Jermaine Kearse did not have to move far to join the Seattle Seahawks training camp roster. The 22 year old was born in Lakewood, Washington and attended Seattle’s University of Washington. The Wide Receiver (6’1, 209 lbs) went undrafted during the 2012 NFL Draft particularly due to his many dropped passes during his time at UW. He was quickly scooped up by the Seahawks.
Phil Bates, on the other hand, had to travel a little farther. This rookie (6’1 3/8, 200 lbs) is originally from Omaha, Nebraska, but attended Ohio University. Bates comes to the Seahawks with a little more to offer. He comes from a football family (his father was a full-back at Nebraska), and the Iowa State transfer is a converted QB with deceptive speed. Like Kearse, Bates is an UDFA who is explosive as a runner, catcher and thrower.
Levasier Tuinei, also an undrafted free-agent, is originally from Arcadia, Indiana. Tuinei (6’4, 220 lbs) played football for the much closer University of Oregon. He is considered a red-zone threat especially after being named Offensive MVP this past Rose Bowl. Tuinei has size, wing span, balance and control. Experts speculate that his best bet at a roster spot would be adding some weight and playing as a WR/TE hybrid.
All three rookies will be facing fierce competition from second-year players. Among them, Doug Baldwin (Stanford) and Ricardo Lockette (Ft Valley St). While Baldwin wrote the playbook for making the Seahawks roster, it did happened because he had a set of skills that matched the teams’ needs at that particular time. A much more realistic scenario is that of Lockette, who stayed on the practice squad until he received his chance.
Added to the mix are Kris Durham (UGA), Charly Martin (West Texas A&M), Raymond Webber (Ark Pine Bluff), and Golden Tate (ND). Each has between 2 and 3 years of experience.
Finally, when one adds the even more experienced receivers of the caliber of Deon Butler (4yr, PSU), Ben Obomanu (7r AUB), Sidney Rice (6yr SCar), and, who many view as Pete Carroll’s favorite due to Southern California connections, Mike Williams (6yr USC), it is clear that the new crop of rookies has their work cut out for them.