Soares plans on going pro
By Stephen Tsai
Linebacker Blaze Soares' football career with the University of Hawai'i will end today when he signs a contract with MAG, a sports agency with branches across the country.
"Blaze is joining the MAG 'ohana," said agent Wynn Silberman, who will represent Soares.
Soares had a slim chance to successfully appeal the NCAA for an exemption that would allow him to play for the Warriors in 2010.
But after consulting with friends and family members, Soares opted to apply for the 2010 National Football League draft.
"I'm ready to start the next chapter in my life," Soares said. "I hope I have a chance to play at the next level. It's always been my dream to play in the NFL. I hope all of the blessings are on my side."
Soares said he will depart Hawai'i Jan. 2 to train on the Mainland.
Silberman said MAG has several facilities, each tailored for specific needs. Silberman said it is likely Soares will be assigned to a facility on the West Coast.
"We're excited about the opportunity to work with Blaze," Silberman said. "To be honest, usually it's the agent trying to put the player on the map. This time, it's the other way around."
Silberman said there has been "considerable interest" from several NFL personnel directors and scouts.
Silberman said he has been told Soares has "NFL traits" — size, good speed, "downhill" ability.
Soares is capable of bench pressing 455 pounds.
As a Castle High senior in 2004, he ran 40 yards in 4.5 seconds.
There is a possibility that Soares will be invited to the NFL Scouting Combine in February. He said he received a letter of inquiry from the NFL
Silberman said the focus will be on Soares performing well at UH's Pro Day in Carson, Calif., in late March. Scouts from every NFL team attend the one-day event that tests speed, strength, jumping and position skills.
Soares said he is one class shy of earning a bachelor's degree. He said he is enrolled in an online class for the spring semester.
Soares was approached by nearly a dozen agents since the completion of the Warriors' 2009 season.
He said he chose Silberman because "he's a good guy, with a good reputation. I know he's going to work hard for me."
Silberman also represents long-snapper Jake Ingram, a former Warrior now with the New England Patriots.
Silberman said his younger brother also is named Blaze. Blaze Silberman is a senior at Cal Poly. Wynn Silberman said he will only represent one linebacker this year.
"I chose Blaze (Soares) over my brother," Silberman said.