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Longtime readers of BGN are probably already familiar with the Na Brown award, but for those of you who joined us in the last year I'll fill you in... Na Brown was a WR that the Eagles drafted out of North Carolina the same year they picked Donovan McNabb. In his first training camp with the team he looked like an emerging star. Every day at Lehigh he seemed to make plays and turn heads. Entire columns were being dedicated to his potential greatness...
He went on to catch just over 30 passes in his NFL career.
So every year we try to highlight the guy who arrived on the team with little expectations that went on to become the darling of training camp. There is some loose criteria... The player has to be young, he can't have been a first or second pick, & he really can't have ever done anything in the NFL. Previous winners include Lorenzo Booker, Hank Baskett, & Brandon Gibson.
While Lehigh is still a few months away, it's never too early to start identifying potential candidates for the 2010 Na Brown award. One contender that seems to have emerged is WR Chad Hall. He's got all the qualifying credentials. He was undrafted, he hasn't played football in a couple years, and he's a WR. You may notice that an overwhelming number of Na Brown award recipients have been WRs. Odd how often WRs can get overhyped in this town huh?
The #1 thing Hall has going for him is the copious amount of fluff pieces being written about him in the local papers. To be fair, the kid has a great back story. He's currently a 2nd lieutenant in the US Air Force. He flies to Philadelphia for the Eagles OTAs early in the week, then flies straight back to Utah(where he's stationed) to work 12 hour shifts doing aircraft maintenance. This is a great guy by any measure...
However, tons of fluff pieces alone will not win you the Na Brown award... just ask Jeremy Bloom. No, to bag the Na you need to perform in shorts on the practice field. So far, Hall has done that too.
Hall is working primarily as a slot receiver at Eagles practices, although he also gets snaps at running back. On Thursday he left cornerback Geoffrey Pope in a tangle running the stop-and-go. Hall also outran the safety help to haul in Mike Kafka’s deep throw.
If Hall can keep up that level of play when he's up against real NFL players not wearing pads and practicing... we may have ourselves a winner.
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