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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Honolulu SB: Alama Francis to Detroit and Satele to Miami in 2nd Round

Alama-Francis, Satele go in second round

Instant millionaires.

It was hard to comprehend what being a second-round NFL Draft pick meant in terms of money. It was as unreal as watching the ticker on ESPN constantly running "58. DET-Ikaika Alama-Francis, Hawaii, DE" ... "60. MIA-Samson Satele, Hawaii, C" ...

Just USC center Ryan Kalil -- Carolina's pick -- between them.

Alama-Francis, who didn't play football in high school but whose father Joe was a reserve quarterback for Green Bay in 1958 and '59. And Satele, whose DNA is laden with pigskin molecules.

The pair gave the Warrior program its first set of second-round draft picks. It was also the best first day for Hawaii since 2003, when Pisa Tinoisamoa went in the second round and Wayne Hunter and Vince Manuwai went in the third.

As expected, both were still in a state of shock after the record 11 hours and 4 minutes it took to complete the first three rounds yesterday.

"I am speechless right now," Satele said. "I am so happy for Ikaika and I'm praying for our other boys (to be drafted).

"Anywhere would have been good, but I was pretty sure it was going to be Miami. They had the most interest and I love their coach. I've never been there, but I think it will be easy to get used to."

Sports agent Leo Goeas, a former Warrior and NFL player, represents Satele. He was at his Domann and Pittman office in Colorado Springs, Colo., yesterday watching the draft and text-messaging his brother Larry, who was with the Sateles during the ESPN broadcast.

"After Kalil got picked, I texted Larry with 'Miami,' " Leo Goeas said last night. "Then came the call (from the Dolphins) and then his name flashed. He was the first from our company to go (in the draft). There was a lot of jubilation and cheering here.

"I thought it was really cool that he and Ikaika were so close together. He's such a great kid whose potential is untapped."

Goeas' company represents 12 players hoping to be drafted this year, including several Warriors waiting for calls today: offensive lineman Dane Uperesa, defensive end Melila Purcell and running back Nate Ilaoa. Other draft possibles are defensive back Leonard Peters and offensive lineman Tala Esera.

"I think Dane should be the next of my guys to go, probably fourth, fifth round," Goeas said. "But the draft is never a perfect science.

"Esera is right up there and Mel and Nate should go sixth, seventh round. I remember what it was like, the stress of waiting, watching, seeing the clips of players then all of a sudden your phone rings and there's someone saying, 'We just took you.' Sixty seconds it's on TV."

When watching yesterday, Goeas noticed something else. Both he and Satele were the 60th pick overall on their respective draft days, Goeas going to San Diego in 1990 early in the third round.

But the bonus money is a world apart 17 years later. Goeas said he signed for $127,000, while Satele is expecting around $1.1 million.

It will be close to $1.4 million for Alama-Francis.

"I'm going to stash it away," Alama-Francis said. "I'll take care of my family, of course.

"Having that amount of money ... I just want it to be the start of something good."

Having the two players go so early was a good way to start the last day of spring practice for Warrior coach June Jones.

"I'm really excited for them and their families," Jones said. "I was hoping they'd go first or second round. And to have them drafted so close to each other got our program a lot of play on ESPN.

"Sam is going to be a great player. Ikaika is very physical and is only going to get better.

"I think we've got at least four more with a shot Sunday."

Ilaoa said he hadn't expected to see his name on ESPN yesterday, but watched anyway.

"I'm doing OK," Ilaoa said last night. "I'm happy for my teammates, a little surprised about their teams, but happy for them.

"I'm hoping for the best. I'll wait and see."

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