The Redskins announced the eighth member of their practice squad today, linebacker Mike Balogun. Balogun spent the preseason with the San Francisco 49ers, where he tallied eight tackles, one interception, and two special teams tackles in his four preseason games.
There are quite a few interesting notes about Balogun:
- He spent the 2008 season with the Oklahoma Sooners, which means that — in some small way — his presence helps to reset the cosmic balance of Sooners on the Redskins roster following the departure of Lendy Holmes and the IR’ing of Malcolm Kelly.
- Balogun would’ve spent the 2009 season with the Sooners as well, but the NCAA ruled him ineligible because of questions surrounding how long he played in a semi-pro league. (No one denies that he played semi-pro ball between high school and college; the questions surround how long he played it.) Which means that the Redskins will actually be the third D.C.-area team he’s played for, following the Maryland Marauders and the D.C. Explosion.
- His coach with those two squads, Charles McGriff, was hugely complimentary of his work in the North American Football League. “He was dominating. Sideline to sideline, he made plays. He was ferocious with the physicality,” he told the New York Times.
- Also according to the Times, Balogun worked days at construction a construction job as a carpenter’s assistant to help support his family while he played football in the evenings.
- This all happened in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, which is about ten miles from FedExField.
- Between semi-pro and Oklahoma, Balogun made one other stop: he played at Lackawanna College in Scranton, Pa., a school that — again according to the Times — “has sent more than a dozen football players to prominent programs like West Virginia, Florida and Maryland. Bryant McKinnie, a 6-foot-8 offensive tackle with the Minnesota Vikings who was an all-American at Miami, is perhaps Lackawanna’s most famous player.”
- In honor of that, here are some of his highlights at Lackawanna set to the theme song from The Office, a show featuring probably the most famous fictional representation of Scranton. Enjoy.
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