Gig Harbor native Kenny Alfred didn't exactly end his career on a high note at Washington State, with his school winning a combined three games over the past two seasons.
However, he does have a chance to be taken in the NFL draft, joining Puyallup’s Brandon Gibson, a fellow Cougar who was selected in the sixth round by Philadelphia last year. Gibson was later traded to the St. Louis Rams.
Alfred started 44 games for Washington State, including his final 29 games.
He was a Rimington Trophy candidate as one of the nation’s top centers, and also garnered second-team all-Pacific-10 Conference honors his senior season, the only Cougar to be recognized on the all-conference team.
“I just wanted to come out and fight, play for the Cougs and do my best,” Alfred said about his senior season. “Obviously, the season didn’t go so well, but I take a lot of pride in that I’m a person that does not lose focus when times are hard.”
The cerebral Alfred garnered some attention by playing well in the East-West Shrine game in January. Teams showing interest include Seattle, Tennessee and Cleveland. At 6-foot-2, 295 pounds, Alfred is considered a better fit in a zone blocking scheme, which emphasizes speed, athleticism and smarts over bulk. However, scouts have said they wouldn’t mind him adding weight.
Alfred also put up respectable numbers during his pro day in Pullman, running the 40-yard dash in 5.06 seconds, lifting 225 pounds 27 times in the bench press and posting a 31-inch vertical jump.
Now all Alfred can do is wait for the phone to ring this weekend at his parent’s Gig Harbor home. He is expected to be a late-round selection or perhaps signed as a free agent once the draft concludes Saturday.
“I want to let it be exciting, and I’ve really enjoyed the process for far,” he said. “I figured it’s supposed to be fun, and I’ve prepared pretty well so we’ll see what happens.”