Anyone fortunate enough to have enjoyed the sandy beaches of Hawaii knows that characterizing any part of these beautiful islands as the "rough" is just silly.
It is also just silly to ignore a talented prospect simply because their time zone doesn't jive with most of American's football viewing public.
Therefore, while I always look to true "small" schools for my weekly Diamond in the Rough piece, I wasn't going to ignore the dominant performance put forth by Hawaii wideout Greg Salas against WAC rival Fresno State Saturday night. Salas, who is the current active NCAA leader with 216 receptions , was expected to be challenged by a Bulldog defense that entered the game ranked second in the country in pass defense.
Not anymore. Salas caught nine passes for 148 yards and three scores against Fresno State, earning this week's Diamond in the Rough award.
The following profile is similar to the ones our premium readers get of six more prospects each week as part of Draft Slant.
WR Greg Salas - Hawaii 6-2 / 210 / 4.57
NFL scouts had been telling me to keep an eye on Hawaii receiver Greg Salas and against Fresno State - which entered the WAC showdown ranked No. 2 in the country in pass defense - it was easy to see why. Salas' combination of ideal size and underrated maneuverability destroyed the Bulldog secondary to the tune of nine catches for 148 yards and three scores. Lined up inside and out to present matchup problems, Salas was consistently able to get free over the middle, catching two touchdowns in the first half. His third TD was actually a fumble recovery in the EZ. On his first, a easy drag route over the middle, Salas showed good flexibility to catch a low pass from quarterback Bryant Moniz, then slithered through the Fresno defense for the final few yards. The play began similarly for Salas' second touchdown - another quick pass over the middle - but this time he was blanketed by Bulldog defenders. A quick, strong throw by Montiz was high, but a Salas adjusted well, leaping into the air to snatch the pass, while turning his body to shield against the oncoming hit. This type of reception is exactly what NFL scouts are looking for, as today's pro safeties are simply getting bigger, stronger and more aggressive in hitting "defenseless" receivers over the middle. Salas' body control and good size make him a quietly intriguing third day prospect for teams in need of a possession WR.