Chicago Sun-Times

Bears take Unga in supplemental draft

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Harvey Unga's first child was born on the Fourth of July. He's getting married today. Thanks to the Bears, the former Brigham Young running back now has a job to support his young family.

The Bears selected Unga in the seventh round of Thursday's NFL supplemental draft, capping a tumultuous spring and summer for BYU's all-time leading rusher, who was dismissed from his college team this spring for having sexual relations with someone outside of marriage, which is considered an honor-code violation at the Mormon university.
Unga's fiance, former Wheaton-Warrenville South standout Keilani Moeaki, who played for BYU's basketball team, also voluntarily withdrew from the university. Unga met with the Bears while in the Chicago area when his son was being born. Shortly after being drafted by the Bears, Unga helped set up the tent where he and Moeaki's nuptials will take place today in Provo, Utah.
"There's always a rainbow beyond those clouds and that's where I'm heading now," a relieved Unga said.
Dallas selected ex-Illinois defensive tackle Josh Price-Brent in the seventh round, which means both the Bears and Cowboys will forfeit their seventh-round picks in the 2011 draft. Price-Brent had 71 tackles, 17 1/2 tackles for loss and five sacks before being declared academically ineligible.
It was the first time the Bears have acquired a player via the supplemental draft since its inception in 1977.
Unga rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his first three years at BYU before being dismissed in April. In all, the 6-3/4, 244-pounder rushed for 3,455 yards on 696 carries and 36 touchdowns during his collegiate career and caught 102 passes for 1,085 yards and nine more scores.
"Today's news should help him cover the catering cost at his wedding," joked Unga's agent, Eric Metz.
The selection of Unga was somewhat surprising given the Bears have depth at running back. Unga will compete for a roster spot with veterans Matt Forte, Chester Taylor, Kahlil Bell, Garrett Wolfe and rookie free agent Brandon Minor, formerly of Michigan.
"To be honest, I was surprised," Unga said of the Bears interest. "They're stacked up with running backs right now. They don't need another back. I'm just going to come in there and bust my butt and make the best of the situation. I told them this is something they won't regret and I'm a man of my word."
Unga has chosen his words carefully when discussing the reason for his dismissal from BYU's team but admitted Thursday that it was the result of the aforementioned honor code violation.
"It's not rocket science, obviously," he said. "It happened. It's nothing to hide. Half of the United States probably knows. I'm just trying to make the best of the situation and press forward. I'm human. I made a mistake. I'm facing the consequences. At the same time, there have been positives to what has happened."
One positive is that the couple will now be able to remain close to Moeaki's family, which still resides in Wheaton.
"He'll get a lot more sleep in training camp than he would if he were at home, anyway," Metz said.

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11 Comments

Ok Kevin, give him the total beast treatment.

This kid may have some definite up side, who knows where he goes from here?

If nothing else, he may turn out to be a special teams stud since his speed and size could be great for Toub Special Teams.

Ohhhhhh boyyyyy! The BYU Bulldozer. This is HUGE!!!!!!! Pro Bowler...for the next 50 years minimum!!!! Total beast isn't the word to describe him. He's almost as great as Garrett Wolfe. Jerry is the bestest, wondfulest, greatest GM ever. We all owe the smallest smidgen of happiness in our lives to him. X0X0 Love and kisses. Now we just need to get Kyle back and we're ready to roll.

Mendenhall! Best RB ever imo. Angelo should have drafted him like I wanted. Total beast that Rashard is!

To me, this was a surprise pick, Chicago already has a pretty good combo in Matt Forte and Chester Taylor. I look for Forte to rebound and put up some pretty nice numbers this year in Martz's offense, especially as a receiver out of the backfield. This may be an indication about how Chicago feels about their current depth at the position however.

I'm thinking Kahlil Bell and Garrett Wolfe are gonna be the odd men out come late summer. Bell might not be a great fit in Martz's offense for the simple fact he isn't much of a receiver out of the backfield, in 35 games at UCLA, Bell only caught 29 passes. Also, Bell doesn't have much speed, he only ran a 4.6 40 and scouts say he lacks top end speed. Harvey Unga on the other hand is a receiver out of the backfield, he had 102 receptions for 1085 yards at BYU, this may be why Chicago likes him. Myself, I like rookie Brandon Minor out of Michigan, he might be able to give Chicago a pretty good between the tackles type to compliment Forte. Had Michigan not gone to the spread, I bet Minor would have put up some pretty nice rushing totals and would have been drafted. I think he's gonna be one to watch this summer.

I was actually hoping Chicago would have gotten the kid Dallas got, former Illinois defensive tackle Josh Price Brent. I like his potential and Chicago needs a young body to spell Tommie Harris. And Price Brent could move for a 320 pounder. Oh well, maybe Henery Melton will come on this year for Chicago inside, it should be interesting GO BEARS!!

"who was dismissed from his college team this spring for having sexual relations with someone outside of marriage, which is considered an honor-code violation at the Mormon university."

Seriously?? I guess he should have just married the other woman as well. Cheating is bad, multiple wives? Thats proper mormon goodness.

Gale Sayers was the most elusive back of all time. Brian Urlacher can't even find the right gap.

Another wasted draft pick.
Just exactly who are they going to let go of to make room for him?
Not only that, in a year where you may see more wide outs on the roster than running backs...just how many running backs will stay with this team after the last cut?
Like I said...who are they going to let go of.
Scratch that. Most likely we are saying good bye to mr. wolf and Brandon Minor doesn't have a chance.

The Bears have been abysmal in short yardage situations, and this kid seems to have the size and lateral quickness to help with that. None of us are thinking that Bell or Wolfe are the answer after we get a year or two out of Chester Taylor, and Forte's own meteoric arrival as a rookie has all but fizzled out after an injury-filled second campaign. If he doesn't bounce back in a big way this season, the Bears will be looking for a new running back next offseason.

Low risk, high reward potential for taking this kid. If nothing else, why not make him your fullback this year to give him a roster spot, and let him push for a depth chart spot next season at running back? Eddie Williams and Ta'ufo'ou are decent options, but none of them have the ability to carry the ball like Unga.

How many of our 7th round picks are regular contributors over Angelo's tenure? Very few, if any...This kid would have gone sooner in a normal draft, so they got great value. We'll see how he does in camp...

To 'anonymous' above...
If you paid attention in the article, the person he had this "sexual relationship" with IS Keilani Moeaki, the woman he is marrying, who gave birth to their son when he was meeting with the Bears.
BYU honor code states that any student having a sexual relationship outside of a legal marriage can be kicked out of the university. (meaning a sexual relationship BEFORE marriage is also forbidden) The couple simply slipped up, had a baby, and decided to get married. There was never another woman. Incidentally, he would get kicked out if he tried to marry two women as well, since that isn't a legal marriage. :)

The Bears just made a great deal signing Unga, I watched him since he was a freshman at BYU he's got a nice forward lean running style w power and sufficient speed, excellent hands out of the backfield or down further, but most of all the kid's got a "huge heart" and has something to prove after losing out his senior year at BYU...prediction: he will be the Bears fan favorite in short order...maybe even a pro bowler.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on July 15, 2010 1:37 PM.

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