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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, March 26, 2002

Ex-Warrior Lelie pulls hamstring

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

Former University of Hawai'i wide receiver Ashley Lelie pulled his left hamstring during yesterday's invitation-only scouting combine in California, clouding his status for next month's National Football League draft.

Ashley Lelie ran a 4.27-second 40 before pulling his left hamstring.

Advertiser Library photo • Oct. 28, 2001

Lelie, who recently recovered from a similar injury suffered last month, felt his left hamstring tighten severely near the end of his third 40-yard sprint. He finished the distance in 4.37 seconds. Factoring in his two other sprints, including a 4.27, Lelie was credited with an average time of 4.31.

The injury prevented Lelie from competing in the shuttle sprint and running pass routes.

"Obviously, it hurt me," said Lelie, who was projected as a possible first-round draft selection. "I think the scouts wanted to see me run routes. But there's enough of that on film."

About 45 scouts from more than 20 NFL teams attended the workout at Santa Monica College. Lelie asked seven former UH teammates, including quarterback Nick Rolovich and slotback Craig Stutzmann, to also work out.

But the focus was on the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Lelie, who attended but did not work out during last month's NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

UH quarterback Nick Rolovich spoke to 49er and Cardinal officials.

Advertiser Library photo • Feb. 2, 2002

Yesterday, Lelie recorded a vertical jump of 39 1/2 inches before running 40-yard sprints on the track's artificial surface.

As he approached the finish line for the third time, Lelie recalled, "my hamstring really tightened up. It wasn't as bad as the last time, but it was very sore."

Restricted from running, Lelie hobbled to where a pass route would end, then caught passes.

It is not known how much the injury will hurt Lelie's draft status. He does not have any more workouts scheduled.

"I'd love to go in the first round, but even if I go in the seventh, I don't care," Lelie said. "My dream is to play in the NFL, to get an NFL uniform with my name on it. If I can play in the NFL, it will be a real blessing."

The combine served as an audition for Rolovich, who threw three scoring passes in last month's Maui Hula Bowl. Despite running 40 yards in 4.9 seconds, Rolovich was accurate on several medium-range passes.

"Everybody did pretty well," said UH slotback Craig Stutzmann.

Advertiser Library photo • Feb. 2, 2002

Scouts from the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals spoke extensively with Rolovich after the workouts. He said he was told he might be selected in the late rounds.

"I'm hoping to get into a camp to show what I can do," Rolovich said.

Former UH slotback Channon Harris, center Brian Smith, left guard Manly Kanoa III, defensive end Joe Correia, quarterback Jared Flint and safety Robert Grant also worked out.

"I think everybody did pretty well," Stutzmann said. "We gave it our best shot. I don't think we're ready for a 9-to-5 job yet. Everybody loves playing football. Why do anything else when you can do something you love? We'll see what happens."