NWI Times: Al Hamnik: NFL Hopefuls Knocking At The Door



AL HAMNIK: Local NFL hopefuls Blue, Freeman & Brown on the doorstep

July 14, 2012 - By Al Hamnik Times Columnist

If only they could rent billboards in each NFL city to plead their case for a look-see by coaches.

Merrillville's Fred Blue, Gary's Terrence Freeman and Portage's Antoine Brown all share impressive traits they'd bring to any franchise. They are extremely confident, good, humble kids who give back to their communities without the chest thumping.

And they've got skills.

Blue starred at North Central College and had a cup of coffee on the San Diego Chargers practice squad.

Freeman attended the Emerson School of Visual and Performing Arts in Gary, played football for Lew Wallace and later at St. Joseph College.

Brown learned about life's hard knocks at Portage, breaking his leg before the 5A sectional championship game with Merrillville, a three-overtime loss, then having his home burn down two months later.

Brian Brundage, CEO of Worldwide Career Management, is driven to see his three athletes realize their NFL dream and is putting together workout videos of each for the Colts, Bears, Bengals, Bucs and Jets in hopes of a training camp invitation later this month.

Those five teams have shown the greatest interest in his clients, Brundage said.

"I'm in tip-top A1 (condition) and have leaned up a little bit," said Blue, an outside linebacker/rush end. "I bring a sense of attitude, enthusiasm and urgency.

"I'm a lot faster and quicker than the average lineman."

A running back/fullback, Freeman didn't play football until eighth grade. He skipped freshman ball at Wallace but was coaxed into coming out as a sophomore.

Forget the 9-19 overall record his three varsity seasons with the Hornets. Freeman was hooked.

"It's like: 'Hey, I'm pretty good at this.' Since then, I fell in love with it," he said.

Brundage compares his quick learner to a taller Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens.

"When I get the ball in my hands, I kinda turn into another person," Freeman said. "Some of the stuff I do on the field ... after I watch it on film, it's like: 'Wow. I did that?'

"I go into my own world. I don't really see anything. I don't hear anything. It's all just tunnel vision going into the end zone."

Brown walked on at Kentucky, and then transferred to Indiana State on scholarship. His college career didn't set off fireworks and sirens but his love for the game never waned.

"A sickening work ethic that a lot of people don't have these days," he said of his approach to life.

The versatile running back/wide receiver credits two books -- "Mind Gym" and "How To Get Out Of Your Own Way" -- for helping him stay positive.

"I've been praying every night since I was in high school that I would get bigger, stronger and faster so I'd be able to play in the NFL," Brown said.

"Finally, I have an opportunity to make this dream a reality."

Blue, Freeman and Brown know it takes only one NFL coach or assistant to like them for a door to open.

Their workout videos may be the loud knock that's needed.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion.


  • Marvin Hall Jr signs with Arizona Cardinals
  • Titans promote David Fluellen to 53 man roster; waive Cody Riggs
  • Finding a place for the recovered Branden Oliver
  • Chicago Bears Linebacker John Timu Participates in Autism Awareness Month
  • John Timu reflects on rookie season
  • Jaydon Mickens selects WCM
  • Film Study: Bears LB John Timu earns more playing time
  • 5 Things to Know About Rannell Hall
  • Vidal Nuno: The Hidden Secret of the Trumbo Trade
  • Denver Broncos sign undrafted Buffalo Bulls Rookie Andre Davis
  • Broncos sign Undrafted Rookies Andre Davis and David Porter
  • The Remarkable Transformation of Rannell Hall
  • University At Buffalo's Andre Davis Signs With Worldwide Career Management
  • Top Offensive Lineman Out of New York Commits to WCM
  • Scott Vandermeer Named Top UIC Athlete in the Last 50 Years
  • Chargers' Rookie Poised to Run wth Opportunity in San Diego's Offense
  • 7 - Foot Center Vying for Fifth Career Championship in Uruguay's Lub
  • Chicago Native brings more than championships to a city that needs it
  • Late Season Addition Helps Propel Rattlers to AFL Championship
  • Brandon Oliver Explodes on his Debut
  • Tony Bennett Ranks as MVP of Nike Chicago League
  • Nick Haag RE - Signs Indoor Football League Contract
  • Dean Anna Sees Opportunity with Pirates
  • Scott Vandermeer Ready to Rejoin Summer Leagues
  • Elijah Pittmans Road to Recovery and the NBA Draft
  • Lamaar Thomas to Host Albuquerque Youth Football Camp
  • Elijah Pittman is Ready to Shine in NBA
  • Former Buffalo Bull Willie Moseley Signs with CFL
  • Elijah Pittman is Ready to Shine in NBA
  • Scott Vandermeer Ready to Rejoin Summer Leagues
  • Lobos Kicker/Punter Greg Rivara to Try Out for Dolphins
  • Branden Oliver to Try-Out for Spot on Colt's Roster
  • Dallas Bollema Invited to Try Out for Vikings
  • Houston Texans Select Anthony McClung as Free Agent
  • Former Florida State DT Jacobbi McDanciel is a Cleveland Brown
  • Ryne Giddins Signs as Free Agent with Buccaneers
  • Ole Miss Running Back Jeff Scott Signed as Bengals Free Agent
  • Calvin Washington to Try for Spot on Bear's Roster
  • Dallas Cowboys Draft Will Smith of Texas Tech
  • Former Hurricane Jimmy Gaines Selected as Buffalo Bills Free Agent
  • Former Florida State DT Jacobbi McDaniel Scheduled to Work Out for Browns
  • Tracy Moore Signs Free Agent Deal with Bengals
  • Chargers Sign Asu Safety Alden Darby as Free Agent
  • Tracy Moore Aspiring to Lead in NFL
  • Chargers Sign Asu Safety Alden Darby as Free Agent
  • Upper Deck Releases Tracy Moore Trading Card
  • Chicago Inferno Sign Local Talent Tony Halterman
  • Greg Reid One of the First to Arrive to St. Louis Rams' Voluntary Workouts
  • A Look Into The MLB'S Breakout Star: Dean Anna
  • The Dean of Swing Has a Theme Song!
  • Chicago Native Dean Anna is Yankees Latest Star
  • Jimmy Gaines Grabs Attention of Scouts at Hurricaines Pro Day
  • Tim Parham Named to Canadian NBL All-Star Team
  • Tim Parham Named to Canadian NBL All Star Team
  • Consummate underdog Dean Anna cracks New York Yankees roster
  • Postgame notes: Dean living the dream
  • Mokena Native Dean Anna Makes New York Yankees Opening Game Roster
  • New York Yankees' Dean Anna: End of a 'long journey'
  • Dean Anna Part of Yankees Opnening Day Roster
  • Joe Wolfinger Named Top Center in NBDL Japan
  • Joe Wolfinger Named Top Center in NBDL Japan
  • Holiday Bowl Defensive MVP, Will Smith, Continues to Impress with Pro Day
  • Jacobbi McDaniel Increases Draft Stock with Solid Pro Day
  • Gred Reid Grabs Spotlight in Return to FSU's Pro Day
  • Dallas Bollema Comes Up Big in Lobos Pro Day
  • Tracy Moore Has "Explosive" OSU Pro Day
  • Alden Darby Takes Step Closer to Pros at ASU Pro Day
  • Dean Anna Inks Major League Deal with Yankees (Tampa)
  • Dean Anna Inks Major League Deal with Yankees (Mokena)
  • Tim Parham Breaks Canadian Hoops Rebounding Record
  • Branden Oliver Shines at U of Buffalo Pro Day
  • James Manuel Hits It Big at Minneapolis Pro Day
  • Shakir Bell Draws a Crowd at Indy Pro Day
  • Liberty's Big Man, Jibrille Fewell, Impresses at Pro Day
  • Jeff Scott Delivers Top Speed Performance at Pro Day
  • What can Worldwide Career Management do for you?
  • Dean Anna Traded to the New York Yankees
  • MEN'S BASKETBALL: Sweet Release
  • CANUSA Sports Desk Show: Guest Appearances by Brian Brundage & Alise Mills
  • Second Session of Eurobasket Summer League Las Vegas All-Star team revealed!
  • Liam McMorrow Drafted to Play for NY Knicks' Summer League Team
  • Ex-Fresno Pacific star John Taylor eyes NBA draft
  • ESL announces 2013 Indianapolis All Tournament Team
  • Against All Odds: Former Mott All-American John Taylor shoots for the NBA
  • Pro baseball players give free clinic at Ho Chunk
  • Tim Parham: The Life of Playing Basketball Overseas
  • AL HAMNIK: 'Project' player Fred Blue won't give up NFL dream
  • North Lake sport briefs: Griffith Wrestling Club holding registration
  • NWI Times: Jim Peters: Dream Chaser
  • NWI Times: Al Hamnik: NFL Hopefuls Knocking At The Door
  • RealGM Wiretap
  • Taylor declares for NBA Draft, will forego senior season
  • Fresno Pacific star John Taylor declares for NBA draft
  • HoopsHype.com Rumors
  • Tim Parham Going Big in Return to the Halifax Rainmen