The biggest fear for any football player, especially a young one trying to make the team, is that knock on his door in the middle of the night. That knock usually denotes the beginning of the end. The victimized player is whisked off into the
night never to be seen again. The players refer to that knock as "The Turk." Well the National Football League will wrap up preseason play with games on Wednesday and Thursday nights. And "The Turk" will be watching from the shadows with a keen eye. But despite the anxiety that comes with making an NFL team, some former Appalachian State University players are hoping to solidify themselves on an NFL roster this fall.
While wide receiver Brian Quick of the St. Louis Rams (the highest drafted player in ASU history, who was taken with the first pick, 33rd overall, by the Rams in the NFL Draft last April), linebacker D.J. Smith of the Green Bay Packers, and defensive end Jason Hunter (who is on injuried reserve with a triceps injury) of the Denver Broncos have secured their spots on NFL rosters, there are those still hoping for that opportunity.
And while time is running short, those players have just one game left to impress their current teams. Wide receiver Armanti Edwards of the Carolina Panthers, running back Travaris Cadet of the New Orleans Saints, and defensive back DeAndre Presley and safety Corey Lynch of the San Diego Chargers will put their best foot forward in their final preseason games Thursday night.
Edwards, who was taken by the Panthers in the third round of the NFL Draft in 2010, has caught three passes for 37 yards in three preseason games. He has also returned two kick offs for a 23-yard average. Edwards gets another shot to impress his bosses Thursday night when the Panthers close out preseason play at Pittsburgh against the Steelers (6 p.m. on Mix 102.3 FM).
Cadet, who led the NFL in receptions, receiving yards, all-purpose yards and first downs last week, has made a strongest statement. And the undrafted rookie hopes to nail down a roster spot Thursday night when the Saints play their final preseason game at Tennessee against the Titans. Cadet has caught 22 passes for 202 yards with two touchdowns in the preseason. He rushed for 75 yards and he's averaging 25 yards on kick-off returns.
Presley and Lynch will get their shot Thursday night when the Chargers close out preseason play at San Francisco against the 49ers. Presley, who signed a free-agent contract with the Chargers, earned another look with a marvelous effort last week against the Minnesota Vikings. He had seven tackles with an interceptions. He has nine stops in three preseason games. Lynch, who was taken by the Cincinnati Bengals in the sixth round of the NFL Draft in 2008, has seven tackles in three preseason outings.
Photo Courtesy: DeAndre Presley, ASU Athletics