Who is the Titans' receiver, Michael Preston?
Michael Preston was not drafted in an NFL draft. The Heidelberg (OH) alumni rose from a small school star to a potential starting receiver, whether it is in Tennessee or in another city.
Preston, born in Cleveland, Ohio, on June 1, 1989, attended Heidelberg University, located in Tiffin, Ohio. Preston owns the Division III school’s career records for receiving yards (2,748) and touchdowns (27). His senior season in 2010 was marked by 76 catches, 15 touchdowns, and 1,213 yards. He earned three All-American honors that season. In April of 2011, Preston worked out for the Cleveland Browns but nothing between the team and the receiver ever materialized. Preston then graduated in May of 2011.
After graduating from “The Berg”, Preston took his talents to the Arena Football League. Preston signed with the Utah Blaze and recorded 26 receptions, 319 yards, and 5 touchdowns. He only played in two games before his AFL career was cut short by being signed by the Tennessee Titans on the first day of free agency of the 2011 offseason on July 26th, after the 18 week NFL lockout.
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Mike Preston’s coaches gave their former player much support with the news of his signing with the Titans. Preston’s college coach, Mike Hallett, said that he and other were “all beaming with pride” and that Preston had truly “earned this opportunity” (The Advertiser-Tribune).
His coach from the Utah Blaze, Ron James, referred to Preston as a “fun player to watch” and his contract with the Titans as a “testament to his abilities” and hard work (AFL).
Preston spent his rookie season of 2011 and most of his 2012 season on the Tennessee Titans practice squad; however, later in the season, Preston was moved to the active roster and made his regular season appearance in Week 14 against the Indianapolis. In three games, Preston recorded only 5 receptions with 59 yards. Although the numbers were small, Preston looked very impressive on his five catches.
It was not until the 2013 offseason that Preston’s potential finally began to pay off. Multiple reports out of Titans camp show that Preston is having a phenomenal training camp, as he has had time running with the first team offense. Sharona reports that “Preston needed a nice camp and he is certainly having it. I find it hard to believe he won't make the roster at this point” (Music City Miracles). The 6’5” receiver appears to be making one impressive catch after another.
Look for Preston to make the roster for the Titans as the fourth or fifth receiver. Some reporters believe there is a chance that Preston could be traded soon to another team because there is so much talent ahead of Preston in Kenny Britt, Nate Washington, Justin Hunter, and Kendall Wright. Preston has all of the physical ability and work ethic to be a starting receiver in the league, but he will have to continue to work hard and be patient if he wishes to reach that spot.
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