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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Former UA receiver Gino Crump signed by Bills

Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Former Arizona wide receiver Gino Crump said before the NFL Draft that he didn’t care if he got drafted or not and would have even been ecstatic to be the very last pick in the draft — known as Mr. Irrelevant.

The draft has come and gone, and Crump didn’t hear his name called as the 253rd overall selection — a distinction that went to Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish.

The Buffalo Bills scooped up Crump as an undrafted free agent on Monday, inviting him to their minicamp May 10 through 13. While Crump said he didn’t care about getting drafted, he still believes that NFL teams are underestimating him and his fellow Arizonans.

“I don’t think Arizona always gets the respect we deserve when it comes to the draft,” Crump said, citing former UA standouts like Tedy Bruschi, Lance Briggs and Brooks Reed. “I think we consistently bring out great players to the league, going back to the Stoops era and before.

“I just don’t think we always get the respect we deserve when it comes to the draft.”

In that sense, Crump said he wasn’t surprised that someone with such a prolific career like his record-setting teammate Juron Criner fell farther than many expected. Criner was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the fifth round.

Talent-wise, Arizona should be more highly regarded in terms of the draft. But Crump thinks he knows why they are often overlooked.

“We just don’t win a lot of games on a consistent basis,” Crump said. “With the new coaching staff, I think that we have a bright upside with the guys we have left on the team from last year’s time and I think they can make a run.”

As for his new Buffalo digs, Crump said he isn’t concerned with the dramatic weather change.

“Man, I’m ready to go to Antarctica,” Crump said, laughing. “I’m willing to do whatever it takes. I think I proved that during my time at Arizona and I just want to continue on that train, with hard work and dedicating myself to my craft, and just being a real professional. At this point I’m excited about the opportunity, even though it’s not set in stone.

“I think I bring a lot to the table for the Bills.”

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound receiver from Washington, D.C., said that he sees a lot of similarities between the Bills and the UA football teams he played on.

“I know they started off 5-0 last year,” Crump said. “They’re a team on the up-and-up and they have a great core of guys. That’s what it was like with Arizona, we had some great triumphs, then we experienced some great letdowns as well, but we were a team that just kept trying.

“I think those guys are probably on a similar mindset that I’m on so I think it’ll probably be a great fit.”

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