UCLA’s Latu: Groups not worried over neck history

  • Jeff Legwold, ESPN Elder WriterFeb 28, 2024, 09:23 AM ET


      Jeff Legwold is a senior author who covers the Denver Broncos and the NFL at ESPN. Jeff has covered the Broncos for more than twenty years, signing up with ESPN in 2013. He likewise helps with NFL draft protection, including his annual top 100 potential customers. Jeff has actually belonged to the Pro Football Hall of Popularity Board of Selectors because 1999. He has attended every searching integrate considering that 1987.

INDIANAPOLIS– UCLA outside linebacker Laiatu Latu believes his not likely resurgence from college football “retirement” will extend into the NFL draft’s first round.Latu stated Wednesday at the NFL searching combine that” no groups have actually spoken about any type of concern”over the neck injury that kept him on the sideline at Washington for 2 years. Latu added, to this point in Indianapolis, that”being out here I have not had to do a lot of medicals [exams], much like everyone else. “”I have actually been imagining the NFL considering that I was a kid, and I never gave up on it all,” Latu said.”… I just comprehended what I wanted to do and that I wished to get back to playing football once again. … [The neck] was never an issue for them. “Latu is thought about by lots of NFL critics to be the most technically advanced pass-rusher in the draft. However he likewise has among the greatest medical concerns of any possibility at the combine.The Sacramento, California, native did not play in 2020 or 2021 after he was recommended to “medically retire”from football by the Washington personnel. Latu had actually suffered a neck injury in preseason exercises for the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season and later had surgical treatment– Latu stated Wednesday he had neck fusion surgery– to attempt to repair remaining numbness.Editor’s Picks 2 Associated Doctors at Washington would not clear him to return and recommended him not to play football. His mother, Kerry, nevertheless, looked into Latu

‘s injury and kept stumbling upon Dr. Robert Watkins’name before arranging for Latu to see the noted back and neck cosmetic surgeon in late 2021. Latu stated Watkins cleared him to return to football after a battery of tests, however Washington would still unclear him to bet the Huskies. He transferred to UCLA in January 2022.”[ Watkins] simply taken a look at my scans and cleared me, “Latu stated.”Since he’s had guys with the same, comparable stuff, like Danielle Hunter and Peyton Manning, and he truly just told me I would be able to play football. “Two seasons, 23.5 sacks and 36.5 tackles for loss later, Latu is poised to be one of the most popular pass-rushers on draft boards throughout the league.Latu, who is the No. 14 player on analyst Mel Kiper Jr.’s latest Big Board

, won both the Lombardi and Hendricks awards this past season– for the very best lineman and finest protective end in college football, respectively– and was the Bruins ‘first first-team All-America selection since Eric Kendricks in 2014. Like all the protective linemen and linebackers welcomed to the integrate, Latu was arranged to go through medical exams Tuesday and Wednesday with his on-field workout Thursday. He said Wednesday that he was prepared to work out at the integrate and

put up “low numbers.”

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