Supplemental Draft: Harvey Unga
By Shane Ford
Harvey Unga is a beast of a running back at 6 feet, 3 inches and weighing 240 pounds. Unga is BYU’s all-time leading rusher tallying 3,455 yards in 41 games. He has a five yards per carry average and has scored 36 touchdowns. He is a typical power runner. He can carry the load between the tackles but doesn’t really possess breakaway speed.
Unga leaves BYU after abruptly after violating a BYU honor code, yes he had premarital sex with his girlfriend/fiancée of three years. It’s been rumored that the Miami Dolphins are one of four teams that are extremely interested in Unga in the July 15th NFL Supplemental draft. It has been reported in several news outlets that Miami along with St Louis, Kansas City and Seattle have all shown high interest in him. Unga will be conducting a proday on July 8th and it’s believed that more than 20 teams are expected to have representation at the event. Unga more than likely won’t be drafted before the fourth round and more than likely the fifth or later, but he is drawing interest.
Although Unga left BYU on an honor code violation he has a reputation of being a high character guy and a leader, sound familiar? Unga is projected to be a fullback in the NFL, but if paired with the right type of back he could be a good one/two punch or Thunder to a Lightning as a tailback. While most people look at Unga and see a big bruising back that will pound it between the tackles his best attribute may very well be his hands. He arguably has the best hands of any college back in the nation. Unga had a down year in 2009 in the receiving game but in the two previous years he had more than 40 receptions in each. In his three years he has racked up 1,085 receiving yards with 9 touchdowns. He also averages 10 yards a reception, and at his size it’s easy to understand why. He is a hard man to tackle especially in the open field when the defender may very well be his size or smaller.
The Miami Dolphins running back situation is in a state of flux. Brown coming of another season ending injury has yet to sign his tender and Williams is only under contract through 2010 and just turned 33 years old. When healthy Brown is one of the best running backs in the league, the problem is Brown can’t stay healthy and he will turn 29 in December. Ronnie doesn’t want to leave Miami, but the Trifecta doesn’t want to invest top money in a running back closing in on 30 that hasn’t proven he can stay healthy. The Dolphins will be shopping for running backs between now and next year. Cobbs, Hilliard, and Sheets may or may not be the answer. Unga’s size fits in with the mold of a Parcell’s type of back so Miami could be very involved come July 15th when the supplemental draft begins.