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Former IUP QB, WR head to Washington as undrafted free agents

| Monday, May 12, 2014, 10:29 a.m.
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
IUP quarterback Mike Box jukes by Shepherd linebacker A.J. Parrish during their Nov. 17, 2012, playoff contest at Miller Stadium in Indiana.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
IUP wide receiver Terrill Barnes breaks away from Shippensburg cornerback Avery Coleman to score on a 48-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter of the PSAC Championship game Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, at IUP's George P. Miller Stadium. Barnes caught three touchdown passes as IUP defeated Shippensburg, 41-10, to become PSAC champions.

Schenley graduate Greg Blair will join his brother DeJuan as a professional athlete after signing a free-agent contract with the Cleveland Browns.

Blair, 6-foot-2, 250 pounds, played inside linebacker at the University of Cincinnati where he recorded 95 tackles last season, including 18 in an overtime loss to Louisville.

DeJuan Blair, a former Pitt basketball standout, plays for the Dallas Mavericks. Their uncle is former Pitt wide receiver Cam Saddler.

From RMU to Detroit

Carrying sacks of corn, hay and soy beans paid off for Robert Morris offensive lineman A.J. Dalton.

Dalton, who was raised on a farm in Carrollton, Ohio, signed a free agent contract with the Detroit Lions after growing his body from 6-foot-2, 275 pounds, to 6-3, 307, in four seasons at Robert Morris.

Dalton started 37 games at Robert Morris, including his last 31 at right tackle. The Lions plan to use him at guard.

When he was in high school, Dalton said he had scholarship offers from Akron, Bowling Green and Youngstown State. But when those schools made changes to their coaching staffs, he chose Robert Morris.

“I got to play and shine and didn't have to wait,” he said.

When Dalton was undrafted last Saturday, he said he had several offers from NFL teams, including the Steelers.

“The Lions had the best offer,” he said. He signed a three-year contract with a signing bonus that he declined to reveal.

IUP sends 2 to NFL

Two former Indiana (Pa.) football players will head to Washington Redskins minicamp as undrafted free agents.

Former wide receiver Terrill Barnes signed a free-agent contract, and quarterback Mike Box was offered a tryout.

Barnes caught 63 passes for 1,014 yards (16.1 yards per catch) and eight touchdowns in 2013. He also averaged 11.6 yards on 13 punt returns and had three carries for 42 yards.

In 11 games last season, Box completed 141 of 240 passes (58.6 percent) for 2,078 yards, 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jdipaola@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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