HAGGERTY MAKING IMPACT WITH NFL BROWNS
Justin Tinder, SWOSU Sports Information Director
CLEVELAND, Ohio – Former Southwestern Oklahoma State University wide receiver Johnathan Haggerty continues to open eyes and turn heads in his bid to make the Cleveland Browns NFL football team. Now Haggerty has caught the attention of the most important Brown of all, Head Coach Eric Mangini.
Cleveland's The Plain Dealer newspaper has already dubbed Haggerty as this year's "It" undrafted rookie. He caught three touchdowns in seven red zone drills and grabbed a few passes from Seneca Wallace in the two minute drill last week.
"He's another guy that has an outstanding work ethic, is bright, very bright, and he gets it. He gets what a great opportunity this is and everyday day he's going to come out and make a case for himself,” Mangini told the newspaper.
Haggerty, who wears number 86, and has been running with the second team offense and has been smoothly catching a lot of passes while dropping very few.
“There may be some days where he takes some steps back like the rest of the group, but we brought in a lot of rookies. We brought in a lot of guys. We have a lot of new people and you've got to pop off the screen,” Mangini said in the Plain Dealer story. “He popped and he popped and he popped and eventually you learn his name and you learn different things about him and watch him a little more closely."
J Gatskie of the Bleacher Report expects Haggerty to make the team’s final 53 man roster once the season begins.
“Now we get down to the numbers game. Where does he fit, on the active roster, or the practice squad,” Gatskie said. “If this kid looks as good in pads as he does in shorts, the Browns are going to have a difficult decision to make. Placing him on the practice squad leaves him vulnerable to every other NFL team who may find a wideout with 4.44 speed and good hands too irresistible to pass up.”
Gatskie believes five Browns receivers have a lock on their spots. He listed Mohamed Massaquoi, Josh Cribbs, Brian Robiskie, Chansi Stuckey, and Carlton Mitchell.
“The question is, do they keep a sixth receiver or take advantage of Evan Moore's ability to slide over from tight end and keep an extra linebacker,” Gatski said.
Haggerty's only competition at wideout appears to be Jake Allen, a second-year player who Gatski said has been conspicuous only by the deafening silence surrounding his name this off-season.
“Every year NFL teams spend millions of dollars scouting college players in preparation for the draft and somehow talented players who turn into legitimate difference makers like Joshua Cribbs, slide right through the clutches of these very prepared executives,” Gatski said.
“I am not saying Haggerty is the next Cribbs by any standard, but that legitimate NFL talent can be found in the undrafted free agent rookies and so far at least, Haggerty appears to be one of those players.”
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Mondy Night Update - Conference Changes Coming
We have confirmed that the Arkansas schools in the GSC (Henderson State, Ouachita Baptist, Arkansas Tech, Harding and Southern Arkansas) are leaving the GSC. They all sent certified letters to every GSC President announcing that they were leaving. The reasons listed for leaving in these letters were Geography, Academics and Travel.
These Arkansas teams are confirmed to be leaving and forming a NEW conference with teams FROM THE LSC. We've heard they will be joining Southeastern Oklahoma, Southwestern Oklahoma, and East Central. We are not sure about Northeastern State and UCO but are checking on that as well...but it appears that they are headed to the MIAA. These changes appear to be occurring in 2011-2012.
Other options we've heard as possbilities for the new conference are Southern Nazarene, Oklahoma Panhandle State and Northwestern Oklahoma.
Nathan Salant, the GSC Commissioner had the following comment:
"We are aware that our six Arkansas schools are discussing other options regarding conference affiliation. Our ADs, SWAs, FARs and CEOs have very good relationships with each other, so we need to let the discussions proceed and see what emerges from them."
Stay tuned for more details...