Lakeland trio drafted into new developmental football league
Athletics - posted on 1/27/2009
Former Lakeland football standouts MacArthur White, John Wagner and Billy Hughes have been drafted into the eight-team United National Gridiron League (UNGL) for the league's inaugural season, which begins on March 22.
While 70 players were drafted to each team in an online draft on Jan. 8-9, rosters will be cut to 48 players prior to the season opener.
According to the UNGL Web site
, this developmental league was created to "create professional opportunities for college football players." Training camp for each team is scheduled to begin soon.
The league, which is based in Connecticut, will base its eight teams in eight cities: Dallas (Texas), Miami (Fla.), Akron (Ohio), Birmingham (Ala.), Shreveport (La.), Columbus (Ga.), Winston-Salem (N.C.) and Norfolk (Va.).
Several other details, including game schedules, have yet to be released by the UNGL.
White, a wide receiver, was drafted to Team Virginia. He
finished his Lakeland career in 2007 as the program's all-time leader in receiving yards. The Zion, Ill., native was a two-time Illini-Badger Football Conference Receiver of the Year and was the first player in Lakeland history to play in the Aztec Bowl, a game featuring the U.S. Division III all-star team against the Mexican National Team.
Wagner, a four-year starter at linebacker, was taken by Team Alabama. In the 2008 season, the Kewaunee native racked up Northern Athletics Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors and was selected to the D3football.com All-North Region second team. Wagner finished his final two years as a Muskie ranked in the top 10 in the nation in total tackles, and was also a three-time
first-team all-conference selection.
Wagner, who is on pace to graduate in May, has elected to finish his degree as a writing major. He will work out for pro scouts at the ELITE Football Regional Combine in Naperville, Ill., on May 31.
"It's a great honor to get drafted, but I'm really proud to say I can graduate in four years, especially when people were telling me I wouldn't make it through the first semester of college," Wagner said. "I'm just following my intuition and beliefs, and hopefully that will lead to success.
"It's a great league, and it will take off. I wish Billy and 'Mac' all the success in the world, and I will be rooting for them as a fan."
Hughes, a punter/kicker, was selected by Team Louisiana.
The Brooksville, Fla., native was named second-team all-conference as a punter in 2007. In the 2008 season, Hughes helped the Muskies finish first in the NAC in net punting with 31.92 net yards per punt.
To see complete lists of roster invitees to each team's camp in the league, visit the UNGL Fan Network site
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