Former UMass Minutemen, Casey Wellman currently of the Minnesota Wild, Johnathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings, Victor Cruz of the New York Giants and Jeremy Horn of the Kansas City Chiefs continue to excel as their professional athletic careers continue to take form in the 2011/12 hockey and football seasons.
Former UMass football standout Jeremy Horne was signed to the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad on Wednesday after being put on waivers on Tuesday. Horne had played in three games on the active roster this season after playing in three the previous season as well.
Former University of Massachusetts and Amherst Regional standout James Ihedigbo made the New England Patriots final roster as the Patriots cut two-time Pro Bowl safety Brandon Meriweather to trim their roster to the limit of 53 on Saturday.
Ihedigbo was one of five Minutemen to survive cutdown day. Victor Cruz, who is expected to see regular playing time in the New York Giants wide receiver rotation after missing most of last year with an injury, made the roster out of camp for the second straight season. Jeromy Miles, who started last year on the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad before being elevated during the season, made the 53-man roster out of camp this year.
Jeremy Cain starts his sixth NFL season and his third with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He's primarily a long snapper.
Vlad Ducasse begins his second season as a reserve guard for the Jets.
According to the Jets Insider, Vladimir Ducasse will be switched to tackle this year after getting most of his reps at guard last season. That is reflected in a preseason depth chart on New York Sports Today which lists Ducasse as the No. 2 left tackle.
Kansas City has a look at some of the team's position groups and where certain players will fit and where the Chiefs will need to add with free agents. UMass' Jeremy Horne is mentioned among the top-five receivers on the team.
The Chiefs had hoped Jerheme Urban would be their possession-type receiver last year, but a preseason hand injury proved otherwise. Verran Tucker came out of seemingly nowhere to make some big plays and Jeremy Horne is a burner, but both are probably cut out best for roles on the outside and so is Urban.
Jeremy Horne is mentioned in this article on KCChiefs.com about the success the franchise has had recently with signing undrafted rookies.
Undrafted rookies have had plenty of time to study this off-season. Ordinarily fast and furious, the post-draft signing process has slowed to a calculated waiting game.
College free agents have more time than ever to analyze which franchises provide the best fit. Which teams can offer the best opportunity for growth and development? Some 300 college prospects have had longer than a month to study.
If the future pros go beyond analysis of depth charts and recent draft picks, they'll find a pattern familiar to many player agents. The pattern leads to a place that allows rookie free agents, regardless of position, to thrive.
Word is spreading fast. The undrafted can make a big impact in Kansas City.
Adam Teicher of the Kansas City Star mentions in his blog that Jeremy Horne was a handful of players who organized an informal workout yesterday. First-round draft pick Jonathan Baldwin, Matt Cassel, and Jerheme Urban were some of the other players at the workout.
According to Teicher, "That doesn't mean those guys won't see benefits. Horne, a player who has plenty of potential, will be a better player for having worked with Cassel when some of his competition for roster spots are off on their own."
Eight Chiefs players gathered on Tuesday including UMass alum Jeremy Horne for a throwing session at a Kansas City area high school. There was no doubt about the one in charge.
Matt Cassel, practicing in sunglasses and a ball cap turned backward, wasn't necessarily dressed for the part. But he was the one calling out orders, giving all the play calls, directing traffic. Practice started when he arrived and concluded when he left.
"This,'' wide receiver Jeremy Horne said, stating the obvious, "is Matt's deal.''
Wide receiver Jeremy Horne is back on campus at UMass after playing the 2010 season with the Kansas City Chiefs. He played three games during the regular-season on special teams and spend the remainder of the year on the practice squad. He is finishing up a class to receive his degree from UMass.
He caught up with Alana Friedberg of UMass Her Campus for a Question & Answer session.
Former UMass receiver Jeremy Horne signed with the Kansas City Chiefs agreeing to a reserve/future contract with the team he played in three games with this season.
WR Jeremy Horne (3 games played): An undrafted rookie out of UMass, Horne made the Chiefs Opening Day roster following an impressive training camp. He played in three games this season, mainly on special teams, and was inactive for two games.
Here are a few stories mentioning Horne's signing.
Here's a look at UMass' alums in action in the NFL over the holiday weekend.
With the New York Jets, James Ihedigbo suffered an ankle injury in a 38-34 loss to the Chicago Bears and is expected to miss next week's game vs. the Buffalo Bills. Ihedigbo did not make a tackle in his limited action before the injury. Vladimir Ducasse dressed as a back-up lineman, but didn't play. The Jets clinched a playoff berth despite the loss as the Jaguars lost putting Gang Green into the postseason.
In the Bengals' 34-20 win over the Chargers, to end their playoff hopes, Jeromy Miles played on special teams for the Bengals, and downed a punt.
UMass' other NFL products didn't play: Victor Cruz on injured reserve with the Giants, Matt Lawrence on physically unable to perform list with the Ravens and Jeremy Horne on the practice squad with the Chiefs.
Check out UMass' alums in action in the NFL on Sunday.
• James Ihedigbo returned to action in the Jets' 22-17 huge win at the Steelers, after missing a game with a leg injury. Ihedigbo had a tackle on defense and played his usual impact role on special teams. Vladimir Ducasse dressed for the game for the Jets, but didn't play.
• In the Bengals' 19-17 win over the Browns, Jeromy Miles was in on a tackle that resulted in a forced fumble on kickoff.
• With Jaguars, in a 34-24 loss to the Colts, Jeremy Cain snapped seven times for the Jags on punts and kicks.
• UMass' other alums are not active at this time, with Matt Lawrence on the PUP list with the Ravens, Victor Cruz on the Giants' Injured Reserve. Jeremy Horne is on the Chiefs practice squad.
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.
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:
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.
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.
The Kansas City Chiefs added wide receiver and UMass product Jeremy Horne to the practice squad on Wednesday. He appeared in three games with the Chiefs but was waived last week. Here are various mentions: Kansas City Star, KCTV, ESPN.com, NFL.com.
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.
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.
2003 UMass football All-American Jeremy Cain and his Jacksonville Jaguars picked up a 36-26 winover the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. The NFL long snapper, snapped eight times on five Josh Scobee field goals and three extra points. The Jags are now 3-2 overall.
In other NFL action, UMass' Victor Cruz and Jeremy Horne were both in active for the New York Giants and Kansas City Chiefs, respectively.
On Monday night, UMass grads James Ihedigbo and Vladimir Ducasse will be in the action with the New York Jets against the Minnesota Vikings on ESPN.
Week 5 of the NFL season is sure to be an exciting one. Most fans in New England will have a chance to watch a pair of 2009 UMass wide receivers in the 1 p.m., games on Sunday. On CBS, the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs (with Jeremy Horne) take on the Indianapolis Colts. On FOX, the New York Giants (with Victor Cruz) battle the Houston Texans.
Other UMass alums will be in action as the Jacksonville Jaguars with long snapper Jeremy Cain play the Buffalo Bills at 1 p.m.
On Monday night, the Jets duo of UMass alums James Ihedigbo and Vladimir Ducasse, will be in action against the Minnesota Vikings on ESPN.
The Baltimore Ravens host the Cleveland Browns at 1 p.m. Matt Lawrence continues to be on the PUP list for the Ravens. Alum and Sunday's feature item in the Springfield Republican Clarence Brooks coaches for Baltimore as well.
In the Chiefs' 16-14 win over the Browns, WR Jeremy Horne made hi on-field NFL debut in No. 11 and made a tackle on special teams in the fourth quarter.
DB James Ihedigbo played great on special teams in the New York Jets' 28-14 win over the Patriots. OL Vladimir Ducasse was inactive for the second week in a row.
LS Jeremy Cain snapped three times all on kicks in the Jaguars' 38-13 loss to the Chargers. Interestingly, the Jaguars never punted in the game as they scored, fumbled, were intercepted or failed on a fourth down conversion.
With the Giants, in their game against the Colts, WR Victor Cruz is active in place of WR Ramses Barden, who wasn't much of a factor in Week 1 and had a ball bounce off his hands for an interception.
In the CFL, the BC Lions beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 35-31 as a trio of UMass alums saw action. For BC, LB Anton McKenzie racked up five tackles and DE Keron Williams made three tackles. LB Shannon James didn't have a tackle for Hamilton.
In the UFL, the Sacramento Mountain Lions lost to the Hartford Colonials 27-10. TB Steve Baylark didn't have a carry for the Mountain Lions.
The Las Vegas Locos lost to the Florida Tuskers 27-20. RB Marcel Shipp had 13 carries for 48 yards for the Locos.
Many UMass football alums will have their NFL teams in action tonight as part of Monday Night Football's doubleheader on ESPN.
The opener between the Jets and Ravens will have three players that wore the maroon and white along with several other alums in the front office and on the sidelines. With the Jets: No. 44 James Ihedigbo will play in the secondary and on special teams. No. 62 Vladimir Ducasse was the Jets second-round NFL Draft pick this past April. He will play as a back-up on the offensive line. Along with Ihedigbo and Ducasse, Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum and several members of the Jets front office graduated from UMass.
With the Ravens No. 32 Matt Lawrence will not play as he is sidelined with a knee injury. UMass alum and former Redman football player Clarence Brooks continues as an assistant coach with the Ravens.
From the Albany Times-Union, check out a story on native son Jeremy Horne, the UMass product, who has made the Kansas City Chiefs.
The rookie wide receiver, who graduated from the University of Massachusetts in May, was not drafted, yet earned a spot on the Kansas City Chiefs' 53-man roster for the season opener at 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 13, against the San Diego Chargers.
Horne, who will turn 24 on Oct. 25, had one catch during the just-concluded exhibition season, a 6-yard touchdown reception against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Aug. 21. He also had two tackles on special teams.
After graduating from Albany High, Horne played a season at Milford Academy in New Berlin, N.Y., then two seasons at Syracuse before transferring to UMass.
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.
Check out this Associated Press photo featuring UMass product Jeremy Horne from Friday. Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Trevard Lindley (35) breaks up a pass intended for Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Jeremy Horne (8) during the second half of a preseason NFL football game in Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Friday, Aug. 27, 2010. The Eagles defeated the Chiefs 20-17. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
Three former UMass football players will be in action tonight in NFL preseason games as Jeremy Horne and the Kansas City Chiefs will host the Philadelphia Eagles at 8:00 p.m. The Arrowhead Addict Chiefs' blog lists Horne in its five players to watch.
Those of you who watched Hard Knocks this week on HBO saw "Big Vlad"...UMass' own Vladimir Ducasse get some attention in the Rookie Show. The New York Post mentions the portion of the episode:
When defensive coordinator Mike Pettine tells the team about the
upcoming King Ugly contest at the Rookie Show: "Worst-looking guy
doesn't always win. So that's why I think Vlad [Ducasse] has a chance
to finish second or third."
Jim Leonhard announces the winner of the King Ugly contest:
"Surprisingly, third place . . . thought he was a leader the whole time
. . . goes by many names . . . Big Vlad." Applause. "In a surprising
twist -- first time ever -- second place . . . Big Vlad!" Laughter.
Ducasse and fellow former Minuteman James Ihedigbo will take on the Redskins tonight as the New York Jets will face Washington tonight in new Meadowlands Stadium.
A year after playing alongside Victor Cruz at UMass, Jeremy Horne is gaining attention like Cruz with the Kansas City Chiefs. Horne played as part of the first-team offense with the Chiefs on Saturday. Read the following stories on Horne after the 20-15 loss to the Buccaneers.
"This guy's a young player that has a certain skill set that is unique at times," coach Todd Haley said. "That's what it is right now. He can run fast, do some of those things. We really don't know what we have there.
The Kansas City Star writes about how Horne made the most of his chance after catching a touchdown from Matt Cassel on Saturday.
The Kansas City Star mentions Horne could be the "surprise playmaker" for the Chiefs.
Arrowhead Pride wonders of Horne might be the deep threat the Chiefs have been missing.
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.
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.
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.
Check out this story on UMass product Jeremy Horne on Arrowhead Addict. It mentions Horne is one of five Kansas City Chiefs earning his arrowhead. Here's the part on Horne.
Right about now you may be asking yourself who the heck Jeremy Horne is and wondering if he even caught a pass on Friday. Well, he is a WR and no, he didn't. But he should have had two catches for about 120 yards and 2 touchdowns. The speedster out of Massachusetts had two instances where he broke free of his coverage...like, really free. Think 5-7 yards in front of his man. Unfortunately on both occasions, Horne was over thrown by Kansas City QB's. If Peyton Manning is under center, Horne is a preseason star and diamond in the rough for the Chiefs.
I am not saying Horne is going to make the team but on a squad as thin at WR as the Chiefs, he has a pretty good shot. Todd Haley noticed Horne on Friday night and even mentioned him in his post game press conference. Not bad for a guy who had o catches for o yards. Horne apparently had a repeat performance in practice on Sunday when Brodie Croyle hit him in stride for a long TD.
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.
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."
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).