On a freezing and rainy President’s Day, the Tacoma Cobras held their second official combine of 2012. While it may have been frigid outside, things were burning up inside. You could sense the electricity in the air as these gifted players warmed up and showed off their athletic prowess, all to the soundtrack of classic hip hop beats. The Tacoma Cobras, while relatively new, have assembled an eclectic mix of talent of hometown players from UW and WSU, to their East Coast presence in the form of newcomer, Josh LeDuc from the University of Eastern Michigan. Along with LeDuc, former Cougars Tali Talakai and Reid McEllrath, the Cobras have been afforded an impressive talent pool unseen in years past. The Cobras will turn a lot of heads this season, and these top three players of the second combine are sure to get people talking.
#1 Josh LeDuc
- Size – 6’4 237
- Position – Tight End
- College – University of Eastern Michigan (2007-2010)
- Hometown – Canton, Michigan
Josh LeDuc comes to the Cobras, from California, where he has played football since graduating from UEM in 2010. LeDuc has a breakout year for the Eagles in 2008, with 32 receptions for 446 yards and four touchdowns in 12 games. However, his 2008 season would be his most successful, as he suffered a devastating achilles injury that required surgery, costing him the entire 2009 season. Refusing to give up, Josh made a strong showing his senior year with 17 receptions for 155 yards and one touchdown. His never-say-die mentality and the fire to prove himself, continues to be a constant motivator. His performance at the combine demonstrates his incredible strength, speed, and agility. He can even throw the pigskin a little bit. His hope is that through the Tacoma Cobras, he can achieve his dream of reaching the highest level of football. After watching him at the combine, he definitely proved that if his Achilles injury is a thing of the past. Below is video proof of his impressive workout, and here is an exclusive interview.
#2 Tali Talakai
- Size – 5’9 177
- Position – Defensive Back
- College – Washington State University (2007 – 2008) via Jamestown College
- Hometown – Seattle, Washington
Homegrown players, like Tali, are what make up the foundation of the Tacoma Cobras. Tali had two solid years with Washington State, capped off by a senior year that saw him on the field for every game. He finished his career with 11 tackles in 2008. After graduation he joined the corporate world, but maintained a consistent weight-lifting regimen. The desire to return to the field grew stronger as the years passed and he jumped at the chance to join the Cobras. His main motivation for joining the Cobras is not to reach a higher level, but rather the camaraderie of being part of a team, who all share a deep love of the game. Tali is an explosive DB, with great agility and a great work ethic. He will be a great compliment to fellow newcomer, and WSU grad, Easton Johnson. Here is a bit of Talakai’s workout followed by his exclusive interview.
#3 Reid McEllrath
- Size – 6’5 223
- Position – Wide Receiver
- College – Washington State University (05 – 08)
- Hometown – Battle Ground, Washington
Last, but certainly not least, Reid McEllrath is another homegrown talent who played college ball in the Palouse. Reid played all four years at Washington State, but didn’t get much of an opportunity to show his talents. The Tacoma Cobras, however, have a much different take on Reid’s skill set. McEllrath was actively pursued by Cobras Head Scout Keith Jones. After speaking with Coach Keith, Reid was more than ready to join the squad, and the Cobras are just as eager to have him. McEllrath’s 6’5 223 pound frame are impressive, combined with his speed and skill set, he will provide a great dynamic in an increasingly dangerous Cobras offense.
The young players turn the Cobras into an undeniable threat in the football world. Their hometown appeal, combined with a now nationwide and east coast presence, makes them primed for a bright and rewarding future. If the offseason is any indication, this season will be one that football fans, young and old, won’t want to miss.