In the hush of a classroom, Hawaii football player Kaniela Tuipulotu made a thumb’s up sign, which was both the question and the answer to a physical examination.
"We know about him," said Dave Petett, a scout for the Pittsburgh Steelers, after Tuipulotu’s reach was measured from shoulder to thumb.
Tuipulotu, a defensive tackle, is considered to be the Warriors’ top prospect for the National Football League’s 2012 draft. Yesterday afternoon, 19 soon-to-be-senior Warriors participated in the pro-evaluation program at the UH athletic complex.
The players were measured for height, reach, and hand and wing spans. They also took a version of the Wonderlic, a 12-minute, 50-question IQ test.
Petett and Ray Biggs, a scout for the Tennessee Titans, collected the results, which will be distributed to 28 of the 32 NFL teams. The Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts and Atlanta Falcons do their own testing.
"It’s a good starting point for the guys," Petett said. "Now we have the basic information on them. When we meet with them in the fall (during road games), we’ll already be familiar with them."
Backup wideout Joe Avery was credited with the longest wing span (79 1⁄2 inches) and reach (33 3⁄4 inches). Defensive end Liko Satele had the widest hand span (10 3⁄4 inches).
Defensive tackle Vaughn Meatoga had a surprisingly long wing span of 78 1⁄2 inches.
"I always curl my arms," Meatoga said. "But I knew my reach was long. I’m always grabbing stuff."
Meatoga measured a little taller than 6 feet 1. "That was disappointing," he said. "I usually come in at 6-2 at the doctor’s. Maybe I shrunk because I was on my feet all day."
Linebacker Corey Paredes, a chiropractor’s son, stood at attention. Still, he was measured at 5-10 3⁄4.
The height markings on the wall started at 5-6. The top of running back Joey Cadiz’s head was below the bottom line.
When safety Richard Torres was summoned, teammates started calling him, "Richard Cadiz." Torres was measured at 5-7 1⁄4. "Made it," Torres said, smiling.
Tuipulotu weighed 310 pounds. He raised his arms in disbelief as he stepped off the scale. "Thought I was 309," he said, laughing.
"This whole thing is cool," said Tuipulotu, who is the only UH prospect to carry an A grade in video evaluations. "I’m honored that people think I’m a pretty good football player. I’m going to work hard in the weight room this summer."
Petett and Biggs have conducted tests at 42 schools in the past several weeks, a process that began in Kansas and moved westward.
"There are some NFL players in Hawaii," Petett said. "That’s why we come out here every year. We don’t have to justify it anymore."
Biggs is retiring from scouting after this year. He has mastered the tailor’s skill of measuring prospects. "That’s what happens when you do something for 22 years," Biggs said.