Daily Egyptian

Lesser-known Salukis attempting to live NFL dream

By Aaron Graff, @Aarongraff_DE

Other former Saluki football players hoping to take their talents to the next level do not have the media attention tight end MyCole Pruitt has.

At least seven other players have expressed interest in becoming members of the NFL, but at this point it is not up to them.

Running back Malcom Agnew is the most notable of the bunch not making many experts’ mock drafts. Agnew rushed for 1,708 yards in his Saluki career for 16 touchdowns. He also received for 329 yards and 3 touchdowns.

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He suffered a season-ending ankle injury on Oct. 18 against Youngstown State.

Agnew played in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on Jan. 17. He rushed for 53 yards on 8 attempts.

He said his agents have been doing a great job getting his name out there. He said he has a realistic chance of being drafted, and would be willing to sign as an undrafted free agent if he does not get selected.

“I’ve actually been really relaxed,” Agnew said. “I haven’t been losing any sleep.”

SIU coach Dale Lennon said Agnew has the skill set of an NFL running back.

A far less likely draft candidate than Pruitt or Agnew is long snapper Thor Hadfield.

Last season, no long snappers were drafted. Only four long snappers have ever been drafted, three of which were listed at different positions.

“Anything can happen in the NFL Draft,” Hadfield said. “I think there are only 256 picks, but I think I can potentially be one of them.”

Hadfield said he would sign as an undrafted free agent if he does not get picked.  

Lennon said a long snapper has to be at the right place at the right time to have a chance to make it.

Hadfield said he is excited, confident and patient going into the draft.

“In my mind right now it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when it’s going to happen,” he said.

Wide receiver and punt returner LaSteven McKinney said every player wants to get drafted, but like Hadfield, he would sign as a free agent if possible.

“It’ll be a better business decision to go undrafted,” he said. “That way you can pick the team and the system you’re going into.”

McKinney said he would like to go to the Chicago Bears because he grew up a fan of them. He said if not them, he thinks the Philadelphia Eagles would be a good fit because of their offensive playbook.  

Other Saluki possible draft or free agent candidates are offensive lineman Tanner Crum, kicker Thomas Kinney, linebacker Tyler Williamson and wide receiver and kick returner Tay Willis.

Aaron Graff can be reached at [email protected] or at 536-3311 ext. 256.

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