NFL may be more than a dream for Sicko, Ware

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    The New Hampshire > Sports

    NFL may be more than a dream for Sicko, Ware
    By Brandon Lawrence
    Sports Editor

    | Published: Thursday, April 1, 2010

    Updated: Thursday, April 1, 2010

    It’s every little kid’s dream to grow up and become a professional athlete, whether it’s a quarterback in the NFL, a high-flying forward in the NBA, or a homerun-hitting left-fielder. But in reality, it’s a very rare accomplishment for anyone to say that they have set foot and played on a major league field, court or ballpark.

    But for UNH seniors Scott Sicko and Sean Ware, two football standouts on the field, the dream of playing at the professional level may be within reach.

    After recording incredible numbers the past few seasons in Wildcat uniforms, the two seniors, along with fellow classmate Chad Kackert, worked out at several pro days held, and recorded some personal bests, according to UNH head coach Sean McDonnell.

    “Together they had a pro day, March 10th I think it was, and they both did very well,” McDonnell said. “They set personal records in everything they did; great job in the weight room, and great job on the field running the 40’s, the agility drills, stuff like that. They’ve worked very hard.”

    Coach McDonnell said that about four or five players have all gone down to Massachusetts to train at former UNH wide receiver Mike Boyle’s gym. He said that it has worked very well for them, because a couple of NFL teams have called back and given Ware and Sicko separate workouts.

    The Indianapolis Colts called back for both players, and were interested in their work routines. Ware also received interest from the Carolina Panthers, but Sicko drew a lot of attention from multiple teams for his incredible catching ability and downfield speed, as well as his eye-catching numbers at pro day workouts.

    “There are a decent amount of teams looking at me, but I don’t want to say anything because I don’t know how interested the teams are,” Sicko said. “It’s kind of inside their organization and the specifics of their interest. I would love to get drafted, but I don’t want to get too excited about anything until it happens.”

    Sicko has posted outstanding numbers at the tight end spot in the past few years as a Wildcat. This past season, he hauled in 57 catches for 725 yards and a team-high nine receiving touchdowns. He averaged 55.8 yards per game as the Wildcats advanced to the CAA quarterfinal round, where they lost to eventual conference champion Villanova in blizzard conditions.

    Teams all around the CAA were very aware of Sicko’s presence on the field, as most teams double-covered him defensively, forcing junior quarterback R.J. Toman to find other options in passing situations. But despite all the attention Sicko received, he still managed to make spectacular plays and lead his team, both on and off the field.

    “Scotty has the presence of a playmaker,” coach McDonnell said. “He’s the kind of kid that can make phenomenal athletic catches, and make the hard one’s look easy, make the easy one’s look nonchalant, and then when it’s a challenging one, he makes the phenomenal catches. He’s a kid who’s going to go to work every day. He’s a very humble, very sharing teammate.”

    Sean Ware started out his UNH career playing all sorts of positions, beginning as a wide receiver turned free safety, and eventually making the transition to outside linebacker, then inside linebacker, where a majority of his success has come. He was second on the team in tackles this past season with 97, and also forced one fumble and recorded a safety.

    Ware also had to overcome ACL surgery, which forced him to redshirt during his sophomore season, and also set his playing time and collegiate career back. But his return proved crucial to the Wildcats, and has since been atop the UNH leader board the past two seasons in defensive statistics.

    “He plays the game fast, he plays the game hard, he’s an emotional kid out there,” McDonnell said. “He has safety speed and skills at the linebacker position. In his junior year and senior year, he had a tremendous year for us and really grew as a football player.”

    As a tri-captain on this past season’s team, Ware has been forced to step up as a key leader, and he has done so nicely, according to his teammates and coaches.

    “Sean’s a very emotional, very vocal leader on the field,” R.J. Toman said. “Making sure that his defense is doing exactly what he wants and playing up to the standards that he believes they should be. He holds himself accountable for that as well, which is a great quality of a leader, especially on your side of the ball. Sean was very good at that.”

    For Sicko, as an offensive weapon, the tight end played with two outstanding CAA quarterbacks by college standards in Ricky Santos and Toman. But coach McDonnell said that he has a very fluid catching ability, and really started taking off after his sophomore season. He noted that both Santos and Toman felt very comfortable throwing him the ball, and confident that he would come down with the pass.

    The Jacksonville Jaguars are flying Sicko down in the next few weeks to have private workouts before the draft begins on April 22. Meanwhile, the Colts are planning to bring Ware down to Indy for his own workouts.

    “[Playing in the NFL] would be incredible,” Sicko said. “It’s one of those things that growing up as a kid, you’re always watching the guys on TV. It’s like an unattainable dream, though you hope to be playing on that stage one day. Just to have the opportunity to possibly do that, it’s really exciting.”

    The NFL Draft begins on Thursday, April 22, with the first round only, followed by the next few rounds on Friday and concluding on Saturday with the final rounds. There’s no telling whether these two former UNH stars will hear their names called on draft day, but through the selection process or free agency, their football careers will extend further into the future. For Scott Sicko and Sean Ware, their early ambitions may become a reality.

    “It would kind of be like a childhood dream coming true,” Sicko said

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