Despite that, the Hawks have already produced some players who are now playing on the big stage of the NFL.
Kevin Cone, who played for the Hawks in ’06 and ’07, is a wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons. Cone played two years at Shorter before transferring to Georgia Tech to continue his football career.
“It’s a great thrill to see,” said Shorter coach Phil Jones. “(Cone) is an incredible human being in the first place. He’s a really good person and a outstanding athlete.”
Cone is a wide receiver, and though he hasn’t gotten many chances for catches this season, he may see that change today. With Roddy White having knee issues, Cone could start for the Falcons today as they host the New York Giants at 1 p.m.
Jones hasn’t had the opportunity to go down and watch Cone play in person yet, but he’s hoping to before the season is over.
After graduating from Georgia Tech with a degree in engineering, Cone unfortunately went undrafted. That didn’t stop Cone from pursuing his dream in the NFL.
Cone was added to the Falcons’ practice squad, and actually so action in one game last season. This season Cone, who plays on special teams as well, has see action in 10 games and has made three tackles on special teams.
“He’s a high academic young man and he’s a high character person,” said Jones. “He came to visit us during his off week this year and he spent some time with us.
“He does a lot of work with children and going into schools,” added Jones. “He’s got the whole package, and we’re really proud of him. It’s a thrill and an honor to get to watch him.”
Shorter got a real treat during the Falcons’ loss to Carolina this past weekend as they got to see another former Shorter player on the field as well.
Armond Smith, who played one season for Shorter in ’07, is a running back for the Panthers and he also plays special team. Smith started his career in 2011 with the Cleveland Browns before joining the Panthers.
Smith returns kicks, and Cone was one of the Falcons’ players that tackled Smith during one of his kickoffs.
As the Hawks program grows with time, soon there will be more former Shorter players joining Cone and Smith in the NFL.