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Mwehla making plays in minicamp

SEATTLE – Throughout each one of the Dragons’ minicamp practices, one name – well, a nickname – has started to become more and more noticeable.

If Seattle receivers are running routes and catching passes, expect to hear “Roooob!” being shouted, because when Reuben Mwehla gets an opportunity to do something special, he makes a play.

“Every day I’ve got to come out here and compete,” Mwehla said. “I know everyone is out here trying to get a spot. They’ve got to make roster cuts, so I’m doing all I can. Whenever I get the ball, I’m going to finish down the field. I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do to put myself in the best position possible.”

Mwehla is a local product who went to Bellevue High School, where he was coached by Dragons running backs coach Butch Goncharoff. He went to college at University of Idaho where he was teammates with Dragons offensive lineman Jordan Rose.

“I love Seattle,” Mwehla said. “I’m a city boy. I went to Bellevue High School, so everything is familiar to me, and I played (Euless) Trinity (Texas) here my senior year in high school. This just brings back good memories every time I’m on this field.”

When Mwehla was at Bellevue, the Wolverines ran the Wing-T offense, so he didn’t get many opportunities to catch passes. But he worked on his technique and earned his chance to play college football at Idaho.

“It was rough,” Mwehla joked about being a receiver in a run-first offense in high school. “Wing-T. We ran the ball a lot. But, shoot, I still developed. Then when I went to college and I developed even more in terms of route running.”

The mentality that pushed him to keep creating ways to stay on the football field continues to drive him as he works toward earning his spot in the XFL.  

“Every time I catch the ball I’m going to finish,” Mwehla said. “That’s what all the greats do, they finish. That’s where I took it from. I think I’m doing a great job. I hope the coaches would say that, but I think I’m doing a great job.”

At 5-foot-10, Mwehla uses his speed and technique to get open. He’s doing a good job so far, because “Roooob” has become a staple cheer for teammates during 1-on-1s.

“I have a lot of respect for Reuben, because he’s from Washington,” said Kasen Williams, another local product. “It’s just really cool to see him, first off, get this opportunity, but then to also be making plays out here and standing out amongst a group of guys who are pretty special.”

Mwehla said he has actually been anointed with two nicknames so far. There’s the obvious “Reub” or “Roooob” when it’s been yelled at practice. And then there’s BP.  

“I’m known for my speed, so people started calling me BP for Black Panther,” he said with a laugh.

He made it this far, he doesn’t see any reason to slow down now.

“Now I’m in the presence of all these pros and they’re giving me tips,” he said. “I’m getting better every day.”

When it comes to careers in professional sports, nothing is guaranteed. But, since he has this opportunity, he plans to do whatever he can to make it last as long as possible.  

“That’s life, though,” he said. “There are a lot of people who can do it, but if you’re blessed enough to have the opportunity. And I’m blessed enough. I’m blessed enough to have this opportunity, so I’m going to make the most out of it.”

The 1,000 fans who showed up to Memorial Stadium for the team’s open practice Saturday morning were treated more than once to players shouting “Rooooob.”

The receiver said he was excited to compete in front of a crowd but, while the atmosphere, “gave me a little boost,” he said his goal to was to compete the same way he does each time the Dragons take the field.

“I do this every day at practice,” he said.

“Rooooob” just wants to work.