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Saturday, October 25, 2014 | Last updated: 9:46am

Nick Foles to become first UA QB drafted in modern era



Nick Foles left the NFL Scouting Combine less than satisfied.

After preparing for the all-important showcase by working with former NFL quarterback and two-time Pro Bowler Ken O’Brien in California, Foles’ results fell short of his high standards.

He ran a quarterback-worst 5.14 40-yard dash and reportedly struggled throwing the deep ball. As a result of his underwhelming performance, Foles wanted to get back to his comfort zone, so he called former Arizona quarterbacks coach Frank Scelfo.

“When he got back after the combine he was disappointed in how he performed, but he knew it was just a process,” Scelfo said of Foles. “He felt it might be better that he come back here.”

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By Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat
Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat The No. 9 Arizona Wildcats hosted the Oregon State Beavers at Arizona Stadium Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010, in Tucson, Ariz. Oregon State upset the home team 27-29.

With Arizona’s Pro Day about a month away, Foles decided to stop training in California with O’Brien and move back to Tucson.

Along with his good friend and former teammate David Douglas, Foles moved in with Scelfo and his family. He and Douglas would wake up before sunrise almost every day for conditioning and workouts, and Foles would meet up with Scelfo six days a week at Jimenez Practice Facility to throw and study the pro-style offense.

Foles and Scelfo, who has mentored NFL quarterbacks like Patrick Ramsey, J.P. Losman, Lester Ricard and Shaun King during his career, worked on everything an NFL quarterback needed.

Whether it was two-step drops, three-step drops, or throwing on the run, Foles and Scelfo tried to master it.

“Frank’s a great mentor to me — a great person that I’ve learned from the last two years,” Foles said.

After a solid performance at Arizona’s Pro Day, Foles headed back to Austin where he’s been continuing to stay fit in preparation the 2012 NFL draft, which kicks off today on ESPN.

The Combine is over, Pro Day is in the books and the workouts are done.

“It’s all up to the good Lord now,” Foles said. “It’s hard to tell when I’m going to go. I wish I could tell you one way or the other.”

Arizona’s all-time leading passer only worked out for one team, the Philadelphia Eagles, and is listed as the sixth-best quarterback behind Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill, Brock Osweiler and Brandon Weeden, according to ESPN’s Todd McShay, Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl.

Scelfo is certain that his pupil won’t fall past the third round, citing his experience and NFL size as his biggest positives. Although Foles lacks elite agility, Scelfo likened him to Ben Roethlisberger for his ability to keep plays alive.

The combination of those attributes has generated “a lot of interest in him,” said Scelfo, who’s often contacted by NFL teams about Foles.

“A lot of people want him,” Scelfo said.

Foles’ draft stock undoubtedly took a hit after his underwhelming combine performance. But regardless of when Foles is drafted, Scelfo knows what Foles will do at the next level.

“He’ll still be a starter,” Scelfo said with complete certainty. “He’ll have a great career. He’s going to have a good career, man.”

Foles’ former teammates agreed with Scelfo’s statement.

“I think he has tremendous upside, and I think if he gets with the right team and organization that will stick with him, and try to help him flourish and become the player that I think he can be. I think that the sky’s the limit for Nick,” said former UA receiver Gino Crump. “He can be a Pro Bowl guy.”

Douglas said Foles would watch film after games until as late as three in the morning.

“People don’t even know about that,” Douglas said. “He’ll outwork anybody.”

Whether it’s today, tomorrow or on Saturday, Foles will hear his name called and soon begin the first chapter of his NFL journey. From an ASU commit, to Michigan State, to Arizona and now to the NFL, Foles’ lifelong dreams will finally come true.

“It’s a special day for me,” Foles said. “It’s just unreal at this point. I’m going to be with the people who have been with me through it all.”

Nick Foles

Position: Quarterback
Hometown: Austin, Texas
Stats: (2009) 2,486 yards, 63.4 completion percentage, (2010) 3,191 yards, 67.1 completion percentage ; (2011) 4,334 yards, 69.1 completion percentage,: Combined TD to Int ratio, 47 – 24

Achievements: Arizona’s first career 10,000-yard passer. Owns school records in career passing yards, touchdowns, attempts, and completions. Also holds single-season records for yards, touchdowns, attempts and
completions.

Combine numbers: 5.14 40-yard dash, 112.0 inch broad jump, 30.5 inch vertical

They said it: “Nick’s your kind of guy that you’d want your daughter to marry and you’d hope your son would grow up like. He’ll still be a starter. He’ll have a great career. He’s going to have a good career man.” – Frank Scelfo

What they’re saying: Ranked the sixth-best quarterback and 50th best prospect by ESPN.com. Dubbed the third-most accurate quarterback in the draft by ESPN.com.


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