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Professional Hustlers: Ball State

Professional Hustlers looks at the Mid-American Conference studs of yesteryear and what they're doing in the pro ranks right now. Will they make the team? Are they still an elite player? Did they wander off into Canada?

QB Nate Davis — With each passing day his chance to start for the 49ers seems to fade. Especially when his offensive coordinator has only this nice thing to say about him:

The one ability he has is if he sees an open receiver, he'll hit him. He'll get the ball to him.

Impeccable quality to have. Omitted from his list of strengths: when the center snaps the ball, he'll grab it and drop back. Smart. When the play is signaled in, he'll tell his teammates what play will be run. Punctual. Always shows up on time. Dresses great. Puts each arm in the correct sleeve. When he wants a hamburger, he'll order exactly that. He won't accidentally ask for veal piccata or a list of soups.

P Brad Maynard — Or should I say, quarterback Brad Maynard? With a consortium of Spinal Tap drummers at the Bears' quarterback position, the need for someone to throw passes during practice was paramount, and in stepped the 14-year veteran. They'll all come out of this training camp stronger, as their wide receivers will be able to run the skinny post route and catch a dropkick.
OT Robert Brewster — "The epitome of a project," sayeth the Dallas Morning News about this '09 third-round pick. But it sounds like the Cowboys lineman, who was missed his entire rookie season with a torn pec (youch), will get a chance to start at right-tackle. If fame is an airborne illness, I'm curious to see what fading country music starlet he'll be spotted canoodling with.

P Reggie Hodges — See, this is what fellow MAC guys do. One goes down, the other picks him up. OHIO UNIVERSITY BOBCATS FOOTBALL product Dave Zastudil was put on injured reserve, so the Browns will look to Hodges as their guy. I don't know if Hodges can be as reliable as Zastudil, but his name is NOWHERE NEAR as fun to say. Zastudil. Zastudil. Was he the first major boss in Final Fantasy II?

TE Darius Hill — No Cardinal ever caught more touchdowns in his career than him (34), but he's just trying to get a reception in the NFL. In his second year with the Bengals, he's way down there on the depth chart. Will he languish with the practice squad again?

C Dan Gerberry — Backup center for the Lions. Hence, expect him to start by about Week 10 when the actual center has a nervous breakdown.

OT Andre Ramsey — Another O-line backup, but for the Bills and slightly left of center. Honestly, all that school in Muncie seems to produce are backup linemen, non-backup punters, cat cartoonists and buoyancy specialists.