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Former Clayton County high school standouts trying to catch eye of NFL personnel

Former local standouts attempt to catch eye of NFL

Kimario McFadden, who played at Mundy’s Mill High, was a second team all-MEAC player last fall for South Carolina State. (Special Photo)

Kimario McFadden, who played at Mundy’s Mill High, was a second team all-MEAC player last fall for South Carolina State. (Special Photo)

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Clifton Crew, a former standout at Jonesboro High, was part of the building process at South Alabama the last five years. (Special Photo)

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After leaving Forest Park High, Regginald Lewis played on two national championship teams in college. (Special Photo)

FLOWERY BRANCH — By all accounts, they are considered long shots at getting draft, but their NFL dreams could still come true.

Three former players from Clayton County had workouts earlier this week with the Atlanta Falcons, and pushed their professional football dreams a little closer to coming true.

Former Forest Park High standout Regginald Lewis, who played at Division II powerhouse Valdosta State, and former Jonesboro High player Clifton Crews, who played at South Alabama, and Kimario McFadden, who played at Mundy’s Mill before a standout career at South Carolina State, were in Flowery Branch on Tuesday.

From all indications, the trio had a good showing as they mostly went through position drills for Falcons coaching staff.

Lewis, who played quarterback at Forest Park, was a wide receiver at North Greenville before an impressive two-year stint at Valdosta State, which won a national title in his junior season.

“I feel it is a blessing to get an opportunity to hopefully continue my playing career,” Lewis said. “I all I can ask for is an opportunity — nothing more or nothing less.”

Lewis participated in a rain-shorted Pro Day at Valdosta State, where he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.61 seconds. However, he was able to redeem himself at the Falcons complex with a 4.47 showing. He also benched 225 pounds 17 times.

This past season he caught 47 passes for 531 yards and three touchdowns. He also returned kickoffs and punts. During the Blazers’ national champion season, he was an All-Gulf South Conference selection after catching 58 passes for 736 yards and four touchdowns.

Crews participated in his third workout for pro scouts. Before the workout with the Falcons, the former two-sport standout at Jonesboro, was invited to the Super Regional Combine in Detroit at Ford Field.

“I felt like I was able to impress some coaches,” Crews said. “My agent is working on some things for me. The more I have done it, I’ve gotten comfortable in doing the drills. I felt I did a good job in the last couple workouts.”

Crews was a three-year starter for the Jaguars. He had 30 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and three pass breakups last season.

Most NFL experts have slotted him as either an outside linebacker or safety. Crews said it doesn’t matter which position he plays as long as he gets a shot at making an NFL club this upcoming season.

“I’ll do whatever it takes,” he said. “I know that I’m going to come in through the back door. I will play wherever they think I can contribute.”

McFadden was a second team All-MEAC selection at safety last season. He had 57 tackles, 2.5 sacks and one interception last season for the Bulldogs, who lost to Furman in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs this past fall.

In that loss to Furman, McFadden led all Bulldogs with eight total tackles (one for loss) and an interception.