SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) - Star Lotulelei was absolutely shocked when doctors at the NFL combine diagnosed him with a heart condition. Lotulelei was not cleared to participate in the workouts.
"I was very shocked," Lotulelei said. "I was disappointed. I really wanted to go out there and work out with the best of the best for this class. There was nothing that had ever come up before. I played the entire season, three years at Utah, in high school and never heard of anything."
After being retested at the University of Utah, Lotulelei was cleared to resume full speed workouts, which he did Wednesday in front of 30 NFL teams at Utah's pro day.
"They ran a CAT scan, an echogram, treadmill tests and they said everything looked fine," Lotulelei said. "They said it might have been from a virus that I had from a cold or something earlier in the year, and my heart is just now slowly getting better from that. They said that the tests that I had from here already look better and show improvement from what they saw at the combine."
The 6-foot-2, 311-pound Lotulelei unofficially recorded a 30-inch vertical leap, registered 38 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press and clocked a 4.65 time in the shuttle run.
Lotulelei was projected as a possible #1 overall pick in April's NFL draft. This heart diagnosis will probably affect his draft status, but he hopes today's workout and the individual workouts he has scheduled with other teams will alleviate teams' fears.
"I felt good today," he said. "I was a little winded, but conditioning wise, I had to get the clearance for my heart, so I didn't get going on that right after the combine. But as far as the drills here, I feel pretty good. I just have to get myself into better shape."
But even if Star isn't on the top of his game in workouts, there is plenty of game film demonstrating that he is the best defensive tackle in the country, worthy of his All-American status.
"What teams are going off of for me is film," said Lotulelei. "I feel like I have a lot of really good film out there. I'll give everything I have for these drills, but I think a lot of what teams will be basing off is my game film."
Lotulelei said he will most likely attend the NFL Draft on April 23rd, when he is expected to be a top-5 pick. While he still has a lot of work to do before then, Star realizes his life is about to change forever.
"This is probably the most important time for my career," Star said. "I have to keep working hard and hitting the gym. I think I showed that I can move around pretty well for a big guy. So, I think I just have to get into a little better shape and I think I'll be good."