WALT HAMELINE ON JULIAN STANFORD
Staten Island, NY -- Wagner College senior linebacker Julian Stanford (Bloomfield, CT/ Bloomfield), a First-Team All Northeast Conference (NEC) First Team selection in 2011, has signed a free agent contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League.
“To have an opportunity to compete for a chance to play in the NFL is a dream come true,” said Stanford who drew interest from a numbers of franchises including the Jets, Giants, Chiefs, Bills and the Rams. In the end, it was the relationship he formed with Jaguars linebacker coach Mark Duffner that swayed him to Jacksonville.
“Coach Duffner worked me out and he called me a lot the past few weeks, and on draft day he was calling me. All of those conversations just furthered our relationship,” Stanford said. “Other teams came and offered me contracts, a few came in at the end, but I just felt more comfortable with Jacksonville, I thought the odds of me making the roster were greater and I just felt it was a better fit for me.”
Stanford is proud of what he has accomplished these past four years and credits Wagner College and the football program for his growth on and off the field as he is on target to graduate next month with a degree in Information Systems.
“I enjoyed my time at Wagner and learned a lot of things from many different people. I had a very strong relationship with Coach (Walt) Hameline, I thought he was a very good coach to play for and had a lot to offer,” Stanford said. “He cares about his players and he wants to do things to help them wherever he can. My experience at Wagner was very pleasant and I wouldn’t take anything back.”
The athletic 6-2, 225-pound Stanford had a major impact throughout the 2011 season for the Seahawks who closed the season with three straight wins in posting a 4-7 record and a 4-4 NEC mark which tied the Seahawks with Monmouth for fourth place in the final league standings. A Second-Team All-NEC choice in 2010 and a 2011 Preseason All-NEC selection, Stanford was someone all opposing offenses had to account for and game plan against. His season was marked by a bountiful number of memorable and game-altering plays.
“This is a great tribute to Julian and all of the hard work he has put in,” said Hameline. “He’s an outstanding student with over a 3.0 index. He’s done everything to make himself better on the football field, in the weight room. He has an awful lot of talent and hopefully he’s going to be able to make it. But at the same time, we’re really proud of what he’s done here. He’ll graduate from here in a couple weeks and hopefully he will make it in the NFL. It’d be a great thing for him.”
Statistically for the 2011 season, Stanford finished seventh in the NEC in tackles for loss with 11.5 (minus 57 yards) and his five sacks (minus 32 yards) placed him ninth in the conference. He was named NEC Defense Player of the Week on two occasions and earned Special Teams Player of the Week once. Despite facing a steady diet of double-teams, Stanford was fifth on the team in tackles with 53, had five pass breakups, one forced fumble, one blocked kick and had 85 returns yards on his three interceptions, two of which went for touchdowns.