A Charger in college, Veldheer joins NFL’s Raiders

NEW YORK — It’s pretty rare for a player from Hillsdale College to get drafted, much less in the third round, but don’t count out OT Jared Veldheer. One of the most physically imposing players in the entire 2010 class at 6-foot-8, 312 pounds, Veldheer was a star at the NFL Scouting Combine, finishing as a top performer in nearly every category.

In talking with reports back at the combine, Veldheer explained how he ended up with the Hillsdale Chargers. He underwent a massive growth spurt in his late teens and played basketball in college.

He eventually joined the football team, and after admitting he was not an especially great athlete in high school, he just continued to mature physically.

Now, he gets to join other Raiders combine stars such as Darrius Heyward-Bey, Darren McFadden and Michael Huff. Another one of his future teammates, second-round pick Lemarr Houston, was also impressive at the combine, but told NFL.com he had no idea who Veldheer was, but couldn’t wait to meet him. Such is the case with playing at Hillsdale.

That said, if it doesn’t work out for Veldheer as a player, his alma mater has had significant success in other roles. Recently retired Colts offensive line coach Howard Mudd was a Hillsdale grad, as is current Browns GM Tom Heckert.

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