Madison Hedgecock: Wikis

  
  

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Madison Hedgecock
No. 39     New York Giants
Fullback
Personal information
Date of birth: August 27, 1981 (1981-08-27) (age 28)
Place of birth: Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) Weight: 266 lb (121 kg)
Career information
College: North Carolina
NFL Draft: 2005 / Round: 7 / Pick: 251
Debuted in 2005 for the St. Louis Rams
Career history
 As player:
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 6, 2009
Receptions     32
Receiving yards     211
Receiving TDs     1
Stats at NFL.com

Madison Smith Hedgecock (born August 27, 1981, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina) is an American football fullback for the New York Giants of the National Football League. He was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He played college football at North Carolina.

A Second-team All-Pro and a Pro Bowl alternate in 2008, Hedgecock earned a Super Bowl ring with the Giants in Super Bowl XLII.

Contents

Early years

Hedgecock attended Ledford Senior High School in Wallburg, North Carolina and was a student and a letterman in football and track & field. On the grid iron Hedgecock played fullback, tight end, and linebacker. He rushed for 1,799 yards and 17 touchdowns in 10 games as senior and rushed for 3,673 yards and 44 touchdowns in High school career. he also was a three-time All-County and All-Conference selection (tight end as sophomore and fullback as junior and senior). Was named county offensive player of year in 1998 and 1999. Hedgecock was a Super Prep All-America and also earned honorable mention All-America from USA Today and Prep Star All-Region. In track he competed in the 200 and 400 meters, hurdles, relays, and shot put and earned All-County and All-Conference honors in the shot put. He also played basketball ad Ledford High.

College career

A versatile athlete, Hedgecock played running back, fullback and defensive end while at the University of North Carolina, rushing for 130 yards (118 as a senior) and 2 touchdowns while also recording 76 tackles and 1.5 sacks in his college career. He played fullback during redshirt freshman year for Tar Heels. He returned to fullback position for senior season after playing defensive end as sophomore and junior. Hedgecock graduated with a communications degree. In 2003 he played in all 12 games and started 11 at defensive end and made 55 tackles, 40 (solo) and 15 assists, six tackles for losses, 1.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries. In his sophomore season (2002) he played in all 12 games—he was the starting fullback in the first six games of the year, but moved to defensive end for the final six contests after injuries depleted the Carolina defensive line and played both positions against Wake Forest. He had three rushes for 11 yards, caught two passes for 7 yards and made 21 total tackles (11 solo, 10 assists) with 2.5 for lossses .

Professional career

Pre-draft

Pre-draft measureables
Ht Wt 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20 ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
6-3 * 266 lb * 4.87 * 1.73 * 2.89 * 4.26 * 7.42 * 32½ in. * 9'00" * 29 * 24 *

(* represents NFL Combine)

His 440-pound bench press, 630-pound back squat, 385-pound power clean are UNC records for a fullback. He was called the "best blocking back" in the ACC by The Sporting News.[1]

St. Louis Rams

Hedgecock spent his first two professional seasons with the St. Louis Rams after being drafted in the seventh round in 2005. On July 15, 2005, Hedgecock signed a reported three-year $1.1 million contract. In what the St. Louis Post-Dispatch called "rapid improvement" he beat out veteran Joey Goodspeed for the fullback position for the Rams. [2] Hedgecock was the lead blocker of Steven Jackson's stellar 2006 season. He also was among the Rams leaders in tackles on special teams in 2005 and 2006.

Hedgecock was released following the first game of the regular season in 2007 and was replaced on the roster by Richard Owens, a fullback-tight end hybrid who had ties to then Rams head coach Scott Linehan from their time together with the Minnesota Vikings, as well a brief crossover as the University of Louisville. While Hedgecock was already regarded as one of the league's best pure blocking fullbacks, similar to the only other professional football player from Ledford High School, Brad Hoover (of the Carolina Panters), Owens was an unproven player who never played another down in the NFL following his brief 14-game stint with St. Louis. Many saw the move as one of the most glaring examples of the ineptitude of the Rams front office during the Linehan era, particularly after Hedgecock signed with the Giants, played a key role in the running game during their Super Bowl winning season and signed a long-term contract extension.

New York Giants

Hedgecock was then claimed off waivers by the Giants on September 13, 2007. At the time, the Giants were seeking a replacement for seven-year veteran Jim Finn, who had been placed on injured reserve with a torn labrum in his right shoulder. He signed a five-year, $5.5 million contract extension with the Giants on November 10, 2007.

According to press accounts he was a major factor in the Giants' Super Bowl run. He was called by ESPN "a key component for their sixth-rated rushing attack" and that he "stepped into the lineup and provided the Giants with the kind of lead-blocking fullback they needed."[3] The New York Daily News called Hedgecock an "unsung hero" on the Giants championship team. He was noted for his play against Tampa Bay, Dallas, and Green Bay. Against Tampa Bay, "Hedgecock manhandled linebacker Barrett Ruud and running back Brandon Jacobs followed him through a huge hole for an 8-yard touchdown that helped give the Giants a 14-7 lead." [4][5] Against Dallas, Hedgecock blocked two players on an Amani Toomer touchdown in the first quarter and later delived a key lead block on Bradie James on a Jacobs touchdown which drew raves from ESPN's Ron Jaworski among others. ""This kid's been phenomenal," Jaworski said as Hedgecock planted linebacker Bradie James." Former Eagles assistant coach Mike Kelly said "For straight-ahead power football, this is clinic tape." [6]

"Madison's arrival was very important and he has given us a physical presence at that position," offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said. "He's not overwhelmed by being one-on-one with those linebackers. We're not a West Coast fullback. When you're at fullback, you're in there to block. Maybe we'll throw you the ball once in a while. He fits the definition of the position for us." [7] “Excellent fit,” coach Tom Coughlin added. “A physical, lead-blocking fullback that has good hands and can be a factor in the play-action game. And he’s done an outstanding job on special teams on the wedge on kickoff returns and has brought physical toughness to our team.” [8]

Hedgecock started at fullback for the Giants in Super Bowl XLII. Hedgecock had one reception for 3 yards as the Giants defeated the New England Patriots 17-14. He is also credited with giving head coach Tom Coughlin the traditional 'Gatorade bath'.

During the Super Bowl media blitz Hedgecock was critical of Rams head coach Scott Linehan who was responsible for releasing him after Week one of the 2007 season. Hedgecock told a St. Louis radio station that Linehan was not well respected by many of the Rams players and was boring enough to put some players asleep. [9] “The head coach brought in a player that he’d had in college,” Hedgecock told St. Louis radio station KSLG. Hedgecock also said about his release, “When you get fired, it’s a tough deal,” Hedgecock, the Giants’ fullback, said Wednesday after practice. “I didn’t think I did anything as a player to deserve it.” . . . “They could have at least brought in somebody that was good. He was the coach’s buddy. I don’t want to play for a buddy.” [10]

On November 23, 2008, Hedgecock scored his first career touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals in the form of a 2-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning. He was the lead blocker for two 1,000 yard rushers (Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward) for the 2008 New York Giants. With Hedgecock as the fullback the Giants rushed for over 2,500 yards and had a team rushing average of 5.0 yards a carry, both among the league leaders as the Giants ended with a 12-4 record. [11] Mike Preston of the Baltimore Sun wrote, "Ravens inside linebacker Bart Scott says one of the major keys to stopping the Giants' running game is to stop fullback Madison Hedgecock in the hole. That sounds like an easy task, but it isn't especially since Hedgecock weighs 266 pounds." [12]

Hedgecock states that he is more concerned with the team doing well that personal honors and after the Giants had run for over 200 yards against the Eagles, Cowboys and Ravens in 2008 he reveled, "How many yards have we run the last three weeks?" Hedgecock said near his locker, a wad of tobacco caressing his gums, blue towel around his waist. Several hundred, someone answered. "None of those defenses playing us were pushovers." [13 ]

After the 2008 season for the Giants, Hedgecock was voted as a First Alternate to the Pro Bowl and was a Second-team All-Pro by the Associated Press.[14][15] He also drew praise from Hall of Fame tackle Dan Dierdorf, "Hedgecock won't ever lead the NFL in rushing but he'll lead block for a lot a yards and he's a gifted recevier with soft hands who runs good routes."[16] Hedgeock also was named to the Sports Illustrated All-Pro team by Peter King who quipped, "Not sure, but I think he's got an anvil in his pads."[17]

Giant teammate, All-Pro Justin Tuck told Pro Football Weekly, "(Madison) plays with reckless abandon, his tolerance for pain is just phenomenal". One of the backs who rushed for 1,000 yards in 2008, Brandon Jacobs added, "He makes good blocks all the time and that's what we need from him, to come out and do his job and he does it really well." [18] Jacobs added, "When he flattens a guy, that makes us jump. That gets me excited when I see something like that, when he gets going with a full head of steam and then knocking somebody out. That's what he does, he puts people on their backs." [19]

Said Hedgecock, "I just block. I just square my guys." [13 ]

Hedgecock's impressive run blocking led to 1,000 rushing yards for both Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward during the 2008 NFL season.

Personal

In his free time, Hedgecock enjoys farming and researching American history. He is particularly interested in the American Civil War. He is also a NASCAR fan and was seen in Richmond in early May. In addition, Madison hosts an annual summer football camp for children ages 7–18 at William Patterson University in Wayne, New Jersey.

References

  1. ^ (May 18, 2005).Madison Hedgecock, FB-DE, North Carolina USA Today. Retrieved (April 27, 2009).
  2. ^ Thomas, Jim. (September 4, 2005). “Martz's final roster cuts offer only mild surprise”St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Retrieved on March 4, 2009.
  3. ^ Pasquarelli, Len. (November 10, 2007). "Hedgecock, key element to Giants ground game, signs extension".ESPN.com Retrieved on November 15, 2007.
  4. ^ Thomas, Jim. (January 15, 2008). "Thomas Chat".St. Louis Dispatch.com Retrieved on January 20, 2008.
  5. ^ Staff. (January 8, 2008). "Breaking Down the Film" Scout.com Retrieved January 18, 2008.
  6. ^ Staple, Arthur. (January 16, 2008). "All Reese's pieces fit together". Newsday.com Retrieved on January 21, 2008.
  7. ^ Gola, Hank; Youngmisuk, Ohm. (January 31, 2008). "Madison Hedgecock a Giant blessing" New York Daily News Retrieved August 21, 2008.
  8. ^ Coates, Bill. (September 11, 2008). "Hedgecock eyes reprisal in return to Dome"St. Louis Post-Dispatch.com Retrieved September 21, 2008.
  9. ^ Smith, Kyle. (January 28, 2008). "Hedgecock Not Fond of Scott Linehan"End Zone Buzz.com Retrieved on November 15, 2008.
  10. ^ LaPointe, Joe. (September 11, 2008). "For Giants' Hedgecock, It Was a Cut That Hurt". New York Times.com Retrieved November 15, 2008.
  11. ^ Pro Football Reference.com Retrieved January 25, 2009.
  12. ^ Preston, Mike. (November 13, 2008). "Fullback key to Giants' running game" Baltimore Sun.com Retrieved on November 15, 2008
  13. ^ a b Gleason, Kevin. (November 17, 2008). "Hedgecock another brick in wall" Journal-record online.com November 24, 2008.
  14. ^ Scott, David.(December 22, 2008). "Panthers' tackle sits out". Newsobserver.com Retrieved December 25, 2008.
  15. ^ Wilner, Barry. (January 9, 2009). "AP All-Pro Team includes 15 newcomers". ESPN.com Retrieved January 10, 2009.
  16. ^ Dierdorf, Dan. (September 21, 2008). CBS NFL telecast, 2008
  17. ^ King, Peter. (January 10, 2009). "SI.com's 2008 All-Pro Team: Youth movement dominates annual list".Sports Illustrated.com Retrieved January 10, 2009.
  18. ^ Staff reports(January 9, 2009). "Whispers". Pro Football Weekly.com; Volume 28; Issue 27 Retrieved January 9, 2009.
  19. ^ Prunty, Brendan (January 12, 2008). "From trash to treasure: Giants FB Hedgecock finds a home" [1] Retrieved August 21, 2009.

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