Thursday, July 28, 2011

Presto! It's Preston!

My career at The News-Herald is now past the 15-year mark, and one of the most interesting sports stories I've come across is that of Euclid graduate Mike Preston.

I will never forget when Preston, who starred at Division III Heidelberg, began to emerge as a sophomore at the tiny college in Tiffin.

"Have any of you ever heard of Mike Preston?," I would ask my co-workers in the sports department.

Blank stares and shoulder shrugs were the norm, even from our high school football writer Bill Tilton. Preston was a mystery, and here's why:

As a freshman, he was a 5-foot-4 wannabe receiver for the Panthers, and never made a name for himself in high school as a football player. Eight years later, and one huge growth spurt since, he's 6-foot-4, made All-American as a college senior and this week signed an undrafted free-agent contract with the Titans.

Great kid, great story and what an opportunity in front of him. The Titans need wide receivers so the opportunity is there for Preston.

Let's see if he can take it.

- Mark Podolski

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