Hawks give Puyallup’s Veltung a shot

eric.williams@thenewstribune.comMay 24, 2013 

Two weeks after participating in the Seattle Seahawks’ rookie minicamp as a tryout player, Justin Veltung’s wish came true.

He’ll get an opportunity to earn a roster spot with his hometown team.

The Seahawks announced that they had signed the University of Idaho and Puyallup High product on Thursday.

At 5-foot-10 and 183 pounds, Veltung first caught the team’s eye at Seattle’s local pro day in April before this year’s draft.

From there, Veltung received an invitation to Seattle’s rookie minicamp as a tryout player. He made several nice catches that caught the attention of the team’s coaching staff, including head coach Pete Carroll and receivers coach Kippy Brown.

“He’s a smart guy,” Brown said. “He knows what to do. He doesn’t make very many mistakes, and so far he’s been real reliable catching the football.”

Slowed during his senior season at Idaho because of a turf toe injury, Veltung didn’t garner much attention from NFL scouts leading up to this year’s draft.

In eight games for the Vandals, Veltung finished with 16 catches for 166 yards with no touchdowns.

However, speed and athleticism have never been an issue. He ran the 40-yard dasy in 4.46 seconds at is pro day.

At Puyallup, Veltung won a state title in the long jump as a senior with a mark of 24 feet, 5 inches, and was named to The News Tribune’s All-Area football team after averaging 188.8 all-purpose yards per game. He also was The News Tribune’s boys soccer player of the year in 2008, leading the Vikings to the boys 4A state finals.

Veltung finished as Idaho’s career leader in kick-return yards (1,743), so he adds some versatility with his ability to return punts and kicks.

But with Seattle’s talented receiver group, Veltung will have an uphill climb making Seattle’s final roster. The Seahawks currently have 13 receivers on the 90-man roster.

MIKE WILLIAMS FINDS NEW HOME IN CANADA

After spending a year out of football, former Seattle Seahawks receiver Mike Williams resurfaced north of the border, signing a deal to play with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League.

Williams, a former first-round selection by Detroit in 2005 draft, made a successful return to the NFL after sitting out two years. Earning a spot on Seattle’s roster in Carroll’s first season with the team in 2010, Williams led Seattle in receptions with 65 for 751 yards and two touchdowns.

However, Williams had trouble staying healthy in 2011, playing in 12 games and finishing with 18 catches for 236 yards and one touchdown.

The Seahawks ultimately decided to release the former USC player right before the 2012 training camp, allowing Golden Tate to take over as the team’s starting split end.

Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 eric.williams@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks @eric_d_williams

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