Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

May 16, 2014

Two more Blazers get NFL shot

VALDOSTA — After a trio of former Valdosta State players signed free agent deals over the weekend, two additional Blazers have now received their chance at chasing National Football League dreams.

This week, Jeremy Grable and Dominique Wheeler were invited to tryouts with the New England Patriots and Jacksonville Jaguars, respectively.

Grable, a 6-foot, 216-pound linebacker, was second on the team last year with 88 tackles, seven for a loss. He also had two interceptions and three fumble recoveries. Grable racked up 102 tackles as a junior with 9.5 tackles for loss and four sacks, after registering 67 tackles, five for a loss and 2.5 sacks during his first two years with the Blazers.

Wheeler, a 5-8, 177-pound cornerback, had four interceptions and a fumble recovery, with three touchdowns, along with 16 tackles. He returned the fumble 86 yards for a score early in the first quarter against Angelo State, sparking the Blazers to a 37-3 rout. He returned one interception 70 yards for a touchdown against Delta State and another 12 yards to the end zone against UNC-Pembroke. Wheeler had two interceptions as a junior, breaking up seven passes and making 36 tackles. One of those interceptions and a pass breakup came in the Blazers’ national championship victory against Winston-Salem State. During his first two years at VSU, he made 30 tackles with seven pass breakups and two fumble recoveries.

The duo joins Gerald Ford, Seantavius Jones and Lawrence Virgil in getting opportunities in the NFL after Ford signed as an undrafted free agent with Cleveland and Jones and Virgil both signing free agen deals with New Orleans.

Valdosta State currently has three products in the NFL with linebacker Larry Dean signing as an undrafted free agent with Minnesota in 2011 and offensive lineman Ryan Schraeder doing likewise with Atlanta a year ago. Edmund Kugbila, also an offensive lineman, was drafted by Carolina in the fourth round of last year’s draft before missing the year with injuries.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • Blazers to play three games on GSC-TV

    Valdosta State will play three televised games this fall, the Gulf South Conference announced Wednesday as it released its GSC-TV schedule.

    July 31, 2014

  • 2014 World Championships 216 (640x427).jpg Best of the Best

    The students of Performance Martial Arts Academy continue to rack up accolades and after a weekend in Little Rock, Ark., those accolades include the title of world champion.
    Mark Webb and Madison Swain both earned world championships at the American Taekwondo Association's Taekwondo World Championships a few weeks ago. Four other Performance Martial Arts students also competed in the event.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Berrien practice 1a.jpg Moving forward

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Falcons_Ryan.jpg Ryan takes teaching role for Falcons offense

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bridgestone_Tiger.jpg Woods faces 2 big weeks that shape rest of season

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0728-Lowndes practice4.jpg Vikings working out with padded practice, scrimmage on the horizon

    The look was familiar Monday at Martin Stadium.
    The Lowndes High football team’s conditioning practice was essentially a duplicate of the workouts the Vikings have completed throughout the summer.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thomasville_Ryals.jpg South Georgia special for high school coaches

    Phillip Johnson remembers when he had a “Wizard of Oz” moment.
    The North Carolina native moved to Georgia when he was 26 and Johnson, now Lanier County’s second-year head coach, recalls a 7-on-7 tournament leading to the realization that he wasn’t in Kansas — or in his case, North Carolina — anymore.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nolin settling in as new VSU soccer coach

    Meet Rebecca Nolin, VSU's new soccer coach.

    July 28, 2014

  • Induction Crowd: Honorees were genuine, down to earth

    More than 48,000 people gathered under the scorching sun at The Clark Sports Center for the 75th National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Sunday, including one woman who carpooled to the event with more than 40 other people.

    July 28, 2014

  • Braves trio all business at inductions

    The Braves seemed almost businesslike in their approach -- something you might expect from a trio that won so consistently.
    Managers Joe Torre and Tony La Russa also remained calm and collected throughout their addresses.
    Frank Thomas took care of the emotional side, his voice breaking and his eyes moist during a heartfelt speech Sunday at the Clark Sports Center.

    July 28, 2014

Blazers Blog