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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pack trio plays in today's East-West Shrine game

During their Wolf Pack careers, Dontay Moch proved to be as elite a defensive player as there was in the nation, Vai Taua established himself as one of the most productive running backs in the country and Virgil Green became as well-rounded a tight end as the NCAA could offer.


Over the next couple of months, it is up to Moch, Taua and Green to prove all of those things can translate to the NFL level. That trio of Wolf Pack alums will play in this afternoon's East-West Shrine game in Orlando, Fla.
The goal will be to catch the eyes of the swell of NFL scouts in attendance. Green said he's noticed a big difference in the level of play at the practices leading up to today's game.
"It's pretty fast-paced," Green said via phone from Orlando. "To me, it feels a lot different than college. Nobody's in the NFL here, but all of these guys are great players. In college, you have a few great players. But right now, it seems like everybody's flying around and giving their best. We're interviewing for a job right now. Everything is fast paced. I really like it."
All three of the Wolf Pack players have had something different to prove this week.
Moch is making the transition from defensive end to outside linebacker. Taua will have to prove he has the speed to play in the NFL. Green needs to display the hands to play in the league.
"I'm just trying to prove that I'm one of the best tight ends available in the draft," Green said. "I've been working hard, running nice routes, catching any balls that go my way and trying to have a good week blocking. I've been trying to show I'm the total package."
One interesting twist is who Green, Moch and Taua will be paired with on the West roster. There are 14 players from the WAC playing for the Wade Phillips-coached West squad, including four Boise State players.
Green said playing with some former rival Broncos hasn't caused any headaches.
"It's cool. Those guys are cool," Green said. "They haven't really said much about any animosity about that loss. They're mature about it, and they handled the situation well."


During their Wolf Pack careers, Dontay Moch proved to be as elite a defensive player as there was in the nation, Vai Taua established himself as one of the most productive running backs in the country and Virgil Green became as well-rounded a tight end as the NCAA could offer.


Over the next couple of months, it is up to Moch, Taua and Green to prove all of those things can translate to the NFL level. That trio of Wolf Pack alums will play in this afternoon's East-West Shrine game in Orlando, Fla.
The goal will be to catch the eyes of the swell of NFL scouts in attendance. Green said he's noticed a big difference in the level of play at the practices leading up to today's game.
"It's pretty fast-paced," Green said via phone from Orlando. "To me, it feels a lot different than college. Nobody's in the NFL here, but all of these guys are great players. In college, you have a few great players. But right now, it seems like everybody's flying around and giving their best. We're interviewing for a job right now. Everything is fast paced. I really like it."
All three of the Wolf Pack players have had something different to prove this week.
Moch is making the transition from defensive end to outside linebacker. Taua will have to prove he has the speed to play in the NFL. Green needs to display the hands to play in the league.
"I'm just trying to prove that I'm one of the best tight ends available in the draft," Green said. "I've been working hard, running nice routes, catching any balls that go my way and trying to have a good week blocking. I've been trying to show I'm the total package."
One interesting twist is who Green, Moch and Taua will be paired with on the West roster. There are 14 players from the WAC playing for the Wade Phillips-coached West squad, including four Boise State players.
Green said playing with some former rival Broncos hasn't caused any headaches.
"It's cool. Those guys are cool," Green said. "They haven't really said much about any animosity about that loss. They're mature about it, and they handled the situation well."

Although the next couple of months will play a big role in whether and where Green is drafted in April, he said he isn't letting that big picture change how he performs.


"I'm just calm and trusting that God will lead me and guide me to where he wants me to be," Green said. "I'm not worried at all. I know I'll be playing on some team next season, so I'm taking it all in stride."
Green's agent, Scott Smith, said the Shrine game, next month's NFL combine and the Nevada pro day will all play big roles in the draft future of Green and his teammates.
"Anytime you have a chance to get in front of NFL scouts and NFL coaches, it's a big deal," Smith said. "You can help yourself or hurt yourself in these opportunities. You only get to have a handful of these opportunities. So, this a great opportunity for Virgil to show what he can do. It's a great opportunity, but you also have to take advantage of it. Virgil, so far, has done just that this week and he just needs to continue to work hard and get good results."