White Defensive Backs

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Leonardfan

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John Wendling had 2 rushes for 60 yds...not sure how he did on the defensive side of the ball though. His rush yards came off fake punts I believe.
 

Jimmy Chitwood

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my favorite player Eric Weddle had a quiet game on opening day, but he bounced back big time in week two! here's a couple o' articles that agree with me, followed by the important excerpts for those too busy to follow the links. notice how confident he is!
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also, Utah starting corner shaun harper, who broke his arm on an interception in their last game, means Eric is going back to corner full-time, again.Operation shutdown Utah blasts NAU

NAU wideout Alex Watson went off for 206 yards and two touchdowns (last week) against the (#23-ranked Arizona State) Sun Devils, and the Utes knew a key to winning was to not let the speedy receiver go crazy on them Saturday night at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

"I was excited for this match-up because, hearing what he said on the radio, and this and that about our group, it really got me fired up," U defensive back Eric Weddle said.

After Watson caught three passes for 19 yards on Northern Arizona's first possession, the Utes called on their All-American candidate to apply asphyxiating bump and pressure man-coverage to the Lumberjacks' most potent offensive weapon. For the remainder of the game, Watson barely drew a look from NAU quarterback Jason Murrieta, and Weddle prevented Watson from touching another pass.

"Those three catches were in cover 2, which is meaningless. And when I was manned up with him, he did nothing, so I'm proud of that," Weddle said. "I'm proud for the guys that came together and really took this opportunity to shut this guy down, because he was their main offense last week and I'm glad that we shut him down. He doesn't have much to say about us now."

Many times, it is easy to get a feel for what kind of game a player is having by how many times his name gets called. For Eric Weddle, it was how many times his, or Watson's, name did not get called. Weddle's coverage was so effective that, oftentimes, Murrietta quickly checked off Watson and went through his player progression on plays that were designed for Watson. Weddle even contributed to a coverage sack in the third quarter when Murrietta rolled out to the right on a second-and-10 play. Murrietta's eyes were locked in on Watson as he tried to fake an inside slant before reversing to the sideline. Weddle stayed with Watson stride-for-stride, and Murrieta opted not to chance an interception, instead getting sacked by Kelly Talavou for a loss of 12 yards.

...

"Weddle did his usual remarkable job and did what we needed him to do shutting down Alex Watson," said Whittingham."
 

Jimmy Chitwood

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The most prolific rusher in the nation might be a safety - Wyoming's John Wendling. The Pokes ran two fake punts against Virginia, with Wendling gaining 29 and 31 yards. His average of 30 yards per carry easily leads the MWC.
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here's an article talking about John's leadership and all-around talent.

Wendling calls own number
By Robert Gagliardi
spt1@wyomingnews.com

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - University of Wyoming senior John Wendling does a little bit of everything for his team.

First and foremost, he is the starting strong safety.

But he also returns kickoffs and plays on special teams.

Could running back be in his future?

Wendling ran two times for 60 yards in Saturday's 13-12 overtime loss to Virginia at Scott Stadium. Those runs came on apparent punts, but instead of snapping the ball to junior punter Billy Vinnedge the ball went directly to Wendling.

And it was his call.

"John Wendling took those into his own hands and called it," UW coach Joe Glenn said.

Both runs came in the first quarter. The first was a 29-yard scamper down to the Virginia 15-yard line that set up a 23-yard field goal by true freshman place kicker Aric Goodman. The second was a 31-yard run and it was done on UW's 15-yard line on fourth-down and 13.

"My throat was a little dry on that one," Glenn said with a laugh.

Wendling said Virginia lined up in the same punt-rush formation on both plays, which set up the fake for him to get the snap and run to the outside.

"It probably wasn't the smartest thing in the world to do the second time, but it worked out," Wendling said.
 

whiteCB

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Good to see Weddle with a little cockiness and confidence. It'll only help him on the next level.
 

Colonel_Reb

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LSU Safety Craig Steltz 16 yard INT return yesterday.
full.getty-71815979cg001_louisiana_sta_5_54_17_pm.jpg
 

lumsdenpower

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Eric Weddle at the halftime got 2interception and 2 carry for 5yards included a 3yards run touchdown!
GO WEDDLE GO
 

Colonel_Reb

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If Eric doesn't end up on a roster and starting or almost starting next season, it will be a crime! Keep it up Weddle!
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backrow

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yeah, this guy is really something else! 3 interceptions, 2 returned for a TD plus a rushing touchdown! good stuff!
 

backrow

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Jimmy Chitwood said:
i wanted to start a thread for white defensive backs we need to keep an
eye on in this upcoming '06 season. as most of you know, i think Utah's
Eric Weddle is the best DB in the country, period. at either corner or
safety... and Tommy Z is finally getting some much-deserved hype, as
well.

but here's to the rest of the guys out there who play great football but get
virtually no air-time on ESPN...

my first guy to talk about is FS/SS John Wendling from Wyoming.
after leading the Cowboys in tackles as a sophomore, Wendling has just
gotten better and better. here's the skinny:

from the Cowboys website: he will enter his senior season as a
leading All-America candidate in 2006. A three-year starter at safety for
the Cowboys, he has added 13 pounds to his frame from a year ago,
while maintaining his speed and explosiveness -- he ran a 4.38 40-yard
time during winter conditioning and posted a vertical jump of 40.9
inches. During 2006 spring practice, Wendling trained at the strong-
safety position, in addition to his familiar free-safety spot. He could be
utilized at either position his senior year. Prior to the 2005 season, he
was ranked by Phil Steele's College Football Preview as the No. 16 best
free safety in the nation.

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as posted on Fox Sports '06 college football preview:
Best Defensive Player: Senior SS John Wendling. The big, fast tackling machine suffers from playing in the same conference as Utah's Eric Weddle. At 6-1 and 222 pounds with sub-4.4 speed, he's a sleeper pro prospect who'll get more and more attention as the year goes on from the scouts.

an article i found on gowyogo.com:

Player Profile- John Wendling 6-1/222 senior Free Safety- Rock Springs, WY

John enters his season year poised to become THE premier safety in the MWC and quite possibly in the nation. Although Eric Weddle of Utah is getting all of the pre season publicity (and UW fans know all about pre season hype-see 2005), I feel John is the best safety in the conference. This winter, in the weightroom, John posted unheard of numbers for UW. He ran a 4.39 40 yd dash, set a team record of a 40.9 inch vertical jump. In addition he set 3 team records for a safety with a squat of 545 pounds, a power clean of 360 pounds and a push press of 330 pounds. His bench press was 350 pounds. UW Strength Coach Scott Bennett says John is in a class all his own.

John was a redshirt in 2002 and then played all 12 games in 2003. He played both safety and on special teams. Besides the 17 tackles, he blocked 2 extra point attempts. He was also named to the MWC All Academic team. Then in 2004 John really stepped up by leading the Pokes with 89 tackles but also had 3 INT's and 3 fumble recoveries. UW fans remember his INT of an Ole Miss pass to stop the Rebels' first drive of the game. John again made the MWC All Academic team. Then in 2005, John was the second leading tackler with 75 total tackles along with 3 interceptions and 2 forced fumbles. John had a 13 tackle game at Air Force (and had 11 the year before against AF), a 13 tackle game against UNM and a 10 tackle game at Utah.

John is the recognized leader on the defense and at the safety position, He can direct the defensive schemes. UW fans cannot wait to the John in action and have a stellar senior season for the Pokes. After his college career is over, I fully expect him to be playing professional football and quite possibly, for years to come.
 

Jimmy Chitwood

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John is amazing, backrow. and i agree that he is the best safety in the Mountain West, because Eric Weddle is a cornerback.
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check out some of his press clippings after an INCREDIBLE performance this weekend...
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Utah senior Eric Weddle predictably added another award Monday when he was named the Mountain West Conference's defensive player of the week.

Weddle scored three touchdowns in a 38-7 win over San Diego State on Saturday. He returned two interceptions for touchdowns, and scored another on offense, in a conference opener.

In total, Weddle had three of the Utes' five interceptions against the Aztecs. He is the first Ute to make three interceptions in a game since 1987.

Yesterday, Weddle was named the Walter Camp Football Foundation National Defensive Player of the Week.
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Utes ride Weddle to win
Senior gets 3 picks and scores 3 TDs in blowout of Aztecs
By Dirk Facer
Deseret Morning News

SAN DIEGOâ€â€￾Eric Weddle turned frustration and anger into a positive Saturday at Qualcomm Stadium.

The senior defensive back lived up to his preseason billing as an All-American candidate by scoring three touchdowns and picking off three passes to lead the Utes to a 38-7 victory over San Diego State.

Motivated by giving up an early touchdown, the Utah cornerback put on quite a show in the Mountain West Conference opener for both teams.

"I knew I had to make it up to the team and for myself for giving that up," Weddle said. "Hopefully I did that."

And how.

Weddle, who scored one of his touchdowns on offense, recorded the first multiple-interception game of his career. He tied Erroll Tucker's 21-year-old school record by returning two of the picks for scores.

"You dream about those situations," Weddle said. "To run back one and later in the game run back another one is something I'll remember for the rest of my life."

Weddle could have finished with four interceptions but opted to bat one down as time expired in the first halfâ€â€￾respecting a team policy to do so.

"Don't score on Eric Weddle. It's a big mistake," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. "Eric's been a little frustrated the first three weeks of the season. He's been kind of quiet. It's nothing he was doing wrong. It's just people weren't going at him.

"Tonight they went at him a few times and come out on the short end," he added.

Weddle's early heroics helped Utah build a 21-7 halftime lead.

The Utes opened the game with a sustained drive that netted 77 yards on 11 plays.

"That's what we want from our offense," said quarterback Brett Ratliff, who completed 12-of-26 passes for 157 yards and a touchdown. "That's what we've got to do every gameâ€â€￾come out ready to play and make plays like Weddle."
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Utah's Eric Weddle needed all of two plays to propel the Utes to a 38-7 victory over San Diego State in their Mountain West Conference opener at Qualcomm Stadium on Saturday night.

One play after taking a shotgun snap and diving for a tie-breaking 2-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, Weddle zig-zagged an interception return 30 yards for another score that allowed the Utes to easily avenge an embarrassing home loss to the Aztecs last season and win their league opener for the third time in four years.

The Utes intercepted the Aztecs five times - Weddle later returned another pick for a touchdown to account for the final margin - and held the Aztecs to 83 passing yards, shutting them out after a long opening drive.
---------------------------------------------------
Kragthorpe: Weddle displays his mettle
By Kurt Kragthorpe
Tribune Columnist

It sure seemed like a good idea at the time.
When quarterback Darren Mougey finished San Diego State's opening drive with a touchdown pass Saturday night, the Aztecs seemingly were on their way to playing Utah competitively at Qualcomm Stadium.
One problem: Eric Weddle was the Utah defender victimized by that throw into the end zone, and he spent the remaining three quarters making sure the Aztecs paid dearly for those seven points.
It ended up 38-7 for the Utes, much of which was Weddle's doing on both sides of the ball.
"Once he gets mad . . . you saw the result," said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham.
Properly motivated by a play that had as much to do with Mougey's perfect throw as Weddle's inadequate coverage, the Ute star went absolutely wild. He intercepted three passes, returning two of them for touchdowns. He ran for another score after lining up as a quarterback. He batted down a desperation pass when he could have grabbed an easy interception, except he said that would be "selfish," according to the Ute defensive code.
His TD run and his first interception return came on consecutive plays from scrimmage, early in the second quarter. They came 32 seconds apart, appropriately for Utah's No. 32, and comprised an achievement that may never have happened in college football - almost certainly not in the 50 years of modern, two-platoon play.
And the sequence took the heart right of an SDSU team whose victory over the Utes last season seemed more and more incomprehensible as this game went along.
To say that Weddle sent any of the 53,794 fans home unhappy, or even early, would be inaccurate. They stayed to watch his whole performance, thanks to the promise of the annual SkyShow fireworks that followed the game. Weddle did not short-circuit that loud, stunning display, but he and the rest of the Ute defense certainly shut down everything else the Aztecs had to offer after their initial score.
"Unacceptable," Weddle said. "I knew I had to make it up to the team."
The Aztecs wish he had merely settled for getting even.
It hardly seems fair, the way Utah uses its best offensive player on defense.
Then again, Weddle really defies any categorizing. If he did play offense full-time, his coach believes he could run for 1,400 yards or catch 70 passes in a season. "That's how gifted he is," Whittingham said.
Ute running back Darryl Poston calls him "Eric 'Amazing' Weddle," although opponents might have another description. "You can never doubt him," Poston said.
Weddle's first TD return was a thing of beauty, a 30-yard weave through traffic. The second, in the middle of the fourth quarter, covered the same distance. By comparison, that one was a stroll on the beach.
Weddle enjoyed each of them.
"Oh, man, you dream about those situations," he said. "That's something I'll remember the rest of my life."
Mougey and the Aztecs will never forget Weddle, and they're not the only ones. Upcoming opponents such as Boise State and Texas Christian are sure to learn from SDSU's experience. Whittingham described Weddle as "a little frustrated" lately, because other teams were not testing him.
The Aztecs did, with brief success, followed by a lot of serious failure. If he had only known what would happen the rest of the night, SDSU receiver Brett Swain surely would have dropped that pass in the end zone. Instead, he caught it. Big mistake.
-----------------------------------------------------
"Eric Weddle was obviously the storyline - three interceptions and it could have been four," said Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham. "He very unselfishly knocked that ball down like he's supposed to in the Hail Mary situation. He was just outstanding. Eric's been kind of quiet the first three weeks of the season due to no fault of his own. They (opponents) just haven't been going his way. So they (SDSU) decided to go his way a little bit in this game and had one little bit of success early. After that, it was Eric Weddle taking over."
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sp_aztecs.jpg

Eric returning one of his 3 interceptions.
 

Jimmy Chitwood

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i posted this on the Eric Weddle thread, too, but it's so cool i wanted to put it up here twice.
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here are some his exploits for all to see, courtesy of YouTube.

it's a Utah highlight montage from when Eric had 3 interceptions and scored 3 TDs. Eric is #32, and his highlights start at about the 1:54 mark, and then the last play is him as well.
 

Leonardfan

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Adam Shada had a 97 yd int return today.
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Anyone know if Jordan Peterson played today? How he did?
 

Colonel_Reb

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Jordan Peterson did play today and had 2 tackles. Way to go to Adam!
 

SteveB

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Good job Adam!! Jordan Peterson played well today, but not a lot of action as Kansas played the power running game. He had a three passes defensed and gave up one reception for 11 yds.Edited by: SteveB
 

Jimmy Chitwood

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i posted this on Adam Shada's personal thread, but it's worth re-posting, so here goes...

Adam had a 98-yard interception return for a TD last week against Purdue.
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here's the video courtesy of YouTube.

also, he's getting some nice pub, and he sounds like a very confident player...
Shada caps win in big way</font>
By Andy Hamilton, Pat Harty and Ryan Suchomel
Iowa City Press-Citizen

Adam Shada isn't worried about his place in history.

The sophomore cornerback found a place in the recordbook anyway on Saturday.

Shada picked off a Curtis Painter pass and returned it 98 yards for Iowa's final touchdown of the day. It broke the Hawkeye record of 94 that was held by Brad Quast (1988 versus Kansas State) and Bobby Stearns (1954 versus Minnesota).

"It's pretty cool; it feels good," Shada said. "I'm not into personal accomplishments. It'll be nice if it's still standing in a few years when I come back to a game."

It was the exclamation point on a big afternoon by the Hawkeyes and drove the stake into the heart of the Boilermakers.

On second-and-4 from the Iowa 24, Painter dropped back and tried to fire a bullet into the end zone.

Shada grabbed it near the left hashmark, then began to weave his way toward the right sideline.

Close to midfield, Shada saw a lot of green open up in front of him, sprinted left, picked up a few blockers, and ran down the left sideline to the south end zone in Kinnick Stadium.

"I think I got to about the 45, I was going right, and everybody was telling me on the sidelines that the left was open," Shada said.

"After that cuback, I got a couple of big blocks. There was only one guy left, and (Mike) Klinkenborg was hustling to get him and made a great block."

The interception was Shada's third of the season and sixth of his career. It was another bullet in the chamber to fire at his detractors who were down on him after a pile of pass interference penalties in the first two games.

"I don't listen to anything anyone says. We don't change our style of play because we get a couple of flags," Shada said. "I've thought we've played well this year."

That style of play is an Iowa trademark. The Hawkeye defensive scheme tries to take away the deep completion. Purdue came into the game was the fifth-best passing offense in the nation, averaging 317.6 yards per game. Iowa gave up just 254 yards Saturday and also picked off the Boilermakers three times.

"I think we have an opportunistic defense," Shada said. "It's not a bend-but-don't-break thing, but it's kinda you give a little bit of cushion, but if someone catches the ball, you're hitting them. And if they put the ball up, you're getting it."

Charles Godfrey and Marcus Wilson each added an interceptions for the Hawkeyes, but Shada had the one to remember.

"I went to the sidelines to try to catch my breath and went back out there," Shada sad. "I was out there for four plays, but I was too tired. I took myself out, let Fletch (Bradley Fletcher) get some plays."
 

Jimmy Chitwood

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i posted this on the Boise State thread, but i'll re-post it here in case any of you missed it.

BSU has a freshman cornerback that we should keep our eye on.
cadehulbert.jpg

Cade Hulbert was the fastest high school player in the state of Idaho before committing to BYU and then transferring to Boise State before school started. he's a Mormon, so maybe his mission had some impact? He has run a 21.94 200 and a 48.16 400, so some of you track guys can tell me how fast he really is.

anyway, he was fast enough to win the State Championship in the 400 three times and the 200 twice, while also being his class valedictorian.
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apparently he was also recruited by Colorado State, Notre Dame, and Miami (Florida) and was the most impressive freshman DB in camp before leaving BYU. hmmm...
 

Jimmy Chitwood

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i saw this link posted on DraftDaddy and thought i'd post it...

ericweddle.jpg
johnwendling.jpg


What if Weddle hadn't turned his back on Wyoming?</font>
By PETER HOCKADAY
Star-Tribune staff writer Thursday, October 12, 2006

LARAMIE -- Imagine it, for a moment, because that's all you can do.

Picture John Wendling making the hits on a defense where Eric Weddle makes the picks. Imagine the media dubbing it the "Weddle and Wendling Show," or maybe even the "Weddle-ing Show." Envision opposing coaches breaking out in hives as they try to gameplan for Wyoming's terrifying twosome of defensive backs.

It almost happened.

Weddle, Utah's star playmaker, put Wyoming as a close second on his list out of high school after UW head coach Joe Glenn recruited him first to Montana and then to Wyoming. Wendling, a Rock Springs native, was a Cowboy from the start and is currently the leader of UW's defense.

When the two square off Saturday, fans can only imagine what it would have been like if both players, not just one, were wearing brown-and-gold.

"It would've been great to play with each other in the same backfield, it would've been a great tandem," Weddle said. "But he's there and I'm here, and he's doing his thing and I'm doing mine."

Weddle's "thing" could be defined as interceptions and all-around playmaking. The senior from Alta Loma, Calif., has six interceptions this season and is second in the nation in that category. Weddle has played several different positions on both defense and offense and scored three touchdowns, as many as any other player on the team on either side of the ball.

But, thanks to Wendling and the rest of the defensive backs, UW hasn't exactly needed another playmaker in the secondary this season. The Cowboys have the top-rated pass defense in the nation, and are giving up barely more than 100 yards per game through the air.

As expected, Wendling has been right near the top of the stat sheet all year for UW. He is second on the team with 37 tackles, and had a defensive touchdown on a 54-yard fumble recovery against Air Force.

Much like Weddle, Wendling has been a threat in multiple ways for UW. As the Cowboys' personal protector on punts, he has the ability to read punt coverage and call fakes, and he has done it effectively this year. He has called three fakes and ran all three for first downs, averaging 32 yards per carry on the fakes. He has also returned kicks for an average of 20.1 yards per return.

"There's three facets to the game, and if we can help anywhere, the more we can help the better off we'll be," UW defensive coordinator Mike Breske said. "John's one of our best athletes, and he's got to be involved on special teams."

Wendling and Weddle met in San Diego this summer at Mountain West Conference media days, going out to several meals together and playing pool. Breske said Wendling called his Utah counterpart "a guy you want to hate but can't."

"He's definitely got my vote for All-American this year," Wendling said of Weddle. "He's one heck of a player. I don't know if I can be compared much to him, because he's on a whole other level."

But there's still a distinct possibility that both players could be on the same level next year n the NFL level. In a recent article, ESPN.com ranked Weddle at No. 11 and Wendling at No. 16 among defensive backs in next spring's NFL Draft. At Wednesday's practice, two NFL scouts scribbled notes after most of Wendling's moves.

Before that process starts, there's Saturday's game. And even if the two players were almost in the same uniform, they'll shape Saturday's game for two different teams.

"Twenty-three and 32," Breske said, invoking Wendling's and Weddle's numbers, respectively. Then he grinned. "The good guy and the evil guy."

and check out what DraftDaddy said about the "what if"...

DDcomment</font>: If Weddle and Wendling did play together, the Cowboys would have an elite secondary and we would have probably already invested in a satellite dish to catch all their games (only partly joking)....

Edited by: Jimmy Chitwood
 

backrow

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i love draftdaddy! those guys know their football and they give athletes credit where credit is due!
 

nhl411

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anyone else see in i think it was sports illustrated where they had the midway all-american team with weddle described as the nations "premier cover corner"?
 

backrow

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lol, no but i would love to get my hands on that issue... i wonder if we'll even see them play in NFL...
 

whiteCB

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That would be a sick ass duo in the secondary. Draftdaddy really knows their stuff and is the most UNBIASED NFL draft site out there.
 
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