Following what head coach Pete Carroll eluded to as an impressive first impression with the Seahawks, former University of Hawaii all-conference receiver John Ursua has returned home to the Aloha State on a mission to both prepare for his rookie season in Seattle and soak up island life while he still can.
Evidently, the Kailua-Kona native who was drafted in the seventh round by the Seahawks is as crafty with his time as he is as a route-runner, as the Kealakehe product dug into the sand on Tuesday morning with a workout at Ala Moana Beach Park.
Ursua, who is trained in the offseason by former Kahuku and New Mexico State star defensive back Kawe Johnson, says there was a lot to learn with the Seahawks through his first rookie-camp and OTA experience, although hitting the field has reassured his confidence that he not only belongs in the National Football League, but can help Seattle from the slot.
“After the four years I spent here at the University of Hawaii, I think they did a great job at preparing me mentally and physically as far as going out there and competing, and showing that I really belong out there, and it helped obviously getting my name called and feeling that I was really wanted,” Ursua told KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello.
At the close of training camp, Ursua’s Super Bowl champion head coach said, “We were able to get a good look at John Ursua, He started to feel comfortable and show us the kind of quicks and change-of-direction stuff that made him one of the big scorers in college football last year. You can see it, he’s got a real style to him. He’s a slot guy, he really is that mold.”
“Going back in the history of the slots that they had there, you got Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin. These guys are legends right now, and so I think I can really come in and fulfill that position, and so, I’ve been doing my best to compete at that position, understanding my play calls, my role, and obviously I think I can help out as well in special teams with the punt returns.”
Leaving Hawaii is nothing new for Ursua, who finished high school in Utah before going on a two year church mission in Paris, France ahead of his return to the islands to play for the University of Hawaii. However, returning to his home state this time around, feels a little different as he chases his football dreams.
“I just look at this place and I’m just so grateful that I got to grow up here, I have the fans and the people who have been supporting me the whole way, and just coming back, I just love going to the beach and gettin my workouts here. It just relaxes your mind and takes you off of everything else that is going on in the world. That’s just been one thing that I’ve been focusing on really, just being in-tuned with everything around me, and just being appreciative of my home,” said Ursua.
Ursua will remain in the islands for the next week or two before ultimately checking into training camp on July 17th in Renton, Washington.
The first preseason game of his rookie season is set for August 8 against the Broncos in Seattle.