By Jayson Jenks
Seattle Times staff reporter
RENTON — Cameron Foster’s phone started buzzing after last year’s NFL draft, but none of the calls were for Benson Mayowa, one of Foster’s clients.
Mayowa, a quick but undersized defensive end from Idaho, didn’t expect to get drafted, but he was hoping a team would take a chance on him as an undrafted free agent.
By the time Mayowa went to bed that night, not a single team had called.
The next day Kirk Parrish, Seattle’s college scouting coordinator, called Foster. The Seahawks didn’t want to sign Mayowa, Parrish said, but they offered him a spot at their rookie mini camp.
Mayowa didn’t get any team reps the first day. By the third day, coach Pete Carroll singled him out, even if he didn’t know Mayowa’s name. By the end of the preseason, Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin described Mayowa as “unblockable.”
With injuries at his position in preseason, Mayowa finished the preseason fourth in the NFL with 3½ sacks. Not only did it show Seattle’s coaches that he could play, but it showed the rest of the league. If the Seahawks tried to sneak Mayowa on the practice squad, they knew another team would scoop him up. So they kept him on their active roster, allowing him to travel and learn while also hoping he would add more weight to his lean frame.
Mayowa said he played at about 242 pounds last season. Now he’s up to 255 now. “I knew I had the talent,” Mayowa said. “I just had to work hard”.