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Sunday, April 26, 2009
Jets reunite Slauson with his old college coach


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

The New York Jets made a grand total of three selections in this weekend's draft.

They went into the draft with only six picks and traded half of them in attention-grabbing maneuvers to snag USC quarterback Mark Sanchez with the fifth overall pick and Iowa running back Shonn Greene with the first pick Sunday morning.

Then there's the other guy.

Several hours after the Jets took Greene, they drafted Nebraska guard Matt Slauson. The Jets were familiar with him because their offensive line assistant, Bill Callahan, was the Cornhuskers' head coach.

"Coach Callahan was the entire reason I came to Nebraska," Slauson said. Slauson grew up an Oakland Raiders fan. Callahan had guided them to a Super Bowl before getting fired after the 2003 season and landing in Lincoln.

"He took a shot on me, an underrated guy," Slauson said. "No one knew who I was, and the Division I schools I had looked at were teams like Colorado State and Air Force.

"Coach Callahan took a shot in the dark on me. He put his faith in me, and I wouldn't be where I am today without him."

Slauson, at best, will be a depth player for the Jets this year. They're bringing back all five of their starters.

Slauson mostly was a guard at Nebraska but also can play tackle. He said he has been trying to increase his NFL versatility by working on snapping the ball, too.

"I really feel like I have found a home at the Jets," Slauson said. "I'm back with the old coach, and I could not be more excited. To play for such adamant fans of their football team, this is going to be great."