It took a little longer than expected, but according to BYU Sports Nation's Spencer Linton, former BYU LB Uani Unga will get a chance in the NFL. Linton broke the news that Unga was finishing up his arrangements to go work out for the New York Jets on his Twitter account Thursday afternoon.
#BYUSN BREAKING: I just heard from former #BYU LB @UaniUnga that he's finalizing a trip to New York for a workout with the Jets. #143Tackles— Spencer Linton (@Spencer_Linton) August 14, 2014
Before suffering a torn ACL in the Fight Hunger Bowl vs Washington at the end of last season, Unga was projected by some to be a late round draft pick. Unga did draw some interest as an undrafted free agent back in May. Unfortunately for Unga, teams were unwilling to add him to their rosters until he was 100 percent healthy.
No love today I guess.. teams want me to go out to workout once I'm 100! #AintNoStoppin #stillworkin— Uani 'Unga (@UaniUnga) May 11, 2014
The 6-1, 231 pound inside linebacker was a huge part of BYU's defensive success last year and led the Cougars in tackles in 2013, recording 143 tackles on the season. The next closest Cougar had 79 tackles.
Unga's strength and tackling ability should project well to the NFL. He doesn't have the ideal speed for an NFL linebacker, but he makes up for that with quick reactions and good defensive awareness. Coming off an ACL injury, it will be an uphill battle for Unga to make a team, but his ability to contribute on special teams could earn him a spot. The Jets have a solid group of starting linebackers returning from last season, but the good news for Unga is that if the Jets were to sign him, there is plenty of opportunity to earn a spot among an inexperienced group of backups.
If he isn't able to find a home in New York, Unga may have some other options. In a second tweet, Linton mentioned that Unga has been contacted by multiple NFL teams about workouts.
While Uani Unga will hit NY (Jets) first, he's also been contacted by the Miami Dolphins & Seattle Seahawks about workouts. #NFL #BYUSN #BYU— Spencer Linton (@Spencer_Linton) August 14, 2014
We wish Unga the best of luck at his workout and hope to see him in an NFL jersey soon.