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? Today: Eastern Michigan.
QB Charlie Batch — Really, when EMU athletics come to mind, you think of two guys: Earl Boykins and this guy. And they're both sorta offbeat in terms of hustlin' professional athletes. Boykins is a diminutive guard; Batch, meanwhile, started for the Detroit Lions back in, I want to say, 1928. And since then he's backed up Ben Roethlisberger, Tommy Maddox, Terry Bradshaw, and Andrew Carnegie. (Somewhere in the middle he started for the Detroit Lions.) But with Roethisberger mysteriously absent for the first six games, Batch just might get some game action if Dennis Dixon and Byron Leftwich fail to pull off any steel magic.
WR Kevin Walter — But enough about Batch. This guy legitimately has a chance to start in Houston, and he didn't need a sexual assault allegation for it to happen. After landing a cash-happy contract with the Texans, he'll probably start opposite Andre Johnson. That is, unless Jacoby Jones steals the position from him. You gonna let that happen, EMU alum?
DT Jason Jones — He'll get his share of time on the Titans line. After all, he's got nine sacks in his first two seasons. And the nondescript name will hopefully not stick out in case he makes any mistakes.
OG T.J. Lang — Notes from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, and if you can't guess, he's on the Packers: "too inconsistent right now but his talent is there." News-speak for "who the heck knows."
DB Johnny Sears — Usually these guys of guys get a chance to make the team if other people get injured. But not if he himself gets hurt. The name of his mail-order magazine? Sears No-Luck.
WR Eric Deslauriers — I always loved this name in its Franglish versatility. Americanize it and it's Duh-SLOR-ee-urs. Say it in Quebec and it's -- DAY-lo-ree-AY. His team, the CFL's Montreal Alouettes, probably opts for the latter.