News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

April 24, 2010

Former Sycamore safety McCleskey gets call from Jets

Gets invited to New York's three-day mini-camp for rookies

TERRE HAUTE — Although he’s a talented player — strong safety to be specific — Indiana State senior Donye McCleskey knew there was a good chance that he would not be selected in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Sure enough, when the seventh and final round concluded Saturday afternoon in New York, McCleskey had not heard his name called.

“I knew there was a chance that I could be drafted late,” he said in a phone interview Saturday night, “but I knew there was a chance I might not get drafted too. So I wasn’t too disappointed.”

McCleskey heard his name later Saturday, however, when agent Chris Murray informed him that he’s been invited to the New York Jets’ three-day mini-camp for rookies as an undrafted free agent. McCleskey, who’s from Dayton, Ohio, but still lives in Terre Haute, will report Thursday.

“My plan is to turn this mini-camp into a contract with the Jets,” he told the Tribune-Star. “I’m used to being on the bottom and trying to work my way out of a hole.”

With the Sycamores in 2009, McCleskey posted 92 tackles (46 solo and 46 assisted), two interceptions and one sack in 11 games.

According to Gil Brandt on nfl.com, the 5-foot-11, 209-pound McCleskey ran the 40-yard dash in 4.43 and 4.47 seconds, bench-pressed 225 pounds for 18 repetitions and did a vertical jump of 36 inches this spring.

McCleskey said he can play free safety and special teams in addition to strong safety.

“They are in need of safeties right now, so it’s a great opportunity for me,” he added.

Already a member of the Jets is punter Steve Weatherford, a former multi-sport standout at Terre Haute High School.

Coached by Rex Ryan, the Jets lost to the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC championship game in January.

McCleskey, who’s majoring in construction management, said he has about a year’s worth of academic requirements left to graduate. He plans to get his degree someday, regardless of what happens with his football career.

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Tribune-Star/Jim Avelis Team effort: The North Terre Haute Little League All-Starts won the District 4 championship by beating Clinton 4-0 Friday evening.

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  • Andy Amey: Just a small trip to talk about this time

    To paraphrase Carl Spackler, the heavy stuff’s not going to come for quite awhile. So while it’s true that I’m back from a week’s vacation, it’s not time — yet — for the big vacation column. Trips to Noblesville, Brunswick and Reelsville, while providing some nice family time, don’t really have the cachet to fill newspaper space.

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  • Pacers sign three free agents

    The Pacers couldn’t keep waiting around for Lance Stephenson to make up his mind. So on Friday, they went to work. The two-time Eastern Conference runner-ups announced they had signed three free agents — backup big man Lavoy Allen, swingman C.J. Miles and Damjan Rudez, a sharp-shooting forward from Europe.

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  • Odum heads for Vegas with Kings summer team

    Terre Haute native Jake Odum scored three points in the Indiana Pacers’ 84-74 victory on Thursday over the Miami Heat in the Orlando Summer League.

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    The Terre Haute Rex swept the Prospect League Player of the Week honors this week.

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  • Thoroughbreds complete race card at Martinsville

    Thoroughbred races were on Friday’s card to wind up four days of Illinois racing at the Martinsville Agricultural Fair. Horses owned by Bart Baird and Lance and Stacey Holsapple won all six of the thoroughbred races on the card with two other features run for ponies and mules.

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  • LeBron James says he’s returning to Cavaliers

    LeBron James is going back to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
    James told Sports Illustrated Friday that he’s decided to go home. It’s a move that would have seemed unfathomable four years ago, after the venomous fallout that followed his decision to leave Cleveland for the Miami Heat.

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  • SPT 071014 RAMER TROPHY.jpg Ramer, Kuppler claim junior city golf titles

    Megan Ramer and Colton Kuppler were two winners in the junior city golf tournament concluded Thursday in sunny, warm conditions at Rea Park.
    Both golfers claimed titles in the 15-17 age division for the first time while Ramer and Andrew Granda were two of the winners in the 2013 tournament.

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  • Rex return from All-Star break with a win at Danville

    The Terre Haute Rex returned to action on Thursday in winning fashion as they defeated Danville 4-1.

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