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http://www.northjersey.com/sports/college_sports/162027435_Atlanta_Faulcon.html?mobile=1

Atlanta Faulcon: Montclair State star gets shot at big time

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

BY JJ CONRAD

NorthJersey.com

STAFF WRITER

MONTCLAIR — For the past eight months, Chad Faulcon has gone through a whirlwind of emotions.

From believing his football career had come to an end last November to now being two weeks away from an NFL training camp with the Atlanta Falcons, Faulcon’s path to the pros didn’t come easy, nor was it expected.

But the former Montclair State University star safety is ready to make the most out of the golden opportunity that has surprisingly presented itself after signing as an undrafted free agent just minutes after April’s NFL Draft concluded. He’s looking to prove all the doubters wrong, all the ones who said a Division III kid from Montclair State could never make it.

"After we lost to Kean in the [NJAC] championship game, I thought that was the last time I would ever play football," Faulcon said at Tuesday’s Write On Sports camp at MSU for middle school students aspiring to become sports writers. "I wasn’t even considering the NFL as an option. I had no feedback from them, no contact at all. I was ready to finish school and become a teacher. A week later, an agent [Fred DeFinis] called me and said he thought I could play in the NFL. I said, ‘Let’s do it’ and went to work."

One month after signing his contract, Faulcon’s eyes lit up the moment he stepped on the field for the Falcons’ three-day minicamp. Lining up in the secondary across from Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Ryan and having to deal with star wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White was quite an experience for the 22-year-old Cranford native.

"It’s all been kind of surreal," said Faulcon, a 2011 All-American as well as an NJAC and D3Football.com East Region Defensive Player of the Year. "I mean, these guys have been on my fantasy teams and now I’m playing on the same team as them. But you have to realize and understand that they’re human, too, and I’m here for a reason. I’m just trying to go out there and show everyone that I belong."

The knock on Faulcon — a lightning quick defensive back with 4.4 speed who hits like a truck at 6-foot, 200 pounds — has always been the level of competition he played against in college. Coming out of Cranford High School, Faulcon was a Division I talent who struggled academically, the main reason he wound up at MSU.

Nicknamed "The Sniper" because of his knack for game-changing, turnover-inducing hits, Faulcon caught a major break in February when he received a late invite to the Players All-Star Classic in Little Rock, Ark., a game loaded with Division I talent from across the country. From that game alone, 17 players were drafted and another 58 signed as undrafted free agents.

"All week while I was there, I’d be like ‘I’m from MSU,’ and everyone would be like ‘Oh, Michigan State? Mississippi State?’," Faulcon said. "I was like, ‘No, Montclair State.’ I think everyone kind of looked down on me because of that and didn’t expect much from a small-school kid."

If they didn’t know him before, they certainly knew him after, as Faulcon opened scouts’ eyes with seven tackles, two pass break ups, an interception and a forced fumble. There was no more argument against Faulcon on whether he belonged on the big stage.

"I was on Cloud Nine after that game," recalled Faulcon, who earned predraft workouts with both the Jets and Giants after that performance. "That put me on the map. People have always been telling me if I wanted a shot at the NFL, I’d have to transfer out of MSU. That’s not true. If you’re good enough, they’ll find you. You can’t control what people think. You just have to go out there and let your play do the talking for you."

Edited by xSICKxWITHxITx
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I could definitely see us stashing him on the practice squad, and then calling him up once Schillinger's contract expires in a year (or two?).

Schillinger better watch his back this year. He's got 2 guys coming for his spot. He better start forcing fumbles or making big hits on special teams if he want to stay on the roster.

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Schillinger better watch his back this year. He's got 2 guys coming for his spot. He better start forcing fumbles or making big hits on special teams if he want to stay on the roster.

I'm really starting to think that we might carry 5 Ss (b/c of Nolan's emphasis on the S position): Decoud and Moore of course, Mitchell to back up Decoud (was supposedly taking FS snaps at OTAs), Faulcon to backup Moore, and Hope as our swing/hybrid guy. Then we carry only 5 CBs as well: the BAD trio, Franks, and then let Walls and Owens battle in the preseason for the 5th spot (my vote's for Walls).

Edited by hjerry
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