Some Things....

Here is an article when Ngata was in high school and a big game that he played...check out his nickname...

West Bests East in U.S. Army All-American Bowl

By Bill O'Connell

Major recruiters had Utah prepster Haloti Ngata booked as one of the top 25 high school players in the nation, and his performance in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl confirmed the Nebraska-bound defensive tackle as an athlete ready to step up to prime time college football.

The 6-4, 308-pound Ngata stood out at Highland High School in Salt Lake City, where he tallied 32 sacks his senior season. Playing for a West squad that defeated the East team 26-6 before 17,185 fans at Alamo Stadium in San Antonio, Ngata proved he can stand out even among a field of All-Americans.

Nicknamed "Shrek" by teammates, Ngata had a team-high seven tackles and forced a fumble while leading a West defense that held the East offense to 99 yards total offense.

"It was hard and my body's sore," Ngata joked following the West romp. Ngata said he battled headaches and backaches all week while going up against a West offensive line that featured three Notre Dame recruits. The payout was a chance to play in front of a national television audience on ESPN2.

On back-to-back plays in the first half, Ngata showed flashes of athleticism that brought Nebraska scouts to the front door of the Gatorade Player of the Year in Utah.

Ngata broke into the East backfield on the first play and ran down Florida State-bound back Thomas Clayton, a player ranked No. 8 in the nation in the 55-meter dash.

On the very next play Ngata hauled East quarterback James Banks to the artificial turf while stripping the ball from the SuperPrep All-American. In two plays Ngata dropped the East offense for minus-8 yards, and a fumble recovery by fellow defensive lineman Chris Frome gave the West the ball back.

There were other standouts from states not traditionally known as football factories. East free safety William Blackmon earned Gatorade Player of the Year in Rhode Island, then put the smallest state in the Union on the map by pouncing on two fumbles and intercepting a pass. Blackmon's stellar high school career earned him a trip to Texas for the All-American Bowl and probably a ticket to Boston College, where the three-time All-State pick has verbally committed.

"I never played against competition like that," Blackmon said. "I can say I never really had any competition in Rhode Island but I went to a lot of camps and that helps put the word out."

Not all of the prep stars in the All-American Bowl carried pedigrees from lesser-known locales to San Antonio. California running Lorenzo Booker added the Ken Hall Player of the Year Trophy to his stockpile of accolades on the heels of a high school career that included 137 touchdowns and three state championships. Booker capped his prep career with two touchdowns and 66 yards on 12 carries on a day that suggested naysayers pointing to his size (5-11,175) underestimated his hunger to play against the best.

"A lot of people asked me about the hype I was getting coming into this game. I think I did a good job of not thinking about it and coming out and playing my game. The holes the offensive line was opening weren't bad, either," said Booker, who is considering a list of schools that includes Florida State, Notre Dame, USC and Washington.

The offensive line - led by Notre Dame recruits Bob Morton, James Bonelli, Scott Raridon and Marcus Freeman - also played a big part in the success of West quarterback Vincent Young, who totaled 161 yards from scrimmage, including 90 yards through the air on 4 of 9 passing. Young was named game MVP and has yet to decide between a short list of Texas, Miami, Arkansas and Southern Mississippi.
Hehehe...Shrek....kinda perfect I'd say.
The Chiefs Nation....


Apr 17, 2006, 12:00:01 PM

People may think that Chiefs fans only reside in the areas around Kansas City. However if you bleed Red and Gold you know that the Chiefs Universe extends far beyond metropolitan Kansas City, the grasslands of Western Kansas and the Ozark Mountains. With 48 of 50 states represented by Chiefs season ticket holders, one can truly make the statement that this is indeed a Chiefs Nation. Now, Kansas City football fans from around the globe will be officially united as Chiefs Founder Lamar Hunt announces the birth of Chiefs Nation.

”With the unprecedented breadth of interest in Kansas City football we are now establishing a further Chiefs fans base opportunity for people all across America,” Hunt said on the birthday of Chiefs Nation. “Beginning today, fans may register for an opportunity to establish clear ties to the Chiefs organization which will provide each fan the opportunity to be part of the ‘Arrowhead Experience’ every year.”

This is your chance to become a founding member of the official fan group of the Kansas City Chiefs. By joining this exclusive club you’ll join Chiefs fans from all over the world who share the same passion and allegiance for everything Chiefs. As the unofficial “51st state”, residents of the Chiefs Nation will enjoy benefits unavailable to other fans.

“I’m amazed over the years at the various games how many times I bumped into some one who had traveled a long distance to attend their first Chiefs game,” Hunt added. “Chiefs Nation will provide the opportunity for such pilgrimages in the future.”

A few of the member benefits include…

Each member is sent a Chiefs Nation citizenship card. You will also receive an electronic membership confirmation with your own PIN/Account number to access your private page on our web site via the Chiefs Nation page.

There you will find special stories and content not available to the general public: Insider stories, bios of other fans around the world, interviews, photos, etc.

You will receive the opportunity to acquire upper level tickets to a 2006 home games; we can’t promise specific games, but we’ll do our best to help you select a date to see the Chiefs play an opponent of your choosing!
Additionally, when the Chiefs storm their way to the playoffs and capture homefield advantage, you will be offered the opportunity to acquire four upper level tickets to Arrowhead to those elite games, as well.

So join this ever-growing movement and cement your dual citizenship through the Chiefs Nation!
Here is a story on Zack, not sure when it is from...

Player Spotlight: Zack Crockett
By Marty Gitlin

When Oakland Raiders fullback Zack Crockett imparts his wisdom during one of his many off-season football camps, it's not a lot of hot air.

Even if it is in the sweltering heat of Florida.

Crockett isn't one to sugarcoat the truth to youth. He believes it's wonderful, even inspiring, to dream of an NFL career. But he also understands that it's foolhardy to prepare for nothing else.

And he lets those kids know that in no uncertain terms.

"You have to have goals in life, but you have to have something to fall back on," says Crockett, a short-yardage and goal-line specialist for the Silver and Black. "There's no question about that. You can't put all your eggs in one basket. I tell the kids to do everything they can in life to achieve their goals. But you have to get that education."

Crockett should know. Well before he received those hard knocks from NFL defenders, he attended the school of hard knocks. Crockett had to bulldoze his way into professional football. He never even gained 1,000 yards in a season at tiny Hinds Community College before managing 822 yards in his junior and senior years combined at Florida State.

What the burly Crockett could do from his high school days in Pompano Beach, Fla., to the present is crash through the line for first downs and touchdowns. He has scored 32 of his 33 career touchdowns since latching on with Raiders four years after Indianapolis snagged him in the third round of the 1995 draft.

Crockett's running style mirrors his path to the NFL. He didn't glide on a red carpet to achieve his goals. He bulldozed through every obstacle in his way, just as he does to cross the goal line.

"I'm a firm believer that you have to really work and work for everything you achieve, both in football and life," says Crockett, who spent three years with the Colts and another with the Jacksonville Jaguars before finding a home in Oakland. "You have to put your best foot forward in everything you do. That's how I got what I have today.

"The thing is, though, I also got a college education. I tell kids that even if they do make it into the NFL, that only lasts a short time. What are they going to do after their life in football? What are they going to do if they never get to play in the pros? They have to get that good education."

Crockett would like to impart those words to any players who are considering jumping to the NFL early. Crockett is adamant that only those who complete four years of college should be allowed to cross that professional line.

"It'll never happen," he offers. "It'll never happen like it has in basketball because when it comes to kids just out of high school or with one or two years of college experience, their bodies aren't mature enough. Basketball is more of a finesse sport. Football is a power sport and those kids just aren't ready."

Anyway, Crockett believes the memories of competing at the lower levels are priceless. He recalls his times at Ely High School with particular fondness, especially the team's "Soul Bowl" rivalry against Dillard High and the likes of current St. Louis Rams star Isaac Bruce. That showdown generally attracted 10,000 or more fans.

"That was so much fun," exclaims Crockett. "There were so many future Division I and professional players who have participated in that game. It was just a matter of having fun. And that's been my driving force my whole career."

And Zack Crockett knows exactly what he's talking about.
Angry Pope said:
The Chiefs Nation....
Hey AP......why is this in the Raiders forum? just curious!! Long live the Chiefs Nation!!! :)
Angel said:
Hey AP......why is this in the Raiders forum? just curious!! Long live the Chiefs Nation!!! :)
Chiefs Nation > :rolleyes:
This story on Quarshie is a couple of years old but we never really talked about him...

Unconventional Finn just getting started

By Jill Lieber, USA TODAY

NEW YORK — Columbia defensive tackle Michael Quarshie grew up in Helsinki, Finland, but stinks at winter sports. He sang soprano in a noted European boys choir but gave football a try when his voice changed. He speaks four languages (sometimes in the same conversation), interned in sales and trading at Citigroup last summer, is doing an independent research study on Finnish poetry, will graduate in December with a degree in political science but has his sights, and his heart, set on pro football.

Michael Quarshie has a 3.6 grade-point average and an Ivy League-leading 14 tackles for a loss.
Columbia University

"All my life, I've been different," the 6-3, 287-pound Quarshie says. "I've never been one to do what everybody else is doing. I'm the guy who breaks the mold."

Today, Quarshie, 24, is trying to become the first Finn to break into the NFL. A senior tri-captain for the 0-4 Lions, he's the most dominating defensive lineman in the Ivy League. He leads the Ivy with 14 tackles for loss, double the second-place total. He had an NCAA all-division record-tying eight Sept. 18 against Fordham. He runs 40 yards in 4.8 seconds and has a 33-inch vertical leap. And he has a 3.6 grade-point average and has been named to the dean's list.

"He's one of the most mature college football players, and one of the smartest people, I've ever been around," says Lions head coach Bob Shoop, a 1988 Yale graduate with a degree in economics. "He's incredibly intelligent, driven and focused. He'll be successful at anything he does."

Quarshie was bred to excel. His mother, Tuula, who is Finnish, is a psychiatrist. His father, Emmanuel, who is Ghanian, is a dentist. Michael, the oldest of two boys, was born in Erlangen, Germany, lived in Ghana for several months when he was 6, then, a year later, the family settled in Helsinki. At 9, he auditioned for Cantores Minores, the prestigious Helsinki Cathedral boys choir, and became a first soprano.

"I didn't have an interest in sports," Quarshie says. "A lot of people make assumptions about Finns — that we're great at winter sports. Frankly, I (stink) at them."

Being one of the few dark-skinned people in a blond, blue-eyed land helped make Quarshie an independent thinker.

"Michael matured earlier in social relationships," Tuula says. "He had to think of problems other children don't have to face early on in life — who he was, why he was different. It gave him a strong sense of self."

When he was 14, while taking a sabbatical from choir as his voice was changing, Quarshie saw a football game on TV between two Finnish teams and was instantly smitten. So he signed up for flag football with the Helsinki Roosters, one of the most successful American football clubs in Finland. He hated every minute.

"You couldn't tackle anybody," he says.

But he stuck it out until he turned 15 and became old enough to play for the Roosters' 18-and-under tackle team.

"I became obsessed with American football," says Quarshie, who put himself through a crash course on the game, buying tapes over the Internet of NCAA and NFL games. Once a month, he drove two hours to train with Anna-Maija Yliluoma, a world-class powerlifter. Some seasons, he played for two Roosters teams.

"He gave his all, six days a week, in the rain and snow," his father says.

All that devotion paid off. In 1999, Quarshie led the Roosters to the Eurobowl semifinals, was named a Maple League All-Star and had a league-leading 11 sacks. After completing his mandatory Finnish military service, he reached a fork in the road: college in Europe or football in America?

Quarshie chose the road less traveled.

"There's nothing higher you can shoot for than the NFL," he says.

Defensive end Sami Porkka, the first Finn to receive an NCAA football scholarship (Northern Colorado), suggested Quarshie make a highlight tape to send to U.S. colleges. Quarshie also networked with Americans playing in the National Finnish Football League. Jeff Skinner, a former Wagner quarterback, forwarded the tape to St. Peter's College in Jersey City.

Quarshie was an instant hit there. In his first two seasons, 2000-01, he made Division I-AA midmajor All-America teams. He had a 3.86 GPA in the political science and classical civilization honors program.

Then he needed bigger challenges. So he made a new highlight tape and sent it to Ivy schools — except for Columbia, where he hand-delivered it to the football office.

To comply with NCAA transfer rules, Quarshie sat out the 2002 season. Last year he led the Lions with 12 tackles for loss and was second-team all-Ivy and academic all-Ivy. Shoop, whose brother John is quarterbacks coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, says Quarshie is "on the NFL's radar screen" and has spoken to scouts from most every NFL team. He's also is trying to get Quarshie into an all-star game.

"Michael's somebody I'd want my two sons to emulate," Shoop says.

After graduation, what will Quarshie's future hold? "Nothing has jumped out at me except football," he says. "One day I'd like to live in Asia, because it's one place I've never visited. But right now I want to play in the NFL, and I'll live anywhere I can to get the opportunity to play."
Vince Young to visit on Wednesday and Michael Huff to visit on Tuesday per NFL Network.
Angry Pope said:
Vince Young to visit on Wednesday...

Does look like the Raiders are covering all their bases...
CrossBones said:

Does look like the Raiders are covering all their bases...

Yes but these next two weeks will be torture until our pick comes up. That image on your post is awesome...still laughing.
Here is the schedule...


The top prospects for next weekend's are piling up some serious frequent flier mileage this week.

Take a look at Texas quarterback Vince Young's week:

Monday -- Minnesota
Wednesday -- Oakland
Thursday -- Houston to meet with the New York Jets
Friday -- Cleveland.

Or how about USC quarterback Matt Leinart :

Monday -- New York Jets in Los Angeles
Tuesday/Wednesday -- New Orleans
Thursday/Friday -- Oakland

Clearly, the Jets and Raiders want to make sure they have the top quarterbacks in this draft thoroughly analyzed.

But it is not just the quarterbacks who are going to be spanning the globe. It's running backs and defensive players.

USC running back Reggie Bush:

Tuesday -- New York Jets in Los Angeles

North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams:

Tuesday -- New Orleans
Wednesday/Thursday -- San Francisco 49ers

Ohio State linebacker A.J. Hawk:

Tuesday -- New Orleans
Thursday night/Friday -- N.Y. Jets

Oregon defensive tackle Haloti Ngata:

Monday -- Baltimore
Tuesday -- Buffalo
Wednesday -- Cleveland
Thursday -- Jets

Texas defensive back Michael Huff:

Monday -- Dallas
Tuesday -- Oakland
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