

    “He has speed (4.6 for 40 yards) and size,” coach Scott Linehan said. “He’s a little raw, but he’s very willing, (has) excellent character, and he’s a bright kid. What he does have, you can’t coach, that size and that bulk, and we needed to address that a bit at the defensive end
    spot.”

    The Rams doubled their draft haul with five second-day picks. They took projected return specialist Marques Hagans, who played several
    positions at Virginia, in the fifth round, then completed Linehan’s first draft here with three seventh-round selections: Tim McGarigle, a 6-foot, 240-pound middle linebacker from Northwestern; Mark Setterstrom, a 6- 4, 314-pound guard from Minnesota; and Tony Palmer, a 6-2, 330-pound guard from Missouri.

    Adeyanju (pronounced odd-ee-YAWN-joo) spent his early years in Nigeria. His parents and their six children came to United States seeking “a better opportunity for a better life,” he said. They settled in a tough neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. “Bad people, loose dogs, shootings,” Adeyanju said.

    While his mother, Deborah, looked after the children, his father, Joseph, supported the family by working double shifts, seven days a week (except during football season), as a cab driver.

    Victor, who didn’t play football until his freshman year, was recruited by the Hoosiers out of Currie High. He arrived weighing just 215 pounds before becoming a “workout warrior” in the IU weight room.

    Adeyanju, 23, made 43 starts at Indiana, where his 151 tackles (107 solos) included 13 1/2 sacks. He caused five fumbles and recovered one, which he took 4 yards for a touchdown.

    The Rams began the day without a fourth-round choice. They traded veteran tight end Brandon Manumaleuna to San Diego to pick up the spot. On Saturday, the team drafted two tight ends — Colorado’s Joe Klopfenstein in the second round and Southern California’s Dominique Byrd in the third — rendering Manumaleuna expendable. Hagans, 23, played in all 51 games in his college career. The last 24 were spent at quarterback, where he completed 62.3 percent of his passes for 4,877 yards and 27 touchdowns. He also saw action at tailback — he rushed for 902 yards and 11 TDs — and wide receiver — he caught 30 passes for 273 yards.

    Before moving to quarterback, Hagans was the Cavaliers’ primary punt returner his first two seasons. His pro career will start there, Linehan indicated.

    “That’s where he will be vying for a roster spot from the very get-go,” he said. “He’s shown throughout his career that he can be a very capable and dangerous returner.”

    Hagans also might return kickoffs and will be auditioned, too, as a ballcarrier and receiver. The Rams used six players to return punts last season, with little success: Their 5.8-yard average ranked 29th in the 32-team league.

    Hagans, 5-10 and 209 pounds, said he was satisfied with Linehan’s plans for him. “I don’t mind just returning kicks. I’ve always been the type of player that put the team before me,” he said. “It’s a chance to make a living by doing something that you have been doing your
    whole life, playing football.”


    bcoats@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8189


  2. #2
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    Re: Hoosiers' DE is 'pumped up' to play in NFL

    I'm glad that hes pumped up...... he'll be a great player and i hope he does well in mini camps and gets playing time in the NFL

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