West Virginia long snapper Rex Sunahara was continuing to work out at home this past week when a call came out of the blue.
“I wasn’t expecting it at all,” said Sunahara, who graduated from WVU this past year and was still hoping for a chance to work out for a pro team. “The Dolphins called and told me if I wanted they would put me on a flight and get me down to Miami, so that’s where I am.”
With NFL teams working out at their own practice facilities and trying to maintain a bubble of protection, Sunahara is now waiting out the last of his COVID-19 tests before being allowed to join the workouts.
“I had to pass three tests, and I’m just waiting to hear the results of the last one before I can go in,” he explained. “Other than that, I’m totally in the dark. I don’t know if they have called in others and I haven’t really had time to talk with anyone else. It’s all been a whirlwind. I’m just doing what they tell me and waiting for my chance.”
The NFL chance is a deserved one for the Bay Village, Ohio native, who was selected to play in both the NFLPA Collegiate All-Star Game and the Hula Bowl after an outstanding WVU career in which he never had a bad snap. He also lead WVU special teams with four tackles in 2019.
The Dolphins currently have rookie Blake Ferguson as the only long snapper on their roster. Ferguson was a sixth-round pick in this spring’s NFL Draft. He was recently placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, which means he has either tested positive for the virus or is in league-mandated quarantine after being exposed to it.
This season, NFL teams are limited to 80 players per session in training camp. Teams over that limit will have to split their squads into two groups and hold separate workouts. At last report, the Dolphins were at 82 players on their roster.
The Dolphins hold their preseason camp at their training facility in Davie, Florida, north of Miami.