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Gazette: Spotlight shines on Quick, Cruz and UMass

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Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on the success of Jonathan Quick and Victor Cruz and their meteoric rise to sports fame this year.

On Friday, Victor Cruz wore a maroon tie on his trip to the White House, a silent nod to the prominent color of his college (University of Massachusetts) and high school (Paterson Catholic) alma maters. Three days later, shortly after hoisting the Conn Smythe Trophy, Jonathan Quick thanked UMass coach Toot Cahoon and the Minuteman program during a televised interview.  

It's continued to be a good year for the UMass athletic department. Even after the Minuteman baseball team was eliminated from the Atlantic 10 tournament, ending the 2011-12 athletic season, its prominent former players are keeping the school's name in the news in good ways.

UMass has had alumni shine in the ranks of the four major professional sports before. Mike Flanagan won a Cy Young Award. Jeff Reardon was, at one point, baseball's all-time leader in saves. Marcus Camby was the NBA Defensive Player of the Year.  

But none of them captured the attention of their fan bases like Quick and Cruz. In the nation's two largest media markets, the two former Minutemen not only found the spotlight, but have shined in its glare.

Kevin Goheen also contributed this story on James Ihedigbo's experience as he prepares for the Super Bowl and how his NFL career has unfolded over the last four seasons.

Gazette: Victor Cruz savors his Super Bowl experience

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Kevin Goheen contributes this story to the Daily Hampshire Gazette on how Victor Cruz is savoring the Super Bowl experience. He will face fellow alum James Ihedigbo of the New England Patriots on Sunday.

Collegian: Victor Cruz embracing Super Bowl spotlight

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Stephen Hewitt of the Daily Collegian has a look at Victor Cruz and his storybook season with the New York Giants.

Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe has a feature today on how the success of James Ihedigbo and Victor Cruz has helped recruiting for Charley Molnar and the UMass football program.

Charley Molnar hasn't spent much time in the football offices at the University of Massachusetts since he became head coach in December.  

With the program moving up to the Football Bowl Subdivision next season and joining the Mid-American Conference, Molnar has been on the road recruiting. But he did find time to do a little interior decorating.  

Hang a left when you walk through the doors, and there on the wall are super-sized photographs of Patriots defensive back James Ihedigbo and Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz. 

The display is a reminder to the current players and recruits visiting campus that the Minutemen have two players in the Super Bowl.   

"I want every player who comes through our program to know they can do great things, just like Victor and James did,'' Molnar said. "They were on the same practice fields and in the same weight room and look where they are now.''

AFP: Global talent making impact at Super Bowl

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Jim Slater of the AFP has a story mentioning James Ihedigbo as Super Bowl 46 has a 'global array of talent'.

Super Bowl Coverage Of Victor Cruz & James Ihedigbo

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As the Super Bowl draws closer, James Ihedigbo of the New England Patriots and Victor Cruz of the New York Giants have both been in the media spotlight - both here in Massachusetts and nationally.


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