The Valdosta Daily Times
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.