By David Pepin:
There was just something different about the buzz around the NFL draft this year on Assumption College’s campus; the reason? Students had two names they were looking for to get called.
As a NCAA Division II school, Assumption normally doesn’t get the amount of pre-draft hype large Division I programs like Alabama or Ohio State get. But this year, students on campus were listening closely for the names Cole Tracy and Deonte Harris.
Neither player heard their name called during the draft, but on Saturday, after the draft, Harris announced his signing with the New Orleans Saints. Tracy remains unsigned by any team, but he has workouts scheduled with two NFL teams.
Harris, a wide receiver who has made his name as a dangerous return specialist, is the NCAA all-division record holder for career return touchdowns with 14 and is also the Assumption record holder for all-purpose yards (6,173) and touchdowns (45).
His former coach Robert Chesney, now the coach at Holy Cross, tweeted his support for Harris, saying he “cannot wait for [Harris] to be revealed to the rest of the world,” also calling him a special player.
Tracy, the former Greyhound who transferred to LSU for his final season of eligibility, enjoyed a record-setting year for the Tigers as their placekicker. He broke the NCAA all-division record for career field goals and points with 97 career field goals and 502 points. He also received his fair share of headlines when he broke the LSU record for longest field goal in his first game vs Miami, and when he kicked the game winning 42-yard field goal, as time expired, to sink number seven ranked Auburn.
Tracy has tryouts lined up with the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints to attempt to earn his shot in the league, just like his former teammate Harris.
In an interview back in October with Assumption’s student newspaper Le Provocateur, Tracy mentioned how playing for Assumption prepared him for the spotlight of a Division I program like LSU, saying how he asked Chesney to “prepare [him] the best he could.”
These two players forced attention around Assumption College to the NFL Draft. Junior Ian Sullivan, who said he normally doesn’t even follow football very close, said he would “follow along to see if either player gets signed” because he would like to see some more Greyhounds in the NFL.