Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ollis to Throw Hat in Ring

Add tailback Jim Ollis to the list of Air Force senior football players who hope to play professionally.

According to Bruce Ollis, Jim’s father, Ollis is looking for an agent.

An Air Force policy announced last year states airmen who want to pursue professional sports careers – or other careers that bring positive attention to the Air Force – “must have served on active duty for at least 24 months.”

After two years, a player can apply through the chain of command to either have his service suspended or to be granted an early release if he has a pro contract. A player granted an early release would serve six years of reserve duty instead of the three years of active duty left in his commitment.

Air Force coach Troy Calhoun, who spent four years coaching in the pros, said players could accrue leave “to still hit the minicamps and training camps and maybe play in some preseason games,” during their two years of active duty service.

Senior outside linebacker John Rabold, senior inside linebacker Drew Fowler and senior receiver/running back/returner Chad Hall all have expressed an interest in playing professionally. Rabold will play in Saturday’s Hula Bowl, and Fowler will play in the East-West Shrine game Jan. 19. Both games are senior all-star games that act as showcases for pro scouts.

Ollis, who spent most of his first three years at the academy serving as a backup quarterback, was moved to tailback by Calhoun prior to this season. He gained 682 yards (second-most on the team) on 106 carries (6.4 yards-per-carry) and scored six touchdowns. He ran for 138 yards, including a 71-yard score, in the Falcons’ upset victory over TCU. And in the Falcons’ final three games of the season, he rushed for 317 yards and three touchdowns on 38 carries.


Ben said...
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Ben said...

Excellent!! This would be HUGE for the Academy if these very talented players made it to the pros. I really hope that they make it.

Speaking of the pros... Have you heard anything about Jake Burtchi and Dan Nwaelele in the NBA?

Thanks, Jake, for the quality reporting!

jake.schaller said...

Ben -

No update on Danny and Jake. Danny is still working for the AF in Mississippi. Jake, as of tonight, was headed to Salinas, Kansas, with the prep school hoops team, for which he is an assistant coach.

Anonymous said...

Ollis is a tough kid, who was just begining to reach his potential...but his chances of playing in the NFL are near zero. Hall, Fowler and Rabold's are just a little higher, but not by much.

I'm sure they could get invited to lots of mini camps, and probably play in a couple of pre-season games. But actually making an NFL roster is much much tougher.

Anonymous said...

One of the biggest impediments to NFL status is that the Academy players typically can't participate in the mini-camps that take place after the draft in their senior year because they are still attending classes. The NCAA and the NFL have an agreement that invites will not be extended to players still attending classes in their academic year.
I agree that none of the elegible players I saw this year are really NFL caliber, at least at their current level of performance. Doesn't mean one of them won't make a roster and get better from there, but it's a very long shot.

Anonymous said...

So, I guess his career is over?