Lone drafted Bulldog heads to Cincinnati

Former Fresno State defensive tackle Jason Shirley may have been the lone bright spot in the NFL Draft for Fresno State, but he is not destined to be in a positive light any time soon.

The 6-foot-5, 330-pound run stopper who was dismissed from the football program last season was picked up in the fifth round by the Cincinnati Bengals as the only drafted Bulldog.

The Bengals have gained a reputation lately as an organization that can’t control its players in the offseason.

Nine Bengals were arrested during the 2007 offseason.

This doesn’t bode well for Shirley, who was constantly making headlines last season for his off-the-field antics.

Just because Shirley had a hard time at Fresno State doesn’t mean he will in the NFL. It is a surprise to me that he got picked up after the trouble he had here, but maybe that means something is about to change.

Be optimistic that Shirley will proudly represent the Bulldogs.

Even though he might not be able to do a complete 180, hopefully playing with the big boys will have a positive effect.

And since he was the only Bulldog drafted, we have to have a little faith in him.

Shirley is set to stand trial on May 21 for several charges, including driving with a suspended license and driving under the influence.

While this could be a second chance for Shirley to straighten things out, it’s hard to have any faith in him.

He was already given three strikes last season and he blew it.

So he’s gotten into some trouble. Maybe his rebellious years came a little late and in his next phase, he’ll mature.

If he’s on a tighter leash, he’ll have less of a chance to mess around. Hopefully.

After all, he is in college and if stereotypes apply, maybe he’s just trying to enjoy this time.

Shirley was suspended for the first two games of the season for “conduct detrimental to the team,” strike one.

Then he was suspended after police said he drove his car into an apartment building while under the influence of alcohol, strike two.

After being reinstated for the last three games, Shirley was suspended for a third and final time after being charged with driving with a suspended license and expired registration, strike three.

With the NFL comes more money and more distractions.

You aren’t supposed to judge someone by their past mistakes, but Shirley has proven that when given a second chance he will blow it.

Atmosphere and discipline are key. Here’s hoping both are good where he’s going.

Some people just make some bad decisions and it’s unfortunate that his were so public and close together.

Maybe it was just the wrong place at the wrong time. Or maybe it was just some bad luck.

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