Another Chance

West Virginia had three players selected in the 2012 NFL Draft, but has four more with a chance to make an NFL roster.

Almost as quickly as the Draft concluded on Saturday evening, offensive lineman Don Barclay and defensive lineman Julian Miller announced, via Twitter, that they had completed free agent deals with NFL clubs. Barclay inked a deal with the Green Bay Packers, while Miller joined the Mountaineer-friendly Cincinnati Bengals, who already have WVU alumni Adam Jones and Robert Sands on their roster.

Those signings were quickly followed by agreements for defensive back Eain Smith and long snapper Cody Nutter, who signed with the Washington Redskins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, respectively.

Miller, an Ohio native, will stick close to home in his attempt to make an NFL squad. At West Virginia, he totaled 176 tackles in four years of varsity play, including 29 1/2 sacks. He was an effective, if undersized, pass rusher who had 11 pass breakups and four forced fumbles.

Barclay, a stalwart on the Mountaineer offensive line, faces a Packer roster with 11 returning offensive linemen, as well as seventh-round draft pick Andrew Datko, as he fights to make the squad.

Smith, a safety from Florida, was a steady performer at both the strong and free positions in WVU's defense. He typically moved down to a strong safety position in West Virginia's third-down defense, where he showed solid tackling ability. He finished his Mountaineer career with 141 stops, two interceptions and ten pass breakups. He will rely on that versatility, as well as his special teams coverage ability, in his attempt to make the Redskin squad.

Nutter will ride his long-snapping skills to Tampa, where he will join WVU draftees Najee Goode and Keith Tandy at Buccaneer training camp. Tampa Bay currently has six-year veteran Andrew Economos on their roster as a long snapper, but he is coming off an Achilles tendon injury that kept him out for the first part of the 2011 season.


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