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Belly Rolls, Jack in the Box and Pete Carroll's 'Legend' Status in LA: Seahawks Connections at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine

Current draft prospects at this year’s NFL Scouting combine had various connections to current Seahawks players.

What do late-night trips to Jack in the Box, "Belly Roll" sack celebrations and comparisons to Russell Wilson all have in common? Those were all topics discussed by draft prospects last week during the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis.

While current Seahawks players were far away, enjoying their offseason, some were still brought up by college players who either look to emulate the success of Seattle players, or who have interesting stories involving them and head coach Pete Carroll.

Here are a few highlights:

USC DT Antwaun Woods

"Pete Carroll gave me my first scholarship (offer) ever, to USC," Woods said, noting he accepted the offer on the spot. "… The best day of my life."

Woods, who was a sophomore at the time, didn't end up playing for Carroll, but as a Southern California native, he wanted to play at USC even after Carroll left to coach the Seahawks.

"Pete Carroll being Pete Carroll, everybody wanted to play for him," Woods said. "But I'm from Los Angeles, so I couldn't get away from USC. I've been a fan my whole life."

Woods admiration for Seahawks doesn't end with Carroll. Asked what NFL player or players he tries to emulate, he said, "I watch, from the Seahawks, Brandon Mebane. He's a guy from the Los Angeles area. I think he's a great nose tackle, plays hard. He's one of the main guys I watch, but really, I watch every nose tackle and try to learn a few things from everybody, just to get better."

Asked if looking up to Mebane means learning the "Belly Roll" sack celebration, Woods said, "I've been practicing. My first sack in the NFL, maybe I'll try it out."

UCLA LB Myles Jack

Jack, who played at Bellevue High School, is athletic enough to have played on both sides of the ball at UCLA, said he's willing to play just about anywhere in the NFL: "I see myself as a football player. I want the teams to decide for themselves. I feel like I can play any position. Me personally, I like being off the ball as a Mike, Will, Sam. I think I could play strong safety as kind of a Kam Chancellor-type of role. I feel like I could get the job done there."

Not only could Jack see himself in a Chancellor-type role, he also met Chancellor randomly late one night in Bellevue several years ago.

"It's funny, I met him at a Jack in the Box—he probably doesn't remember it—but it was like 10 at night on a Friday," Jack said. "We took a picture with him. He probably doesn't remember."

Oregon QB Vernon Adams

As an undersized but talented quarterback, Adams is bound to draw comparisons to Russell Wilson, and that's just fine with the former Easter Washington University standout: "I think that's a blessing. I'm blessed to be compared to Russell Wilson, a great quarterback like that.

"I've always rooted for him. I did a quarterback camp with him. Drew Brees too, he's been getting it done for a long time. I don't think too much about being a short quarterback. You find a window. It's about your football IQ, I think. If you're prepared well, I think you're going to do well. This is nothing against Tom Brady or Brock Osweiler, but I see those guys get their balls batted down a lot. So it's not about being short—you get your balls batted down if you're tall or short—it's about getting the ball out on time, having the right pocket, stuff like that."

UCLA WR Jordan Payton

Among the former Bruins Payton turned to for advice before the combine is Seahawks defensive end Cassius Marsh: "I talk to Cassius almost every day almost. He texted me before I got out here and wished me luck. But every day we talk. He's been like a brother to me.''

Asked what Marsh has told him about the NFL experience, Payton said, "For one, he loves the Seahawks, he loves being in Seattle, and two, like they all say, just be yourself and compete."

While Payton, who is from Southern California, ended up at UCLA, he still has a lot of respect for Carroll, who he remembers seeing visit prospects at Oaks Christian School.  

"Pete Carroll is a legend where I'm from," Payton said. "When I was at Oaks Christians, he'd come to our school recruiting, he was recruiting Cassius Marsh at the time. Seeing Coach Carroll in the hallways was definitely huge for us."

Notre Dame OT Ronnie Stanley

Stanley, a likely top-10 picks, pointed to a current Seahawk when asked who his toughest opponent was in college: "Probably Frank Clark. He's a very high-motor guy, strong guy and very well-coached."

Michigan DT Willie Henry

Speaking of Clark, he has been someone Henry has turned to while going through the draft process, as well as the decision to leave Michigan a year early.

"Basically, keep your mind clear and just do what you can do, control what you can control, give 110 percent," Henry said of Clark's advice to him. "If you're going to leave or stay, make that decision full-blown. And take full advantage of the opportunity, because not everyone is granted this opportunity."

Stanford WR Devon Cajuste

"I've reached out to Doug, once about film work actually," Cajuste said. "I feel like I represent Doug in a way, because he wore 89 at Stanford, so the fact that I got to wear that, I had to keep his legacy going."

Asked what Baldwin told him about film work, Cajuste said, "He broke it down—about two hours each day, following his regiment. He wrote down a long list of what he does each day and what he focuses on for those days, so I took note of that."

NC State QB Jacoby Brissett

On his connection with Russell Wilson: "He has a camp there and comes through a couple times throughout the summer. I got to help work at his camp and be around him a little bit."

Asked what Wilson told him about the NFL, Brissett said, "He just says it's a business and you've got to work at it. It's a job you never fully understand, fully know it and have all the answers, so you've just got to go out there and work. You watch his game, it's evident that's all he does is work and try to perfect his craft."

Utah State LB Kyle Fackrell

Fackrell redshirted during Bobby Wagner's final season at Utah State, and while Fackrell and teammates still have to fight the small-school label, he admits he might not have the same chip on his shoulder as Wagner, thanks in part to the success the program has had because players like Wagner and Robert Turbin helped build the program up in recent years.

"He was one of those guys that really brought Utah State from that losing record to a power in the Mountain West," Fackrell said, "… I probably have less of a chip on my shoulder than he did, but absolutely it is always something that's talked about, at least in the media. Coming from a smaller school is a bad thing. But it was a great experience there at Utah State. I really enjoyed it."

Colorado cornerback Ken Crawley

On going against Paul Richardson at practice: "He's a shifty guy, fast. If you don't touch him at the line, you're pretty much done. They say that's how the game's going to be at the next level. I came in as a freshman and challenged him. He's just an awesome player, he's somebody you want on your team."

Colorado receiver Nelson Spruce

Like Crawley, Spruce has been leaning on Richardson for advice heading into the draft: "I've been talking to Paul Richardson a little bit, just checking in with him."

Spruce said that Richardson's work ethic coming back from an second ACL injury has done more for him than any words of advice would: "From watching him last year, seeing the way he worked through it all, that's something I noticed, just the preparation aspect of it."

With the 2017 NFL Combine underway, take a look back at some current Seahawks at their own NFL Combines.

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