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Four former members of the Hofstra Pride football team represented their alma mater well as rookies during the 2006-07 NFL season. 2006 graduates Marques Colston (WR), Willie Colon (OT), Devale Ellis (WR) and Stephen Bowen (DE) each had varying degrees of success with their respective teams.
Colston became one of the biggest names in the NFL this past year as he exploded onto the scene with the New Orleans Saints. He had a strong training camp after being selected in the seventh round of the 2006 draft and forced his way into the Saints’ starting lineup with his strong play. He finished the season as the leading receiver for New Orleans with 1,038 yards on 70 receptions, and also scored eight touchdowns.
Colon was a fourth round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers and worked his way up the depth chart for the defending Super Bowl champions. His hard work paid off and he moved into the starting lineup for Pittsburgh’s final two games of the season.
Ellis was a non-drafted free agent signed by the Detroit Lions last summer. After being waived during training camp, he signed with the practice squad and was eventually elevated to the active roster. Ellis played in five games for the Lions and recorded four receptions for 41 yards. A valuable special team player, Ellis posted four punt returns and three tackles. “I enjoyed my rookie year,” said Ellis. “The biggest difference between the pros and the college game was the mental aspect and learning a new playbook. Having played in the same system all four years at Hofstra, it was a big task to learn a new playbook in a short period of time.”
Bowen signed a free agent contract with the Dallas Cowboys and appeared in one game and recorded one tackle.
All four players look forward to bright futures in the National Football League.