Jake Steinberg, TheJetsBlog.com
As I was putting together my post yesterday for the 2013 Player Interest List, I had to go back to all the previous lists and count the number of players that appeared on each list while also counting how many ended up becoming Jets.
I told you guys ..
In 2011, we listed 34 guys. 2 ended up being drafted by the Jets (Kenrick Ellis and Bilal Powell). Clyde Gates, who was signed by the Jets in September also appeared on the list [under his full name, Edmond Gates]. Jaiquawn Jarrett, who was signed to a reserve/future contract a few weeks ago also showed up on the 2011 Jets Player Interest List).
Well, that was incorrect. There were actually 5 guys from that list that ended up being Jets. Kenrick Ellis, Bilal Powell, Clyde Gates, Jaiquawn Jarrett and…
I learned about 20 minutes after I put the post up that John Idzik first signing as Jets GM was former USC and Cincinnati WR Vidal Hazelton. Here’s what I wrote about him in the player interest list back in 2011:
WR Vidal Hazelton (Cincinnati) 6-2, 210, 4.57, 40yd dash
Projection: 7-UDFA Description: A New York native, has a private workout scheduled with the Jets. Hazelton originally went to USC where he was one of Mark Sanchez’s favorite targets, but transferred to Cincinnati after Sanchez jumped to the NFL. Hazelton is somewhat of a mystery. He had to sit out of football for the 2009 season because of his transfer and then suffered a season ending knee injury in the opening game of the 2010 season. Thus, he hasn’t played much football for three years which is a major concern to scouts. However, when healthy Hazelton has tremendous potential. He is an unbelievable athlete who will likely be a possession receiver at the next level. He did not receive an invite to the NFL combine.
Hazelton ended up going undrafted, but signed a free agent deal with the San Diego Chargers on July 26th, 2011. However, they released him 5 days later. He was out of football until December 2011, when the Cincinnati Bengals signed him to their practice squad. He tried to make their team in camp, but was waived on August 31st. The Tennessee Titans signed him to their practice squad a few days later on September 3, 2012. The Titans released him from their practice squad on October 23rd.
Hazelton follows in the footsteps of Konrad Reuland, Patrick Turner and Scotty McKnight, as friends of Mark Sanchez who have been members of the Jets. We’ll see if Hazelton’s relationship with Sanchez finally land him a spot on the 53-man roster.
Here’s a TD pass from Sanchez to Hazelton in a 2007 game vs. Notre Dame.