Former N.C. A&T standout Tony McRae has been picked up by the Cincinnati Bengals. He is expected to get some playing time earlier on this season, per CincyJungle.com’s Jason Marcum:
“It looks like the Cincinnati Bengals don’t feel too confident about the health of their cornerback unit.
That would explain the addition of cornerback Tony McRae, who the team announced had been signed on Tuesday. McRae is a rookie free agent who went undrafted in the 2016 NFL Draft.
McRae, a 5’9″ 172-pound corner, played four seasons (2012-15) at North Carolina A&T and was a first-team All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference selection as a senior. ESPN had McRae pegged as the 85th-best cornerback prospect entering the 2016 NFL Draft.”
Going to an HBCU made McRae overlooked by players at bigger schools. But, not taking anything for granted, though, the former black college athlete is finally getting his big break:
“To be fair, it’s hard to even find enough college film to properly evaluate FCS prospects. We see guys come out of this division to make 53-man rosters and even turn into quality NFL players.
In 2014, McRae started all 12 games and made 62 total tackles with 46 of those unassisted. He also made five interceptions and had 16 passes defended. He also returned 14 kickoffs for 360 yards (25.7 per return) and a touchdown, so the return game could be where he makes an impact as well.
In 2015, teams threw at McRae far less as he finished with only one interception. He did lead the Aggies with 55 tackles as a senior and also averaged 28.3 yards on kickoff returns.
“For his career, McRae appeared in 46 games over four years at NC A&T. He totaled 153 tackles (112 solo), nine interceptions and 27 passes defended.”
With a recent string of injuries in their cornerback unit, it’s no surprise that the former N.C. A&T standout is a beneficiary addition to the Bengals.
McRae certainly is living the dream right now.