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Montreal Gazette: Als' Brandon London sets out to prove himself

Herb Zurkowsky of the Montreal Gazette has a feature on Brandon London as he works this year to bounce back from a disappointing 2013 campaign with the Montreal Alouettes. London finished the year with just 22 receptions for 299 yards in 15 games. That came after a 2012 season where he had 43 catches for 843 yards in 12 games. 

Through the opening week of camp, London has been one of the team's best receivers, literally catching everything. Rather than setting goals, he wants to be himself; be consistent. If he takes care of that, London's convinced the numbers will come.  

"My teammates know I'm out here, working," he said. "As long as I'm open when that ball comes, make that catch when it comes, everything will take care of itself."

Herb Zurkowsky of The Montreal Gazette has a feature on Brandon London whose return on Sunday for the Alouettes was marked by 5 catches for 118 yards.

"I'm excited for London," Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo said. "That kid has the potential to be a beast, because of his size, work ethic and the fact he's fast. He has the total package."  

Training camps have begun in the Canadian Football League with several former UMass Minutemen on the rosters.

Wide receiver Brandon London returns to the Montreal Alouettes while cornerback Sean Smalls returns to the Toronto Argonauts. Defensive tackle Brandon Collier has signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers after an injury forced his free agent bid with Philadelphia to end during training camp last summer. Defensive end Keron Williams looks to continue his strong CFL career with the defending Grey Cup champion B.C. Lions.

Brandon London Re-Signs With Montreal Alouettes

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It was announced yesterday that UMass alum Brandon London has re-signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League after an impressive 2011 campaign.

Brandon London Records First CFL Touchdown Reception

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Brandon London had his first Canadian Football League touchdown reception yesterday as his Montreal Alouettes won big, 43-13, over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He finished the game with two catches for 29 yards and the score.

London never foggy when running assignments

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Andrew Soong of The Suburban, an English paper in Quebec, has a short feature on Brandon London who has been enjoying a strong start with the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League.

Former Minutemen In CFL Action

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With the Canadian Football League regular season in full swing, it was a busy weekend of games north of the border with some former Minutemen in action.

Wide receiver Brandon London made three catches for 47 yards in the Montreal Alouettes' 39-25 victory at the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday.

Defensive end Keron Williams started for the BC Lions and recorded one tackle in a 34-32 loss to the Calgary Stampeders on Friday.
The Vancouver Sun has capsules on the Canadian Football League's East Division Teams. Focusing on the Montreal Alouettes, the paper lists Brandon London as one of the newcomers on the team to keep an eye on this year.

"Newcomer to watch: At six-foot-four and 210 pounds, Brandon London will make an inviting target for quarterback Anthony Calvillo. After stops in the NFL with the New York Giants, Miami Dolphins and Pittsburgh Steelers, London is eager to play and welcomes the opportunity the Als have provided."

On the other side of ball, Sean Smalls is projected to start at corner back for the Toronto Argonauts this year.

"Strengths: The defensive unit, which allowed the fewest points in the league last season, will only have one new starter as Wroten takes over at tackle. Sean Smalls, who did a good job replacing the injured Willie Middlebrooks late last year, will start at the boundary corner spot."

On Saturday, CFL teams had to trim the preseason rosters of training camp as the regular-season begins this week. Brandon London made the cut and will be seeing action this Thursday in the Montreal Alouettes' season-opener. An injury to Kerry Watkins, one of the Alouettes' top receivers, will allow London to further his case as one of the team's top wideouts.

"After four years of hearing 'no', . . . I'm thankful," London said. "I can't wait until Thursday. I'll bring a hard attitude and work ethic. I'm going to work and play my ass off." 

Brandon London has made a serious bid for a regular receiving job with the Montreal Alouettes.  

The second-year wide receiver caught six passes for 145 yards and a touchdown as the Grey Cup champion Alouettes downed the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 27-15 in CFL pre-season action on Thursday night.  

And while the six-foot-four London shone, so did five-foot-nine newcomer Bo Bowling with seven catches for 67 yards and a TD as three Alouettes quarterbacks went to the air in the first exhibition test for both teams.


Anton McKenzie had two tackles to help the BC Lions blank Calgary 24-0 in the Canadian Football Preseason Opener on Wednesday night.

Brandon London and the Montreal Alouettes will be in action tonight, while Sean Smalls and the Toronto Argonauts hit the field on Saturday afternoon.

Brandon London continues to impress the coaching staff of the CFL Montreal Alouettes during the start of Training Camp. In the Day 4 Camp Report, London is mentioned for "steadily improving and taking advantage of his height and frame to make big catches."

Another receiver who has been steadily improving and taking advantage of his height and frame to make big catches is Brandon London. Having played on the Montreal Alouettes' practice roster last season, London appears determined to have a greater impact in 2011. 

"If I do what I'm supposed to do and make the team, we could line-up on some plays and be 6'4"-6'5" across the board. With the small corners in this league, we could be dangerous. When practicing, I like it when the quarterbacks throw me the ball high up in the air," said London who has also played with the New York Giants.

Last year, he joined the Alouettes in the middle of the season, without having truly mastered the playbook. Now he appears much more comfortable in his role and knows what to expect.

"My body hates that I came in early for rookie camp, but my mind loves it. I was able to learn the plays and it's helping me get a better understanding regarding what we are doing," he added.

Sean Gordon of The Globe And Mail has a piece on the Montreal Alouettes wide receivers and offense as CFL training camps enter their third day of work. Along with London, the Alouettes feature WR's Dallas Baker (formerly of the Steelers) and Jerry Porter (who played in a Super Bowl for the Raiders). The group is also among the biggest in the league.

The first and most obvious thing is that these guys are big - really big.

The worse news for CFL pass defences is that they're also fast, strong, and have all logged time on pro football's biggest stage, the NFL.

In a case of the rich getting richer, the reigning Grey Cup champion Montreal Alouettes have brought in a cadre of imposing, experienced receivers to fill the considerable void left by future Hall of Famer Ben Cahoon, who retired after last season.

Brandon London, formerly of the New York Giants, Miami Dolphins and Pittsburgh Steelers, is listed at 6 foot 4, 210 pounds; Dallas Baker, another former Steeler, is 6 foot 3, 210; Prechae Rodriguez, who most recently played for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, is 6 foot 5, 208, and Jerry Porter, who played in a Super Bowl for the Oakland Raiders, is 6 foot 2, 220.

No lockout in the CFL means things are already underway in Training Camps to the North. Brandon London earned some praise after yesterday's practice for the Montreal Alouettes.

Although the heat was overwhelming at times, it didn't stop receivers Jamel Richardson, Dallas Baker and Tim Maypray from making a number of spectacular catches throughout the day. Brandon London also took advantage of the opportunity and made several highlight-reel receptions of his own.

While the NFL may be dealing with lockout issues, the Canadian Football League (CFL) is scheduled to start training camps on Sunday. Brandon London will be among the Montreal Allouettes in camp as they prepare to defend back-to-back Grey Cup Championships.

Herb Zurkowsky of the Montreal Gazette has a couple of items to keep in mind during the preseason.

7. But can they play basketball?: If the Als' objective was to get taller at receiver, they've succeeded. S.J. Green, technically, will be in Ben Cahoon's old position on the field - and Green's 6-foot-3. So, too, is Jamel Richardson. And the Als have added 6-foot-5 Prechae Rodriguez, 6-foot-3 Dallas Baker and 6-foot-2 Jerry Porter. Returning from the practice roster is 6-foot-4 Brandon London. Calvillo should be able to simply throw the ball up and let his receivers go after it, airborne.

London Photo From Grey Cup Practice

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UMass' Brandon London is with the Montreal Alouettes and will have a chance to win the CFL's Grey Cup this Sunday in Edmonton. London is in this photo from the Edmonton Sun. London is in the jersey No. 24 on the left. Montreal plays Saskatchewan at 6 p.m., on Sunday.

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Ihedigbo Notches 4 Tackles; Update On UMass Pros

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Here's your weekly look at UMass' pros in football:

In the NFL
• The Jets won their third game in a row in dramatic last-second fashion, beating the Texans 30-27. James Ihedigbo had four tackles for the Jets on defense and special teams. Vladimir Ducasse was inactive again.

  • With the Jaguars, Jeremy Cain snapped six times in a 24-20 win over Cleveland.

  • Matt Lawrence continues to be on the physically unable to perform list with the Ravens. Victor Cruz is on injured reserve with the Giants. Jeremy Horne is on the practice squad with the Chiefs as is Jeromy Miles with the Bengals.
  • In the CFL

  • Brandon London will have a chance to win the Grey Cup next weekend with the Montreal Alouettes, as they beat the Toronto Argos 48-17 in the Eastern Final on Sunday. London didn't play in the win, as he's injured.

  • In The UFL

  • Marcel Shipp will have a chance to win the UFL title next weekend, on Saturday at 11 a.m. He played close to his college home in Hartford with the Las Vegas Locos, in a 27-14. Shipp had just 12 yards on 11 carries for the Locos.
  • Update On UMass Alums In Pro Football Action

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    Checking in on UMass products in the pro football ranks.


  • In the Jacksonville Jaguars' miracle win of the Houston Texans, 31-24, Jeremy Cain snapped 10 times on kicks and punts for the Jags.

  • In the New York Jets' second straight road OT win, 26-20 at Cleveland, James Ihedigbo had three tackles including a 6-yard sack on Colt McCoy. Vladimir Ducasse was inactive for the Jets.

  • Matt Lawrence remains on PUP with the Ravens, who lost to the Falcons, 26-21. Victor Cruz' Giants lost to Cowboys, 33-20 in Jason Garrett's debut as Cowboys head coach.

  • Jeremy Horne remains on the practice squad with the Kansas City Chiefs and Jeromy Miles on the PS with the Cincinnati Bengals.


  • In the CFL Western Semifinals, the BC Lions dropped a 41-38 OT game to Saskatchewan. UMass' Keron Williams had a huge game with three sacks and four tackles for BC and Anton McKenzie also made four tackles but BC's season ended.

  • In the CFL Eastern Semifinals, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats with Shannon James lost to the Toronto Argos 16-13. James didn't make a play and finishes with the season with 11 solo tackles.

  • UMass' other CFL player Brandon London, plays for Montreal, which had a bye into the Eastern Final as the Alouettes will play Toronto next weekend.


  • Steve Baylark scored a touchdown and ran for 30 yards as the Sacramento Mountain Lions crushed Omaha, 41-3.

  • The Las Vegas Locos and Marcel Shipp had a bye week.

  • UMass Alumni Pro Football Update

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    Here's an update on UMass alums in the pro football ranks.

    In The NFL:

  • With the Mew York Jets, James Ihedigbo played a bunch on defense and special teams with one tackle and called a key timeout for the Jets in their comeback 23-20 OT win over the Detroit Lions. Vladimir Ducasse was inactive.

  • New York Giants WR Victor Cruz took time out while on injured reserve to come to UMass' win over Maine on Saturday at McGuirk Stadium.

  • Matt Lawrence is close to returning to action with the Baltimore Ravens, as his team pulled off a 26-10 win over Miami Dolphins. Lawrence will practice for the first time Monday, coach John Harbaugh said.

  • Jeremy Cain and the Jaguars had a bye week.

    In The CFL:

  • Three UMass products saw action as the BC Lions beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, 23-21. Anton McKenzie made four tackles for BC while Keron Williams didn't have any stops. Shannon James didn't have a tackle for the Ti-Cats.

  • Brandon London made his CFL debut with the Montreal Alouettes as his team suffered a 30-4 loss to the Toronto Argos. London didn't have a catch but made a tackle on special teams.

  • In The UFL:
  • UMass' all-time rushing leaders matched up as the Sacramento Mountain Lions beat the Las Vegas Locos, 27-24. Las Vegas clinched a berth in the UFL Championship in last week's win at Omaha, but Sacramento dominated play throughout the opening half. Marcel Shipp had four carries for 10 yards and a catch for nine yards. Steve Baylark had a carry for Sacramento.

  • Update On UMass Alums In Pro Football Action

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    Here's our weekly look at UMass products in pro football.


  • In the Jaguars' 35-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys, Jeremy Cain snapped 10 times on kicks and punts.

  • In the New York Jets 9-0 loss to the Green Bay Packers, James Ihedigbo made the game's opening tackle on a the Jets kickoff. He also played in some secondary packages. Vladimir Ducasse was inactive, but was visible on the sidelines.

  • UMass also has alums on practice squads: WR Jeremy Horne with the Kansas City Chiefs and DB Jeromy Miles with the Cincinnati Bengals.

  • Additionally WR Victor Cruz is on the injured reserve list with the New York Giants while RB Matt Lawrence is on the physically unable to perform list with the Baltimore Ravens.


  • The BC Lions picked up a 23-17 win over Saskatchewan as both UMass alums Anton McKenzie and Keron Williams each had three tackles. The Lions are making a push for the postseason.

  • With the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in a 55-24 loss to Calgary, Shannon James played for his new team the Ti-Cats vs his old team, the Stamps.

  • Brandon London continues to be on the Montreal Alouettes practice squad.


  • All-time leading rusher Marcel Shipp scored his UFL-best fifth TD as the Las Vegas Locos beat Omaha, 24-10. Shipp had 30 rushing yards.

  • Steve Baylark didn't carry the ball for the Sacramento Mountain Lions in a 27-26 loss to Hartford.

  • UMass Alums In Pro Football This Past Weekend

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    Here's a recap of UMass products in action in pro football this past weekend:

      In the NFL:
  • In the New York Jets huge comeback win over the Denver Broncos, 24-20, James Ihedigbo played defense and on special teams. Vladimir Ducasse was not active, but got plenty of TV on the sidelines.

  • In the Kansas City Chiefs' 35-31 loss to the Houston Texans in a thriller, Jeremy Horne played on special teams and made the first tackle of the second half on the opening kickoff. He also had one pass thrown his way, that was incomplete.

  • On Monday night football, Jeremy Cain snapped on all punts and kicks for the Jaguars in their loss to the Tenneesse Titans.

  • If you missed it Victor Cruz was played on injured reserve by the Giants and Matt Lawrence remains on physically unable to perform for the Ravens.

    In the CFL:

  • Two alums were part of the BC Lions narrow 31-28 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos. Anton McKenzie had five tackles and Keron Williams made two stops.

  • With the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, alum Shannon James had a tackle in a 30-3 win over the Toronto Argos.

  • Brandon London is on the practice squad with the Montreal Alouettes, who beat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, 22-19.

    In the UFL:

  • UMass' top career rushers faced off and Marcel Shipp's Las Vegas Locos got the best of Steve Baylark's Sacramento Mountain Cats, 26-3. Shipp scored the game's only offensive touchdown on a five-yard run up the middle in the fourth quarter. He finished with 15 carries for 69 yards. Baylark has his best game to date with 46 yards on four carries including a long of 29 yards.

  • London Signs With Montreal Alouettes In CFL

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    After playing the Pittsburgh Steelers in training camp, UMass alum Brandon London has signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL. The former Giant and Dolphin has been trying to catch on with an NFL team since the season started and has found a home in Canada.

    With the injury bug taking a bite out of the Montreal Alouettes the last two weeks, the team announced Wednesday the addition of five more players to its practice roster. The quintet, all imports, includes: defensive tackle Ty Steinkuhler, running back Tracy Ford, wide receiver Brandon London, and kickers-punters Sam Swank and Colt David.

    London, a University of Massachusetts alumnus, has spent some time in the NFL with the New York Giants, Miami Dolphins and, most recently, Pittsburgh Steelers. The 25-year-old was released by the Steelers in early September. Appearing in 49 games over four seasons with UMass, the 6-foot-4, 210-pound receiver amassed 2,022 yards on 148 catches. The latter total currently ranks third in the university's record books.

    Brandon London Waived By Steelers

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    UMass alum Brandon London was among 10 cuts by the Pittsburgh Steelers on Friday. Read about it in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

    NFL Recap Of UMass Alums From Thursday Night

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    Here's a look at former Minutemen in action in the NFL Preseason on Thursday night as roster cutdown are coming soon.
  • In the Bengals' 30-28 win over the Bills, Jeromy Miles had one tackle.
  • In the Giants' 20-17 win over the Patriots, Victor Cruz had three catches for 46 yards.
  • In the Jaguars' 13-9 win over the Falcons, Jeremy Cain snapped for the Jags.
  • In the Steelers' 19-3 win over the Panthers, Brandon London played receiver, but didn't have any catches.
  • In the Jets' 21-17 win over the Eagles, James Ihedigbo had four tackles while Vladimir Ducasse had several nice blocks on the offensive line.
  • In the Chiefs' win over the Packers, Jeremy Horne had a catch for minus-12 yards.
  • UMass Alums In NFL Action Tonight; CAA Games Start

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    Here's your rundown of UMass Alums in action in the NFL Preseason as these players hope to secure spots on rosters for the regular season:

  • Jeromy Miles and Bengals vs. Colts at 7 p.m.
  • Victor Cruz and Giants vs. Patriots at 7 p.m.
  • Brandon London and Steelers vs. Panthers at 7:30 p.m.
  • Vladimir Ducasse and James Ihedigbo with the Jets vs. Eagles at 7:30 p.m.
  • Jeremy Horne and Chiefs vs. Packers at 8 p.m.
  • Jeremy Cain and Jaguars vs. Falcons at 7:30 p.m.
  • Matt Lawrence is hurt, but his Ravens play the Rams at 8 p.m.

  • In the CAA, Maine hosts Albany at 7 p.m.; Delaware hosts West Chester at 7 p.m.; Rhode Island plays at Buffalo at 7:30 p.m. and Towson plays at Indiana at 7:30 p.m. We will have updates here on JTAM throughout the night.

    Horne Scores Chiefs First TD; Cruz Two Catches

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    UMass product Jeremy Horne caught the Kansas City Chiefs' first touchdown of the night in their 20-15 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday. He hauled in a 6-yard pass from Matt Cassel in the first quarter.

    In the Giants' 24-17 loss to the Steelers, Victor Cruz had two catches for 30 yards including a 20-yard grab. He also returned punts for the Giants. UMass' Brandon London didn't have a catch.

    With the Jets, in a 9-3 win, James Ihedigbo had two tackles while Vladimir Ducasse played left guard for much of the second, third and fourth quarters against the Carolina Panthers.

    In a game delayed by severe lightning, the Jacksonville Jaguars lost to the Miami Dolphins 27-26. Jeremy Cain snapped seven times on punts and kicks.

    Your NFL Preseason Guide To UMass Alums

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    With Week 2 of the NFL Preseason underway, here's a look at the Minutemen in action with some stories.
  • Jeromy Miles and the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Philadelphia Eagles 22-9 on Friday night. Miles had a tackle playing in the secondary as well as special teams.

  • UMass alums match-up as the Steelers plays at the Giants on Saturday. Receivers Brandon London and Victor Cruz will be in action. Sports Illustrated's Peter King mentions London as the upstart guy Mike Tomlin is trying to keep on the roster. In addition to the ESPN New York feature on Cruz from Friday, the Associated Press has a story on Cruz and his instant success.

  • The New York Jets with James Ihedigbo and Vladimir Ducasse play at the Carolina Panthers on Saturday night.
  • Jeremy Cain and his Jacksonville Jaguars host the Miami Dolphins.
  • Jeremy Horne looks to improve his stock with the Kansas City Chiefs as they play Tampa Bay.
  • Matt Lawrence (knee) is still injured as his Baltimore Ravens face the Redskins in local rivalary.
  • Republican Story On UMass' NFL Connections

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    Check out Jeff Thomas' story on UMass' connections with the NFL in the Springfield Republican. It includes the eight UMass alums on NFL rosters in preseason along with a mention of some current assistant coaches that played at UMass. Jeremy Cain is joined in Jacksonville by a pair of former UMass captains in Joe Cullen and Ben Albert. Cullen is the defensive line coach and Albert his assistant.

    Horne, London Impressing At Chiefs, Steelers Camps

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    Here's a quick update on some UMass alums that are performing well in NFL camps and garnering attention over the last two days -- aside from Victor Cruz.
  • The Kansas City Star says "Keep An Eye On" Jeremy Horne with the Chiefs. ''He's shown skill,'' coach Todd Haley said. ''He can run. He can get off the line. But with him, like a lot of these guys, it's going to be that other side of trying to be that other side of trying to become a talented football player."

  • Steel City Report mentions London and his long frame. "Leftwich also threw a high pass to 6-4 Brandon London that London went up to pluck out of the air in the back of the end zone. No one could've defensed."

  • In other news, with the New York Jets, Vladimir Ducasse was running with the first-team offensive line at left guard while the player he is battling with Matt Slauson played right guard at practice due to an injury to Nick Mangold. Read about it in the Star-Ledger.
  • Horne, London Held Off Stat Sheet In NFL Preseason

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    A pair of former UMass receivers played in NFL preseason games this weekend, but neither made a catch. In the Steelers'  23-7 win over the Lions, Brandon London made a tackle on special teams, but didn't have any catches. With the Kansas City Chiefs, Jeremy Horne was thrown to several times, but did haul in any passes as the Chiefs lost to Atlanta 20-10.

    NFL Camp Updates On London, Cruz, Ducasse, Horne

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    Here's a look at UMass' alums in NFL camps with several mentions in the media over the weekend.

  • With the Steelers, Brandon London is mentioned on and in Steeler Nation.
  • Victor Cruz with Giants is listed in this report from the Newark Star-Ledger.
  • With the Jets, Vladimir Ducasse continues to battle for the starting job at left guard. Read more in the New York Daily News and Newark Star-Ledger.
  • Jeremy Horne gets praise in Chiefs camp from Warpaint Illustrated: "I love the potential of Jeremy Horne from UMass. He made a great catch back of the end zone catch in the afternoon practice before crashing into the barrier."

  • Photo Gallery: UMass Alums In The NFL

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    Check out a great new Photo Gallery of former UMass football players in the NFL. The gallery includes all eight UMass players in NFL camps this summer: Jeremy Cain (Jaguars), Victor Cruz (Giants), Vladimir Ducasse (Jets), Jeremy Horne (Chiefs), James Ihedigbo (Jets), Matt Lawrence (Ravens), Brandon London (Steelers) and Jeromy Miles (Bengals).

    Horne, London Gaining Attention in NFL Camps

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    With NFL Camps underway, here are some mentions of UMass products in the preseason.

  • According to Arrowhead Pride, Jeremy Horne had a nice route against Jackie Bates. It was a one-on-one and Horne put on a nice stutter step to snag the deep ball.
  • Steelers Today has a bit on Brandon London, being a tall target.
  • JagNation has a look at Jeremy Cain, the Jaguars' starting long snapper.
  • NFL Training Camps Open This Weekend

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    Here's a look at UMass products in NFL Training Camps, which open this weekend across the U.S.
  • Baltimore Ravens: Matt Lawrence - in Westminster, Md.
  • Cincinnati Bengals: Jeromy Miles - in Georgetown, Kentucky
  • Jacksonville Jaguars: Jeremy Cain - in Jacksonville
  • Kansas City Chiefs: Jeremy Horne - in St, Joseph's Missouri
  • New York Jets: Vladimir Ducasse, James Ihedigbo - in Cortland, N.Y.
  • New York Giants: Victor Cruz - in Albany, N.Y.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers: Brandon London - in Latrobe, Pa.