Recently in Greg Niland Category
Former UMass football players John Griffin and Greg Niland benefitted quickly from the NFL lockout ending as both signed contracts as undrafted free agents on Tuesday. Griffin, a running back, signed with the Cincinnati Bengals, the same team former Minuteman Jeromy Miles plays for, while Niland, a guard, signed with the Arizona Cardinals. Below is coverage of their signings.
But rather than a helmet and shorts, Niland will don a cap and gown this Friday, graduating from Northeastern University in ceremonies at the TD Garden.
"In a normal year, we'd be in a (rookie orientation) camp this week and I'd have potentially missed graduation," said Niland. "All I can do is stay in shape and hopefully I'll know where I'm headed soon."
A victim of the NFL's labor pains, Niland's football future is on hold in what is anything but a normal year.
Read more: http://www.tauntongazette.com/sprots/local_sports/x294378026/Football-future-on-hold-for-East-Bridgewater-s-Greg-Niland#ixzz1LO4lc7ca
The Boston Herald has a story on local college product that are hopeful of hearing their names called as the NFL Draft starts on Thursday night. Read about it in : Local prospects hoping to catch on.
Offensive lineman Greg Niland of East Bridgewater, who began his career at Northeastern University before it dropped its football program, and went on to play his final season of eligibility at the University of Massachusetts, has piqued the interest of several NFL teams and could be a late-round pick.
Other UMass players to watch are wide receiver Anthony Nelson, who caught 61 passes last season, running back John Griffin of Westminster, another NU transfer, and quarterback Kyle Havens.
"Nelson did real well at the BC pro day and turned some heads," UMass coach Kevin Morris said. "Griffin, as well, with his physical skills. Nelson has some people wanting to take a second and third look at how good he is with the ball and how fast he is. Havens, too, has a couple of teams interested. We just need to get this (NFL) lockout to get unlocked, to get these guys into camps to show what they can do."
Greg Niland has learned his lessons well.
How else to explain the businesslike approach the 6-foot-5, 305-lbs. business administration major is taking to the upcoming National Football League draft? "All it takes is for one team to like you and take a chance," Niland said. "That's all you need."
One team: That would be one less than the offensive lineman from East Bridgewater suited up for over the course of his collegiate career.
Having starred at Coyle-Cassidy High School in Taunton, Mass., he earned a scholarship to Northeastern University. But after the 2009 season, the program was cut, putting him in a tough spot.
Would he transfer to finish his football career and keep his NFL dreams alive? Or stay at Northeastern to get his degree?
As it turned out, Niland took advantage of a plan that allowed him to transfer to UMass so he could play the 2010 season, before transferring back to Northeastern so he could finish his business administration degree this spring.
Niland measured 6-foot-4 and weighed 304 pounds at pro day, which is a solid physical makeup for an NFL hopeful on the line. He felt he ran well, and to the casual observer, he looked competitive in drills led by Scarnecchia and Giants offensive line coach Pat Flaherty that tested hip flexibility, hip explosion, change of direction and run- and pass-blocking skills.
"Hopefully maybe today will get the attention of some of the scouts, and they can go back to the filmwork and tape, and maybe I can sneak into the later rounds," said Niland, who plans to attend UMass' pro day on Friday. "That would be the best-case scenario. If not, we'll see what happens with the NFL lockout. One way or another, I just want to make a camp."
A player like Niland, who faces longer odds to be drafted, would be hurt by a lockout because NFL teams won't be allowed to sign undrafted players.
He has sat in the stands at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro on a number of occasions since the facility opened in 2002. "I've been to Gillette so many times watching the Patriots or going down to see a concert,'' said University of Massachusetts offensive lineman Greg Niland of East Bridgewater. "It's an awesome place.''
On Saturday afternoon, Niland will get the opportunity to play at the home of the Patriots on Route 1.
The bus carrying the University of Massachusetts football team to its opening game on Sept. 4 was getting close to McGuirk Stadium. Greg Niland of East Bridgewater, who was about to make his debut as a left guard for the Minutemen, began thinking about the strange journey that brought him to Amherst.
The Coyle-Cassidy High School graduate was supposed to be starting his final season at Northeastern University that weekend, not suiting up for a new team to face William & Mary.
When NU dropped its football program last Nov. 22, though, it left Niland and his Huskies' teammates scrambling to find new homes, and UMass is where he landed.
"It's been a great experience," Hunte said. "It's a really close team, a really great tradition. I knew that coming in, so football-wise it's been great. I have a new family. I love being out here."