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87 - Goulet

UPDATE: 4 Bobcats snag NFL deals


Stafford Gatling went to bed Monday with the dream of playing in the National Football League.

He woke up Tuesday morning to a phone call that turned his dream into a contract. Gatling’s makeshift alarm clock was the New York Jets front office.

“I woke up at like 8:30this morning,” Gatling said. “They called and asked if I wanted to be a Jet.”

Within hours, the former Bobcat defensive lineman would be on a plane to meet his new teammates.

Gatling is one of four former Ohio football players have signed to play in the National Football League.

Wide receivers Terrence McCrae and Steven Goulet will join the Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders, respectively, and cornerback Julian Posey also signed with the Jets.

The players were not selected during the NFL Draft in April, but with the end of the 136-day lockout, teams could sign undrafted free agents before signing their draftees.

Word of McCrae’s signing quickly became conversation on Twitter after midnight Tuesday. Former Bobcat quarterback Boo Jackson also posted the news on his Facebook page.

“My WR Terrence McCrae Signs with the Steelers and my cousin (signs) with the Cowboys,” Jackson said. “Hoping to hear more of my bruhs making it big time! As well as getting one of those phone calls myself haha.”

McCrae holds the school record for career receiving touchdowns with 19. In his four years in Athens, he compiled 1,197 yards on 85 receptions (14 yards per catch). At an NFL Pro Day, McCrae ran a 4.42-second 40-yard dash and completed the three-cone drill in 6.82 seconds.

He grew up a Steelers fan living north of Pittsburgh. He now lives in Vanderbilt, Penn., an hour to the south.

“The Steelers didn’t show too much interest early on in the process,” McCrae said, but they were the first to call him once the lockout ended. He said he is looking forward to learning from veteran receiver Hines Ward.

“I’m ecstatic … just to see how he conducts his life as a professional,” McCrae said.

Gatling and Posey announced their new allegiance on Twitter. Gatling broke his news at about 10:30 a.m.Tuesday. He prefaced his tweet by asking his followers if they wanted to know where he was going.

The answer?

“#Jet Life.”

Gatling started 21 games while with Ohio. He was part of the defensive line that started every game last season. He lined up next to Marcellis Williamson, who died April 27 of a blood clot in his lung.

Gatling grew up in Burlington, N.C., and cheered on the Carolina Panthers and


“I never have been like a real, true fan of the Jets, but they gave me the chance so they’re moving on up there now,” he said.

Posey published his future employment within an hour of Gatling’s post. Early Tuesday, he tweeted that he would have news to share later in the morning.

And then came a jubilant announcement.

“#JETSfool........NY JETS Winning is the only thing that matters!!!!!!!!!”

Posey ran a 4.46-second 40-yard dash at an NFL Pro Day and completed the cone drill in 6.71 seconds. His vertical jump was more than 40 inches. Posey also started every game last season. He recorded 46 tackles and 12 pass break-ups and recovered a fumble, which he returned for a touchdown. On special teams, Posey had 19 kick returns and averaged 22.2 yards per return.

Assistant athletic director for Media Relations Jason Corriher confirmed Goulet had reached a deal with the Raiders Tuesday afternoon.

Goulet played in all 13 games last season and gained 388 yards through the air. He also had 79 rushing yards on eight carries.

The Raiders will host the Jets this season but will not face the Steelers. The Jets and Steelers will not play each other. Pittsburghalready had five Mid-American Conference players on the roster, Oaklandhad four, including former Bobcat Mike Mitchell, and New Yorkhad one.

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