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Dallas Cowboys receiver Kevin Ogletree has made it known to those close to him that this season needs to be a big one.
“He knew this was it,” said Tom Pugh, his former Holy Cross coach. “Three years and you don’t have any stats.”
The former Virginia University standout even got some friendly ribbing from his family Sept. 5. Just hours before his breakout game against the New York Giants, the Queens native went with Holy Cross basketball assistant Coach and longtime friend Lloyd Desvigne to visit his brother Calvin, who was shot in the head in January.
“Your relatives are a little harder on you than the normal spectator,” Desvigne said. “They were telling him, ‘When you get a chance, you better make it happen, no excuses. Tell the coach to throw the ball to you.’”
Ogletree didn’t have to beg anyone to get him the ball in the Cowboys’ 24-17 win at MetLife Stadium last week. He had a career-high 114 yards on eight catches and the first two touchdowns of his four-year NFL career. Ogletree also sealed the victory with a catch over the middle for the clinching first down at the two-minute warning.
Pugh texts often with Ogletree and received a very happy call the next morning. He described Ogletree as a quarterback’s best friend because of his precise route running. He worked for the New York Jets in player personnel in the 1990s and is a fan of the team. But watching at home this week, he had a much stronger affiliation.
“You know what,” Pugh said. “I’m an Ogletree fan.”
There was a palpable vibe at Holy Cross last Thursday morning. Ogletree was the talk of the building like he was so many times during his career there. He led the Knights to the CHSFL Class AA title his senior year, having monster games in the semifinals and final against Moore Catholic. Ogletree hoped to stopped by practice Sept. 5, but he inspired the current Knights from afar.
“When you see a former Holy Cross player do such big things on a big stage, it allows you to see the opportunities in front of you and to make sure you do not let them slip away,” senior lineman Kevin Walsh said.
Ogletree certainly didn’t let that happen. Now he is the talk of the NFL this week.
“He knew this was his shot,” Pugh said. “He knew if he didn’t do it this year he might be out.”
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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