Former University of Idaho and Churchill High School linebacker David Vobora was “Mr. Irrelevant” in the 2008 NFL Draft. Now, he’s very relevant in the Seahawks’ plans.
David Vobora might be a former “Mr. Irrelevant,” but the relevance of the past few days has not been lost on the Seahawks’ newest linebacker.
Released by the St. Louis Rams on Aug. 12, Vobora has found a home that is a lot closer to home. Raised in Eugene, Ore., and reared at the University of Idaho, he’s with a team that wants him – and needs him, because of a lack of experienced depth at the position.
There’s even a twist of irony to this homecoming story: The Seahawks had considered signing Ben Leber, but the former Minnesota Vikings linebacker opted to join the Rams, who released Vobora to clear a roster spot for Leber.
So Vobora is here, and couldn’t be happier.
“It’s the best,” he said Tuesday. “It’s a great opportunity. It’s what you want and to have it be close to home is perfect.”
That was apparent by the number of text messages and calls he got from family members and friends after signing with the Seahawks on Monday.
“People are pretty excited,” he said. “And truthfully, to play for an organization like Seattle, I’m just excited.”
Still, changing teams is never easy. Monday, Vobora was a stranger in a strange facility. He sat by himself near a window at Virginia Mason Athletic Center while waiting to sign his contract. He ate lunch by himself in the cafeteria, because the other players were off.
“Being released, there’s always some uncertainty there,” he said. “But I was just patient for the right team to come along. I feel this is a great opportunity and a great team that’s on its way up.”
Tuesday, it was back to football and the practice field – and that’s where the 6-foot-1, 239-pound Vobora feels most at home. He was working at strong-side linebacker with the No. 2 unit, and also with the kickoff return team in special teams drills.
The coaches envision Vobora possibly filling the same role Will Herring did last season, when Herring was the backup at all three linebacker spots but capable of stepping in to start at any of them – and also a big contributor of special teams.
“Will is a great player,” Vobora said of Herring, who signed with the New Orleans Saints in free agency. “So I’m going to absorb as much as I can and do whatever they need me to do and be a standout on special teams.”
The defense even felt familiar, because Vobora was recruited out of Churchill High School by Nick Holt, then the Vandals’ head coach, later an assistant at USC under Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and now the defensive coordinator at the University of Washington.
“The defense we’re running here, there’s actually some recall on terms I knew from the college system,” Vobora said. “So I’m just trying to draw on that.”
The Seahawks also are familiar because Vobora played against them twice a season for the past three years. In fact, he had a career-high 11 tackles against the Seahawks in the 2010 regular-season finale, which Seattle won to clinch the NFC West title; and eight in the 2009 opener, which also was played at CenturyLink Field.
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Tags: 2008 Nfl Draft, Ben Leber, Cafeteria, Family Members, Homecoming, Kickoff Return, Minnesota Vikings, nfl draft, Relevance, Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Stranger, Strong Side, Text Messages, Uncertainty, University Of Idaho, Virginia Mason
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