Chattanooga Mocs Becoming NFL Pipeline
Chattanooga-(WDEF-TV) The NFL off season has been chaotic this year. However, one consistency has been Chattanooga’s presence in the pros. It’s no longer just Terrell Owens world. Get your popcorn ready! Here’s Angela Moryan with the story.
When you think of Mocs in the NFL, your mind used to go directly to Hall of Fame receiver Terrell Owens. Now, the Mocs have sent at least one talented prospect to the league for the six straight years.
Said head coach Rusty Wright: “Once they know you got guys and you do a good job at developing people and getting them ready to go play at that level, whether it’s physically or mentally or both, they tend to say, ‘Well, we need to keep checking on that place and make sure we don’t miss anybody.'”
Said offensive lineman Cole Strange: “Every year that I’ve been here, at least one guy’s gone to the league. It’s really encouraging honestly. Whenever I first got here, I knew that there was a lot of talent on the team, and anyone who’s a fan knows that we went through a little rough patch. It kind of discouraged it but we were still sending guys to the league so I guess it’s one of those things where we still had talent, you know what I mean, and we’ve had talent consecutively every year.”
CJ Board, Tae Davis, and Isaiah Mack are just three of **11** Mocs who have gone pro from the last six teams.
Said current Houston Texans linebacker Tae Davis: “I just think it’s just the type of guys we bring in. You know we bring in guys that sometimes feel under recruited or guys that fell due to injury. But it doesn’t matter once you get here man. Once you get here it’s all about the work.”
Said Wright: “The one thing that helps us compared to some Power 5 and Group of 5 programs, they can come here and they play a lot of football, so they gradually get better and continue to get better. …
We don’t get a finished product, so a lot of times we’ll take a chance on that have room for growth or room for development and then that’s why all of a sudden you’ve got two or three guys now, okay, these guys got a chance to go play.”
Chattanooga’s budding talent isn’t attracting just the NFL scouts either — but fans in the Scenic City looking for top caliber football.
Said defensive back Jerrell Lawson: “They’re excited about coming to the games. They know they’re going to see some amazing plays that you would probably see on SportsCenter Top 10 but it’s here in Chattanooga but they’re going to see it still in action.”
Chattanooga was represented on four NFL rosters in 2020 — with more hopeful in the years to come.
Lawson: “It’s just been a great pleasure to see guys like that come in and put the work in day in and day out and just to see them go on and pay off after that just gives us a lot of hope and inspiration.”
Strange: “I hope to be one of them one day!”