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View Full Version : Manuel Wright, DT from USC in upcomming Supplemental Draft...


Coogs
06-26-2005, 10:57 AM
Something about this guy intrigues (sp) me a little. Sounds a little like a Richard Seymore type of player. Sounds like he could be strong against the run, and pretty good rushing the passer too. Could be worth giving up a 3rd in next years draft (maybe even a 2nd) IMO, as this area, DT vs the run up the middle, could be our downfall on the defensive side this year.

Here is a bit on Wright...


Rob Rang
Senior Analyst
NFLDraftScout.com


May 12, 2005 - The USC Trojans knew they were losing their top two interior defensive linemen when Mike Patterson and Shaun Cody were drafted in April.


Now they’ve lost their top choice to replace the duo.


Manuel Wright, the player those close to the program were calling the next great USC defensive lineman, elected to enter the NFL’s Supplemental Draft Wednesday after learning he might be forced to redshirt this season due to low grades.


Wright’s continued academic concerns made the announcement more of a formality than a surprise. Wright previously encountered academic troubles when he signed with USC directly out of high school. He did not qualify academically and instead was forced to enroll at Long Beach City College in 2002. While his grades were steady enough for him to play the past two seasons, Wright’s grades again slipped this spring. He missed this spring’s practices, instead electing to focus on his academics. Wright took his last final Tuesday, but elected to make himself eligible for the Supplemental Draft before learning his results.


The NFL has previously ruled that any supplemental draft would be held no later than seven days before the start of the first NFL training camps. Most training camps begin in mid July. The league notifies each team of any players granted eligibility. Thus far, Wright is the only player to have been granted eligible for the draft. Wright had two more years of eligibility after only playing two seasons at USC (did not play at Long Beach) but Wright is three years removed from high school, the primary NFL requirement for draft eligibility.


Though he only started two games over his collegiate career, Wright appeared in twenty and finished his collegiate career with 31 tackles, including 8 tackles for loss and 3 sacks.


While his numbers are less than impressive, Wright is blessed with a spectacular combination of size (6-6, 290) and athleticism, and routinely provided USC with big play ability off the bench. Listed by NFLDraftScout.com as the top ranked defensive tackle of the 2007 class, he has the size and strength to make an immediate impact as a run defender and shows rare burst for such a big man, as well. Scouts love his upside and feel that he was on the verge of a monster junior campaign.


Wright seems to have picked the perfect year to enter the Supplemental Draft. April’s draft was considered to contain one of the weaker defensive tackle classes in recent memory and with the free agent defensive tackle prospects not exactly inspiring, teams might be more willing to part with a high choice for a player of Wright’s obvious potential.


The last player to be selected in the first round of the Supplemental Draft was Duke quarterback Dave Brown, selected by the New York Giants in 1992. There have been eight Supplemental first round selections. Quarterbacks Dave Wilson, Bernie Kosar, Steve Walsh, Timm Rosenbach, and Brown, running back Bobby Humphrey, wide receiver Rob Moore, and linebacker Brian Bosworth were all selected as first round supplemental selections.


While many teams feel he’ll ultimately land in the second, the combination of Wright’s immense potential and team needs gives him a legitimate shot at the first round.


Unfortunately for fans, there won’t be the fanfare for the Supplemental Draft that there is for the April draft. Supplemental Drafts are conducted by e-mail. The draft order remains the same as the order used for the first round in April. If a team chooses a player, in this case Wright, it gives up its pick in the same round in next April's draft. If a player is not selected in the supplement draft, he becomes a free agent.


http://www.nfldraftscout.com/news/i...t_from=&ucat=2&

KChiefs1
06-26-2005, 11:00 AM
I think he'd be worth a 3rd round pick for the Chiefs...since they'll be drafting at the end of each round that would make it like a 4th rounder right?

Frankie
06-26-2005, 11:00 AM
Quote, "While his numbers are less than impressive,...."

That's good enough for me to say no. Sims' numbers in college were "more than impressive" and look what we've got.

Mr. Laz
06-26-2005, 11:09 AM
a 3rd rd pick would be fine with me too

supplemental draft goes in the same order as the normal draft did (after the initial 10 picks)

doesn't it?

Bowser
06-26-2005, 11:09 AM
If we are going to ship off picks in the supplemental, let's send a third for that kid the Royals took in the second round a couple of years ago. What the hell is his name? Reciever out of Clemson.........

Ultra Peanut
06-26-2005, 11:11 AM
Quote, "While his numbers are less than impressive,...."

That's good enough for me to say no. Sims' numbers in college were "more than impressive" and look what we've got.All the more reason to not put too much stock in college stats, especially for linemen.

Coogs
06-26-2005, 11:13 AM
Quote, "While his numbers are less than impressive,...."

That's good enough for me to say no. Sims' numbers in college were "more than impressive" and look what we've got.

Remember, he was playing behind Patterson and Cody. Those two were All-Americans, and drafted pretty darn high this season.

Here is a profile I found...

PROFILE:

USC junior-to-be defensive tackle MANUEL WRIGHT (#92) started twice as a sophomore versus Arizona and BYU... recorded a total of 23 tackles, six tackles for loss, two sacks, two pass breakups and two fumble recoveries... top games from 2003/2004 include Michigan (2003), BYU (2004), California (2004), Colorado State (2004), Washington State (2004), Oklahoma (2004)... has had a few minor injuries; sprained right elbow, which happened in the second-half of the Arizona State contest... missed games against Notre Dame and UCLA with a sprained left ankle, which happened against Arizona... missed one game during his freshman year due to an infection in his chin... attended Long Beach CC (CA) in 2002 in order to work on his grades, but did not play football... played high school football at Poly High School in Long Beach along with several other top-rated USC prospects... three-technique defensive tackle with first-round ability, but has not always played at that level... needs to make better use of his hands to get off blocks... plays with good balance and lateral quickness for a player of his size... shows good ball recognition... takes off a few downs here and there... said to be a coachable guy with solid motor on the field... talent level falls somewhere between Albert Haynesworth (Tennessee) and Marquise Hill (New England)...

Has been as high as 365 pounds, according to his father, coming into his true freshman year, but lost a fair amount of weight before the start of that season, and played at around 325-335 pounds... has gotten into much better shape during the past three years... has good definition to his arms and upper body... still has a small gut in the middle, but not to the point where he does not look to be in about 90% of the shape he would want to be at this time of year... currently, he is right at or above 6-foot-6 (6060) and 315-320 pounds... will likely look to workout for teams around 300-310 pounds... was timed in the mid-to-late 4.8 range at a lower weight coming out of high school (before adding weight before arriving at USC)... #92 on game film... the NFL Supplemental Draft is set to occur on July 10th, so you can expect Wright's
"Pro Day" workout to happen sometime in mid-to-late June.

htismaqe
06-26-2005, 11:20 AM
Remember, he was playing behind Patterson and Cody. Those two were All-Americans, and drafted pretty darn high this season.

Here is a profile I found...

PROFILE:

USC junior-to-be defensive tackle MANUEL WRIGHT (#92) started twice as a sophomore versus Arizona and BYU... recorded a total of 23 tackles, six tackles for loss, two sacks, two pass breakups and two fumble recoveries... top games from 2003/2004 include Michigan (2003), BYU (2004), California (2004), Colorado State (2004), Washington State (2004), Oklahoma (2004)... has had a few minor injuries; sprained right elbow, which happened in the second-half of the Arizona State contest... missed games against Notre Dame and UCLA with a sprained left ankle, which happened against Arizona... missed one game during his freshman year due to an infection in his chin... attended Long Beach CC (CA) in 2002 in order to work on his grades, but did not play football... played high school football at Poly High School in Long Beach along with several other top-rated USC prospects... three-technique defensive tackle with first-round ability, but has not always played at that level... needs to make better use of his hands to get off blocks... plays with good balance and lateral quickness for a player of his size... shows good ball recognition... takes off a few downs here and there... said to be a coachable guy with solid motor on the field... talent level falls somewhere between Albert Haynesworth (Tennessee) and Marquise Hill (New England)...

Has been as high as 365 pounds, according to his father, coming into his true freshman year, but lost a fair amount of weight before the start of that season, and played at around 325-335 pounds... has gotten into much better shape during the past three years... has good definition to his arms and upper body... still has a small gut in the middle, but not to the point where he does not look to be in about 90% of the shape he would want to be at this time of year... currently, he is right at or above 6-foot-6 (6060) and 315-320 pounds... will likely look to workout for teams around 300-310 pounds... was timed in the mid-to-late 4.8 range at a lower weight coming out of high school (before adding weight before arriving at USC)... #92 on game film... the NFL Supplemental Draft is set to occur on July 10th, so you can expect Wright's
"Pro Day" workout to happen sometime in mid-to-late June.

Sounds like a physical freak of nature...

Coogs
06-26-2005, 11:25 AM
If we are going to ship off picks in the supplemental, let's send a third for that kid the Royals took in the second round a couple of years ago. What the hell is his name? Reciever out of Clemson.........


http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=116810&highlight=Clemson

Mr. Laz
06-26-2005, 11:29 AM
6'6" 290lb isn't that spectacular though ... at least for just size



isn't 6'5" 300lbs about the average DT size in the NFL?



taller isn't necessarily a good thing at DT imo

htismaqe
06-26-2005, 11:40 AM
6'6" 290lb isn't that spectacular though ... at least for just size



isn't 6'5" 300lbs about the average DT size in the NFL?



taller isn't necessarily a good thing at DT imo


Read it though. He's been as high as 368 and has played in the 320-330 range.

Bowser
06-26-2005, 11:46 AM
http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=116810&highlight=Clemson

Roscoe Crosby. Thanks, that was bugging me that I couldn't think of his name.

Deberg_1990
06-26-2005, 11:52 AM
Why do we ned this guy when we already have Ryan Sims??? Wait, I think i just answered my own question.

Mr. Laz
06-26-2005, 11:55 AM
Read it though. He's been as high as 368 and has played in the 320-330 range.
... yea, didn't read that part



if he's athletic at 330 then that IS saying something

Coogs
06-26-2005, 01:31 PM
taller isn't necessarily a good thing at DT imo

Three of the better young DT's in the AFC are all about this size. Seymour is 6-6 310, Stroud is 6-6 312, and Henderson is 6-7 328.

SoCalBronco
06-26-2005, 01:39 PM
he was great at Long Beach Poly.

Coogs
07-06-2005, 03:48 PM
Supplemental Draft Day is approaching.

TRR
07-06-2005, 03:52 PM
How does the supplemental draft work? I don't know a whole lot about it. Is it basically whoever is willing to give up the highest pick, etc?

Coogs
07-06-2005, 03:56 PM
How does the supplemental draft work? I don't know a whole lot about it. Is it basically whoever is willing to give up the highest pick, etc?


I think every team turns in before the draft which round they would select the players, if they would select them at all. Which ever team selects them the highest, gets the player and forfeits that rounds selection in next Aprils draft.

TRR
07-06-2005, 03:57 PM
I think every team turns in before the draft which round they would select the players, if they would select them at all. Which ever team selects them the highest, gets the player and forfeits that rounds selection in next Aprils draft.

Thank you.

KChiefs1
07-06-2005, 09:29 PM
Chiefs interested in any of these guys?

Manuel Wright
Roscoe Crosby
Charles Ealy
Ivory McCann
Jerome Walker

TRR
07-06-2005, 10:25 PM
Chiefs interested in any of these guys?

Manuel Wright
Roscoe Crosby
Charles Ealy
Ivory McCann
Jerome Walker

I believe I read an article that stated KC had interest in Manuel Wright. However, the article said they wouldn't risk giving up a high pick for him, and Wright is suppose to be gone in anywhere from rounds 2 through 4.

Frankie
07-06-2005, 10:48 PM
Chiefs interested in any of these guys?

Manuel Wright
Roscoe Crosby
Charles Ealy
Ivory McCann
Jerome Walker

What positions do Wright and Jerome Walker (I like his name) play? What round is Walker supposed to go?

htismaqe
07-07-2005, 05:05 AM
What positions do Wright and Jerome Walker (I like his name) play? What round is Walker supposed to go?

Well, the thread title says Wright is a defensive tackle. :shake:

:D

ct
07-07-2005, 06:39 AM
When is the supplemental draft, just wondering?

Coogs
07-07-2005, 06:58 AM
When is the supplemental draft, just wondering?

I thought it was supposed to be July 10th. That seems kind of odd though, since the 10th is this Sunday.

Frankie
07-07-2005, 06:08 PM
Well, the thread title says Wright is a defensive tackle. :shake:

:D
So I wasn't using the noggin. BFD!! How about Walker?

Marco Polo
07-07-2005, 06:18 PM
The Supp draft is next Thursday, July 14th.

milkman
07-07-2005, 08:09 PM
So I wasn't using the noggin. BFD!! How about Walker?

Looks like he's a defensive end.
6'5"/257 out of Toledo.

Logical
07-07-2005, 08:13 PM
OK I am not as knowledgeable about the supplemental draft as I would like. I thought all picks were in exchange for first rounders, if that is not true how does it work to determine what round the pick is related to in the next regular draft?

KChiefs1
07-07-2005, 08:23 PM
Vlad I found this:

The 2005 Supplemental Draft will be held on July 14th, where a handful of college players will test their luck in the draft with NFL teams. The Supplemental draft is for college players that have either lost their eligibility after the regular NFL draft deadline or have decided to forego their final year(s) of eligibility to pursue a NFL career. Here are some of the rules and specifics:
- NFL teams can opt not to use their pick if they so desire.
- The order is done much like the NBA draft, with a lottery determining the outcome.
- The draft is now conducted via email, where it was formerly held by conference call. There are seven rounds, just like the regular draft.
- When a team's pick comes up, they can opt to use that pick or not too. By using a pick in the 2005 supplemental draft, that team will forfeit their pick in the corresponding round in the 2006 college draft. An example of this was when the Houston Texans selected RB Tony Hollings with their second round pick in the supplemental and had to forfeit their regular second rounder for him.

KChiefs1
07-07-2005, 08:25 PM
I also found this about the players in the Supplemental Draft:

This class has the most hype of any in recent memory, with three very good players entering. University of Southern California defensive tackle Manuel Wright missed most of the 2004 season after being suspended for waving a pellet gun at a student and his status was questionable for the 2005 season due to academic issues. Instead of sitting out two consecutive years, Wright will take his limited experience to the supplemental draft. Wright is a 6'6', 290lb tackle with ideal size and strength. He was a part-time starter as a sophomore at USC and was expected to be a full-time starter for the upcoming season.

Joining Wright is former Clemson wide receiver Roscoe Crosby. Crosby was considered one of the best athletes ever in High School when he graduated in 2001. He was recruited by virtually every school in the nation and chose the Tigers. However, Crosby was being touted as a great baseball player too and the Kansas City Royals selected him in the second round of the 2001 draft. Crosby would have been selected much higher, but teams were nervous about his commitment to the gridiron. The Royals wisely signed Crosby to a contract worth $1.75million dollars and promised to pay for his college tuition. That was as good as the story would get for Roscoe, as three of his friends died and two more were injured in a tragic car accident while driving to watch him play baseball. Soon after, injuries to his elbow would keep Crosby from playing sports and it led to his leaving Clemson and unexpectedly leaving the Royals. Crosby could have enrolled in school for a year, but his five-year window to play collegiate sports was closing. He instead decided to enter the Supplemental Draft. Crosby is a 6-2, 208lb receiver with 4.4 speed.

Former Kentucky middle linebacker Chad Johnson will also be entering the draft. Johnson led the SEC in tackles in 2003 with 125, but has battled with academics since then and would not have been eligible for the upcoming season. Johnson is a solid prospect who has good size, but plays with more fundamentals and technique than most linebackers.

Update:

First off, we would like to apologize for the incorrect information in the Supplemental Draft Preview regarding former USC defensive tackle Manuel Wright. Mr. Wright was never suspended for any reason at USC and was never known to have any problems there other than academics. Our apologies go out to any readers, team members or player representatives that were misinformed.

In having talked with Mr. Wright's agent, we are hearing great things about his workouts and interviews. One team said to be especially interested is the Philadelphia Eagles. We'll get into that more next week when we sit down with the star of the Supplemental Draft, Manuel Wright.

KChiefs1
07-07-2005, 08:36 PM
Cornerback Charles Ealy, who played last season at Nevada-Las Vegas but is academically ineligible for the 2005 college campaign, has become the latest prospect to enter the NFL supplemental draft, which will be held July 14.

Ealy, 21, is at least the fifth player in the draft, which typically features special-case players, generally those who have lost their eligibility for various reasons.

He originally intended to transfer to a Division II school for his senior season, since such a move would have allowed him to be eligible, but Ealy was unable to gain academic clearance in time to make the move. Once the Division II option was unavailable, Ealy, listed as a starter on UNLV's spring prospectus, decided to go into the supplemental draft and has already forwarded all pertinent paperwork to the league office.

Given his lack of college experience, and a relatively low spring grade from one of the two combine services that provides reports on draft prospects for subscriber franchises, Ealy figures to have a difficult time being drafted. If he is not chosen on July 14, Ealy will be a free agent and able to sign with any team.

In 10 games in 2004, Ealy registered 31 tackles, one pass defensed and one forced fumble. His coverage statistics are not impressive, but UNLV coaches felt Ealy was a solid cornerback with good speed and recovery skills, and that he might be a good bump-and-run prospect. A combine report lists him at 5-feet-10 and 198 pounds, with an estimated 40-yard time of 4.5 seconds. But scouts from two teams said he is a little stockier, and a bit quicker, than those numbers.

Ealy, who acknowledged that he did not concentrate hard enough on academics, said he feels he can run in the mid-4.4s.

A former high school wide receiver, Ealy originally signed with Fresno State but instead played at Compton Community College, then transferred to Nevada-Las Vegas. He has been working out on the West Coast and has scheduled a July 8 audition for league scouts. The date was set to coincide with the workout of Southern California defensive tackle Manuel Wright, clearly the top prospect in the supplemental draft. Ealy is hopeful scouts who travel to Los Angles for Wright's morning session will also attend his later in the day.

The other confirmed prospects for the July 14 draft are Clemson wide receiver Roscoe Crosby, Toledo defensive end Jerome Walker and Texas Tech tailback/return specialist Ivory McCann.

Wright certainly will be chosen, probably by the third round, and Crosby also has a chance to be selected, especially if he has a strong July 1 workout for scouts. Kentucky linebacker Chad Anderson, who is rumored to be contemplating the supplemental draft and would probably be chosen if he enters, is not yet confirmed as being in the lottery.

KChiefs1
07-07-2005, 08:40 PM
Southern Cal defensive tackle Manuel Wright announced Wednesday he is leaving school and will apply to enter the NFL through a supplemental draft.

Wright, a 6-foot-6, 300-pound junior, played two seasons as a backup on a Trojan defensive line that had a first- and second-round defensive tackle. Mike Patterson went to the Eagles in the first round; Shaun Cody went to the Lions in the second round. Despite their presence, Wright saw his playing time increase each season.

"It was a tough decision," Wright said. "I woke up this morning and made the decision. Coach [Pete] Carroll called me and wished me good luck. My line coach said the same thing. I was kind of nervous about everything, but I felt like I made the right decision."

Wright hired Lamont Smith and Peter Schaffer as his agents.

The NFL holds a supplemental draft in early July for players who aren't able to go in the regular April draft but became eligible before the start of the NFL regular season. It's a draft in which a three-step, weighted lottery determines the pick. Teams with six wins or less are placed together for the initial selection order, followed by another group of non-playoff teams and lastly the playoff teams.

Wright was considered one of the better defensive tackle prospects if he stayed in school and is expected to go for a 2006 draft choice between the third and fourth rounds.

He is expected to draw the interest of any team, no matter their base alignment. He can play an end in the 3-4, and in the 4-3, he's a "three technique," the Warren Sapp role of creating havoc along the line of scrimmage.

"I think I could go early second or maybe the first," Wright said. "This is the first time in my life that I can just concentrate on football."

Wright plans to move to Denver to train for his pro workout, which should occur a week to 10 days before the supplemental draft.

A 2001 Super Prep All-American, Wright signed with USC in 2002 but didn't have the grades for admission. He went to Long Beach City College in 2002 and didn't play football. Wright had eight tackles with two for losses in 2003 for Southern Cal. Last year, his playing time increased and he finished with 23 tackles, six for losses.

Wright was carrying a 14-credit class load that he needed to complete to stay eligible for the fall at USC. Once he gets settled in the NFL, he plans to continue to take classes to please his family and get a college degree.

Logical
07-07-2005, 08:42 PM
Vlad I found this:

The 2005 Supplemental Draft will be held on July 14th, where a handful of college players will test their luck in the draft with NFL teams. The Supplemental draft is for college players that have either lost their eligibility after the regular NFL draft deadline or have decided to forego their final year(s) of eligibility to pursue a NFL career. Here are some of the rules and specifics:
- NFL teams can opt not to use their pick if they so desire.
- The order is done much like the NBA draft, with a lottery determining the outcome.
- The draft is now conducted via email, where it was formerly held by conference call. There are seven rounds, just like the regular draft.
- When a team's pick comes up, they can opt to use that pick or not too. By using a pick in the 2005 supplemental draft, that team will forfeit their pick in the corresponding round in the 2006 college draft. An example of this was when the Houston Texans selected RB Tony Hollings with their second round pick in the supplemental and had to forfeit their regular second rounder for him.Thanks

KChiefs1
07-07-2005, 08:48 PM
Scouts, Inc. on Crosby
Roscoe Crosby was raw and inconsistent when he played in 2001 and briefly in 2003. He is rusty and has been out of football essentially for three seasons. He struggled to stay healthy at Clemson and had lingering elbow injuries. He lacks savvy as a route runner. Needs to improve his moves in order to get off the line of scrimmage. He lacks recognition skills and has never done a good job of reading coverages. He does not show a consistent ability to find the soft spots in zone or set up defenders in man-coverage. He lacks natural instincts as a receiver. His focus is inconsistent. He will drop some "catchable" balls when he's looking to make something happen before he secures it. He doesn't show the same effort on every play. He doesn't show great toughness. Won't make enough plays in traffic and can be tentative over the middle. He takes plays off and doesn't work as hard as he should as a backside receiver. He needs to improve his technique and consistency as a blocker, as well.
Crosby does, however, have an intriguing combination of size, speed and natural athletic ability. He shows good feet and initial quickness. He gets to top speed quickly and he shows the acceleration to consistently get over the top of man-to-man coverage. He has good height, long arms and a wide wingspan. He has very good leaping ability. Is a huge matchup weapon on fade routes, vertical routes and in the red zone. Is at his best working on the perimeter. Shows excellent balance and body control. Also shows good sideline awareness and will make the acrobatic catch and keep his feet inbounds. He has a solid frame and is difficult to defend when he gets his body between the ball and defender. He has big, soft hands. Shows the ability to pluck on the run and snatch away from his frame. Has flashed the ability to catch over his head and to adjust to the deep ball over his shoulder. He has good closing burst to track down the deep ball when it's in the air. He is quick to get upfield after the catch and can be extremely explosive in space. Has decent elusiveness but is a big threat after the catch because of his quickness, change-of-direction skills, vision as a runner and explosive second-gear when he hits daylight.

Overall, Crosby is considered unpolished and unreliable. He has loads of baggage and durability issues that will cause him to slip in the upcoming supplemental draft. However, his size/speed ratio and natural athletic ability could persuade a team to use a late-round pick on him as a long-range developmental project.
– Todd McShay


Roscoe Crosby, Shaun Cody, Kevin Jones, Joe Mauer, Reggie Williams, Ahmad Carroll and others converged upon Chicago in 2001 like Greek gods visiting Olympus. They were high school seniors assembled as Reebok All-Americans; big-time players with big plans.

"We had a great time," Crosby reflected. "Everybody was talking about what they were going to do. I think I'm the kind of athlete that could do both. I know I'm confident in my ability."

While most decided to play college football, Mauer had baseball on his mind – signing with the Minnesota Twins to play catcher. Crosby, though, shot for the stars. He wanted football and baseball. And why not? High-school recruiting expert Tom Lemming rated Crosby a top-10 college prospect at wide receiver. Baseball America ranked him as a top-10 prospect in the baseball draft as a center fielder.

Crosby had signed a football letter of intent to Clemson and went on to play as a true freshman in the fall of 2001. He also was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the second round of the MLB draft and received a $1.75 million signing bonus.
Four years later, Crosby wonders what happened. Mauer is a burgeoning baseball star in Minnesota. Jones, Williams and Carroll were first-round NFL draft choices last year. And Crosby? He's a washout baseball prospect hoping to get a shot with an NFL franchise.

"I dreamed of playing two sports," Crosby said. "It led to me being out of both sports."

But Crosby's story isn't one of burnout or abuse. His pro sports dreams were derailed by injury and tragedy. In a little more than two years, Crosby lost three friends in a car accident, had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow and lost his brother in a drowning accident.

Yet, Crosby doesn't see his story as one big tragedy. Nor does he see his playing days as finished. He has applied for entry into the NFL supplemental draft and is working out feverishly for the July 14 event. While he awaits formal approval, Crosby works on his gifted body. Though he's played in just one contest the past three years, Crosby projects first-round type numbers, although he realizes he'll be fortunate to get selected in the sixth or seventh round given his time away from the game.

Crosby's first few months away from high school were very promising. The Royals signed him knowing he was going to play at Clemson that fall. Crosby was so talented he landed one of the best baseball agents at the time, Jeff Moorad. The year was magical. All the Royals asked him to do that summer was report to an instructional league and hone his skills. After two weeks of techniques, he was off to fall practice at Clemson.

His freshman season was supposed to be an appetizer to fans. Crosby, slowed down by a broken nose and sprained knee in the first half of the season, caught 27 passes for 465 yards and four touchdowns. In Clemson's running offense, those are phenomenal numbers, but Crosby averaged almost 80 catches and 1,575 yards a season in his final two years in high school. He felt he hadn't done enough. And unfortunately for him and the program, he wasn't able to do more.

In high school, Crosby hurt his right elbow playing baseball and the injury was severe enough that he knew surgery was inevitable. Elbow injuries sometimes mean little to wide receivers. However, they are everything to a five-tool center fielder drafted in the second round by the Royals.

"Every major league team knew about the elbow," Crosby said. "I had a partial tear in high school, and I knew I was going to have surgery if I was going to play baseball. Still, the Royals made me a second-round pick."

In June of 2002, Crosby finally had elbow surgery. Doctors reconstructed the elbow but couldn't put his career back together. He missed the 2002 baseball and football seasons. But even before being sidelined because of injury, Crosby had been dealing with bad news.

Earlier in the year, five of his childhood friends from South Carolina decided to drive down to Florida and watch him play spring ball. They never made it. According to The Sports Xchange, the driver lost control of the vehicle near Hinesville, Ga., resulting in an accident. The driver and two of the passengers died at the scene.

The following year, his brother, Nathaniel Hill, disappeared while swimming at a lake in South Carolina. Divers found his body three days later.

"He had a lot of external and tragic events," said attorney David Cornwell, who represented Crosby in an arbitration process he had with the Royals over the division of his time among baseball, football and the classroom.

Unable to play in 2002, Crosby had too much time to think, too much time to reflect. Hitting the books became that much more difficult. He fell behind in classes at Clemson. At the age of 20, his two-sport dream had become a nightmare, and he was at a crossroads, trying to figure out what was next.

Deep down, he wanted football the most. But he had signed a contract with the Royals. The contract was simple. It asked him to show up. In 2003, he showed up, but his people were working on making him eligible for the 2003 fall Clemson season. That apparently didn't sit well with the Royals.

"By the end of 2002, I got back physically to where I could play both sports," Crosby said. "At that time, I had been through friends that passed. I needed time to breathe. Losing my friends was a lot. Being away from sports was tough. During rehab, I had a lot of time to think."

Crosby showed up in Royals camp in 2003 and did well in drills. To keep his football dream alive, though, he had to attend summer school to get the credits to play. The relationship with the Royals began to sour.

The Royals didn't want to pay him the $750,000 remainder of his $1.75 million signing bonus. They also wanted to stop paying his college tuition.


"I thought I was doing everything right," Crosby said. "I was doing great in camp, but we were working on the hardship to get back to football. I still didn't want to give up football. They decided they didn't want me to play in games, they just wanted me to hone my skills."

Crosby filed for arbitration.

"I thought that would last three months," Crosby said. "It ended up going until February of 2005."

In the meantime, Crosby had to move back home to take care of his mother and grandmother in Forest City, N.C. Gone was the football field. Gone was the baseball field. His game was in an arbitration court, and this time he lost.

"It's terrible when your jury is your adversary," Cornwell said of the baseball arbitration process in which MLB handles these types of grievances. "It was clear when the Royals signed him that they believed they were trying to recruit him away from football. The death of his friends put him behind academically. But he is a guy who wanted to be a two-sport athlete. I would say in 20 years of being a lawyer on both sides, he is one of the top five guys as far as a person I've been around. He's gone through a lot as a person."

Crosby wasn't going to give up. Since November, he has been working out twice a day, readying himself for the NFL. He's had the support of his agent, Kevin Parker, and his friend and adviser Larry Geiger.

He's hoping to remind NFL scouts of his raw skills; remind folks of the success that he had at Clemson and the fact he was rated ahead of Williams and Larry Fitzgerald coming out of high school. He showed up at Clemson's Pro Day in March and put up 4.4 numbers in the 40. He still had the skills.

On June 10 at a high school in Columbia, S.C., Crosby ran between 4.41 and 4.45 in his 40-yard dashes. He checked in at 6-foot-2, 212 pounds. He has 31˝-inch arms and 9˝-inch hands. He pumped 225 pounds 18 times in the bench press, uncommon strength for a wide receiver. Shaun King, an experienced NFL quarterback, threw him the football, and Crosby ran all the routes. And, unlike some former baseball players who usually find themselves pursuing the NFL at 25 or older, Crosby is only 22.

"I now feel like I am so strong, I can handle stuff better than the average 22-year-old," Crosby said. "I wouldn't change a thing. The toughest thing has been being out of sports."

On July 14, Crosby, the two-sport athlete with a dream, just wants to convince one NFL team to take a chance. If one does, he'll have plenty to talk about with Jones, Williams, Carroll and some other friends.

Reaper16
07-07-2005, 10:16 PM
^^^

Wouldn't it be ironic if he ended up coming back to KC via the supplemental draft?