Seahawks host local players

The opinions and analysis contained in this feature represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the thoughts and opinions of the Seahawks’ coaching staff and personnel department.

The Seahawks’ preparations for the April 26-28 NFL Draft got a local twist today, as the club hosted a workout for a group of draft-eligible players who attended in-state colleges or went to high school in the greater Seattle area.

It’s a practice the club started in 2005 and, following a one-year hiatus after general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll were hired in 2010, renewed last spring.

“I think it’s a neat deal for both sides,” Schneider said.

At best, the Seahawks can find a player or two from the group – as was the case last year with Jesse Hoffman, a defensive back from Eastern Washington University and Shorecrest High School; and Dorson Boyce, a fullback from the University of Washington. Each was invited to training camp and Hoffman was signed to a future contract for this year in January.

Last year’s group also included two players who were drafted by other teams – UW quarterback Jake Locker, the eighth pick overall by the Titans; and Shiloh Keo, a defensive back from the University of Idaho and Woodinville High School who went to the Texans in the fifth round.

“There are probably a couple guys here that will get drafted,” Schneider said of the 21 players in this year’s group. “But it’s just a good opportunity for us to have some background on the guys and just be able to look at them first-hand.”

At worst, the players leave with a positive image of the Seahawks after spending part of a day at VMAC.

Among the participants was a “legacy” – Logwone Mitz. The running back from Washington State and Redmond High School is the son of Alonzo Mitz, a defensive lineman who was the Seahawks’ eighth-round draft choice in 1986 and played in 40 games over the next four seasons.

“I had a great time and this is a great deal,” the younger Mitz said. “Not everybody has an opportunity to come out and have this local tryout for those that may have been overlooked or that they want to get another look at.

“And I think that’s a great program to have. We were treated great and they have a great staff here. I would definitely love to be here on a daily basis, and that’s how they make you feel – they make you want to be here. It’s not like that everywhere.”

One aspect of his visit really impressed Mitz.

“They not only had the (coaching) staff out there, but they had the GM as well,” he said.

Schneider isn’t just glad to host the event; he views it as a win-win for the team and the players because not all teams are in areas that produce enough talent to warrant a day for local players to tryout.

“We’re blessed to be in area where there’s good high school football,” Schneider said. “There are a number of big cities that are able to do this – San Francisco, Houston, Miami.”

Then there’s Green Bay, where Schneider was one of the school’s all-time leading rushers at Abbott Pennings High in De Pere, Wis., and then played a season at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota before a shoulder injury ended his career.

“I can say this, because I played high school football there, but we only had like maybe two guys every year,” he offered with a laugh.

“We get between 20-40 guys, so it’s exciting to have this number every year. It’s a good deal.”

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