Show off your holiday lights and you could win an iPad! Enter your photo by December 13. Winner will be selected by popular vote.
Oday Aboushi looks like the school's best bet for having a player drafted into the NFL this weekend.
Associated Press | File 2012
Virginia offensive tackle Oday Aboushi (72) leads Virginia running back Kevin Parks (25) downfield against Maryland last fall. He's Virginia's best hope to have a player drafted this weekend.
The Roanoke Times | File 2011
The University of Virginia’s Oday Aboushi gets a hug from his nephew Munir Aboushi, 5, after a game two years ago.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Until now, everything has gone according to Oday Aboushi’s plan.
“I graduated in 3 ½ years,” said Aboushi, who accepted his University of Virginia degree in December. “That was absolutely one of my goals when I got there.
“I wanted to be able to take that second semester and focus on training.”
Aboushi, an offensive lineman from Brooklyn, N.Y., played in six games as a true freshman in 2009 and then started the next 37 at left tackle, protecting the blind side of a series of UVa quarterbacks.
“I knew when I got here that I didn’t want to sit out a year,” said Aboushi, who took a career path that is uncommon for offensive linemen — passing on the first-year redshirt.
“It helped me mature faster. Playing against [Clemson’s] Da’Quan Bowers and Ricky Sapp that first year set the bar pretty high for the rest of my career.”
After making second-team All-ACC in 2011, Aboushi was a first-team all-conference pick as a senior. Some early mock drafts listed him as a potential second-round pick in the NFL Draft, which held the first round on Thursday night.
Subsequent forecasts have projected him as a fourth- or fifth-round pick.
The drop coincided with the NFL Combine, where red flags were raised when Aboushi reportedly did 17 repetitions on the bench press at 225 pounds.
“Things could have gone better,” he said. “At the combine, it was 5 a.m. wake-up for 6:30 breakfast and meetings till 11 o’clock at night. So, there wasn’t much rest for you to perform at your best.”
Six weeks later, when scouts came to Charlottesville for the Cavaliers’ pro day, Aboushi (6 foot 5, 308 pounds) said he did four more reps than he had in Indianapolis at the combine.
“I think it was a matter of being on a good routine with the [strength] coaches at UVa,” Aboushi said. “I was on a more timely schedule, where you had more time to rest.”
Participants in the UVa pro day included outside linebacker LaRoy Reynolds, All-ACC inside linebacker Steve Greer, running back Perry Jones and tight ends Paul Freedman and Colter Phillips.
Reynolds (6-2, 230) clearly caught the eyes of the scouts during testing, when he did 28 reps at 225 pounds, went 10 feet, 5 inches in the broad jump and soared 37 inches in the vertical leap. His 40-yard time was under 4.6 seconds.
All were personal bests for Reynolds, who had 250 career tackles.
Still, Virginia’s best bet for having a player drafted is Aboushi. At least one UVa player has been selected in the past 29 NFL drafts, a streak that was in jeopardy last year until defensive end Cam Johnson was taken in the seventh and final round by the San Francisco 49ers.
“I think it will be second or third [round], but things can change,” Aboushi said. “I think things settled down a little bit after the pro day.”
Aboushi, who left Charlottesville for New York on April 6, describes himself “as a hometown kid” who grew up following the Giants and Jets, though he doesn’t claim a favorite.
He’ll be watching the draft with his family but expects no let-up in the texts he receives regularly from his UVa linemates.
Aboushi, one of the Cavaliers’ captains this past season, has been so identifiable with UVa during his career that people may have forgotten the process that got him to Charlottesville.
Aboushi committed to Boston College in November 2008, only to visit Charlottesville one month later and switch to the Cavaliers in January 2009.
“I went down to Virginia the first time [for summer camp] and had a little bit of a rough time adjusting to the South,” he said. “I agreed to give it a second chance, and it was the best decision I ever made. I look forward to getting back there any chance I get.”
Weather JournalPossible scrape with snow Tues