University of Texas corner Rod Babers, a fourth round pick of the New York Giants was claimed yesterday by Detroit off waivers. This isn't a story of a kid with big potential who flamed out. This is a story of a kid with big potential who didn't show up.
Babers finished his career at the University of Texas as first team all Big 12 conference and was a semi-finalist for the Jim Thorpe award as the nation's top defensive back.
Babers was on target to make the Giants roster as a rookie, until he walked out of training camp a week before the final cut...without telling anyone.
"I had my concerns," Giants head coach Jim Fassel said at the time. "The biggest concern I had was his safety, and he's back at home now (in Texas)."
While no one really is sure what the circumstances were around Babers disappearance, his grandfather who he reportedly was very close to, died earlier in the week and some reports say that Babers was distraught over his death.
``He's fine--that was our concern, that there was something wrong with the guy,'' Fassel said. ``I found out that his agent got hold of his parents, and they said they've talked to him and he was on a flight back to Houston.
Babers eventually reported back to New York a week later, just prior to the final preseason game only to be told he was released. Lions president Matt Millen believes that Babers has a chance to make it at this level. Citing his most positive attributes Millen said Babers has "speed, cover skills, and he's fast." Babers was timed at 4.3 in the 40-yard dash.
To make room for Babers Detroit released cornerback Blue Adams who they intend to re-sign to the practice squad if he isn't claimed by another team.