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Glen Farley has a story in the Enterprise about former UMass offensive lineman Greg Niland with the Detroit Lions preparing to face the New England Patriots.

John and Beth Niland face an interesting dilemma this weekend. The East Bridgewater couple are long-time New England Patriots season ticket holders. Their son, Greg, is a rookie with the Detroit Lions.   

The Lions host the Patriots in a nationally televised game at Ford Field this Saturday night.  

So, whom do the Nilands root for?  

"That's a good question," Greg Niland laughed during a telephone interview from the Lions' training facility in Allen Park, Mich. "I'm going to have to ask them."

Lions Greg Niland.jpg
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette reports that former UMass guard Greg Niland, who was signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted free agent, was released earlier this week but was scooped up quickly by the Detroit Lions.

The Pride of Detroit reports on Niland's signing as well.

Griffin & Niland NFL SIgning Coverage

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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.

  • Hampshire Gazette: Lockout's end opens door for ex-Minutemen Niland, Griffin
  • UMass football players Niland & Griffin signed by NFL teams
  • Worcester Telegram: Oakmont grad John Griffin signs with Bengals
  • Cincy Jungle: Bengals sign running back John Griffin
  • Gazette: Griffin & Niland Sign With NFL Teams

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    John GriffinGreg Niland
    Matt Vautour of the Hampshire Gazette reports that former UMass football players Greg Niland (pictured, right) has signed as an undrafted free agent with the Arizona Cardinals and John Griffin (left) has signed with the Cincinnati Bengals.

    Future On Hold For NFL Hopeful Greg Niland

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    In a typical NFL year, East Bridgewater's Greg Niland might have signed with a team by now, might be packing to spend the upcoming weekend at a rookie orientation minicamp.

    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:

    Boston Herald On UMass' Draft Prospects

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    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."

    Feature On Greg Niland And His Shot At NFL

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    Read this great feature story on UMass senior offensive lineman Greg Niland in the Fall River Herald News.

    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.

    Gazette Feature On UMass Football Pro Day

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    Check out this story from Matt Vautour on the Daily Hampshire Gazette about Friday's Football Pro Day: NFL lockout creates uncertain future for former college players at UMass pro day.

    Stories On UMass' Players At BC Pro Day

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    Here are various stories on the Pro Day that was held at Boston College on Wednesday as five former UMass football players took part. They included John Griffin, Kyle Havens, Mike Mele, Anthony Nelson and Greg Niland. The lineman Niland is quoted in many of these stories.

    • Boston Herald: Futures cloudy at BC pro day
    • Boston Herald: Linemen get battle Scar
    • Boston Globe: Going through motions
    • NFL coaches & scouts in town

    KNOWING THE DRILL: UMass offensive...

    ESPNBoston On UMass Players At BC's Pro Day

    | 9 Comments | No TrackBacks has a story on Boston College's Pro Day which includes five UMass players: tailback John Griffin, quarterback Kyle Havens, linebacker Mike Mele, wide receiver Anthony Nelson and lineman Greg Niland. UMass alum Mike Reiss writes about the event including many comments from Niland.

    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.

    Niland Featured In The Enterprise

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    More on the Colonial Clash from the The Enterprise with a feature on Greg Niland.

    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.

    Feature Story on Greg Niland In Taunton Gazette

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    Here is a great feature story on Greg Niland in the Taunton Daily Gazette.

    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.

    Happy Birthday: Oct. 5 - Eric Filiou, Greg Niland

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    Happy Birthday: Oct. 5 - hockey freshman Eric Filiou and football senior Greg Niland

    Eric Filiou   Greg Niland

    UMass Football Radio Show Tonight At 7 p.m.

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    Join us at the Hangar Bar & Grille on University Drive for the Bud Light UMass Football Show at 7 p.m., tonight. Head coach Kevin Morris will be joined by senior offensive lineman Greg Niland and senior defensive lineman Bob McLaughlin. 

    If you have a question for Coach Morris send it via or 

    Gazette: Preview Of Football's Offense

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    In the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Matt Vautour takes a look at the Minutemen on offense with a breakdown of each position.

    Republican: Revamped Offensive Line Ready To Go

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    In the Springfield Republican, Ron Chimelis has a great story in Sunday's paper about UMass' revamped offensive line. Chimelis leads the story with the man taking over Vladimir Ducasse's No. 72 -- Nick Speller. The story also focuses on Speller's fellow transfers Greg Niland and Anthony Dima.

    Boston Herald Feature On UMass' Ex-Huskies

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    The Boston Herald has a feature piece on UMass football and its addition of three former Northeastern Huskies: John Griffin, Chad Hunte and Greg Niland. It has some good quotes from all three players.

    "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."