You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

breaking news

Trump slams CNN after employees resign over retracted Russia story

Falcons take a flyer on UGA decathlete Scantling


The NFL draft begins April 27, but the Falcons aren’t waiting to add talent from the college ranks, as former University of Georgia decathlon ace Garrett Scantling — who didn’t play college football — signed with the team last week.

At 6-foot-3 and about 222 pounds, Scantling is an intriguing prospect. He won three SEC heptathlon titles from 2013-16, was a four-time All-American in the heptathlon and decathlon, and last summer finished fourth in the U.S. Olympic trials, just missing the team that traveled to the Games.

He’s most likely to try out at wide receiver. Scantling worked out for NFL scouts late last month in his hometown of Jacksonville, and the Falcons invited him to team headquarters recently for more work in front of coaches.

“How did we get to that? Obviously, what a competitor, No. 1,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “Competitiveness and toughness are two of the top things we talk about. Well, to be the type of athlete that he is, we know those are there.

“Now, how will that transfer over into our game? He’ll be behind, for sure, but I have a sense of what he can be. We’re going to help develop and see where he can take it to.”

Scantling last played football as a senior at Episcopal High, catching 66 passes for 1,200 yards and 13 touchdowns. He opted for track and field at Georgia, and is eager to get back in the sport. His top time in the 100-yard dash was 10.85 seconds.

“I just want to on in there and show (Falcons officials) that this is what I want to do, that I’m going to work hard,” he told the Savannah Morning News. “That’s the first step. The second step is learning every bit and piece of football, and getting completely familiar with it. Then, I’ll go into the preseason and see if I can’t make the team.”

Quinn is excited to give the young athlete an opportunity.

“It’s way too early call anything about where he can be, but at 6-2, or over 6-2 and 225 pounds with that kind of speed, as a coach (you think) there’s something there, and we’re going to try like crazy to pull it out of him,” the coach said.

“His attitude is right. He looked natural catching, and he does have a football background. He competed so well in track and field that that was the route he took so I’m excited for him.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Running Backs
Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Running Backs

Running back Devonta Freeman is set to make $1.838 million in 2017, but would like a contract extension. The team is not expecting any issues despite rumblings from Freeman’s representation that surfaced at the Super Bowl. While the Falcons hope to continue the blend of Freeman and Coleman, the did draft running back Brian Hill in the fifth round...
Matt Ryan stars in Gatorade’s new campaign ‘Make Defeat Your Fuel’
Matt Ryan stars in Gatorade’s new campaign ‘Make Defeat Your Fuel’

Sometimes greatness is preceded by failure. In Gatorade’s new campaign spot, “Make Defeat Your Fuel” released Tuesday (video above), iconic professional athletes including Michael Jordan, Peyton and Eli Manning and Serena Williams reveal their greatest failures which ultimately became fuel for their greatest victories....
Blank: Falcons could reach deal with Freeman ‘fairly soon’
Blank: Falcons could reach deal with Freeman ‘fairly soon’

Falcons owner Arthur Blank is confident that the team will reach a contract extension with Pro Bowl running back Devonta Freeman “fairly soon.” Blank commented about Freeman’s contract situation while making an appearance on The Dukes and Bell Show on 92.9 The Game, the team’s flagship radio station, on Monday. “As far...
Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Quarterbacks
Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Quarterbacks

With a new offensive coordinator and position coach, what will Matt Ryan do for an encore to his MVP season in 2017? The Falcons’ franchise quarterback turned 32 on May 17 and appears set to enter the prime of his career. Ryan, who arguably had his worst and best seasons the past two seasons under offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, has a new...
12 things we learned about the Falcons this offseason
12 things we learned about the Falcons this offseason

Shortly after releasing the team for the summer, Falcons coach Dan Quinn and team officials went to Washington, D.C. to visit to various military related places. It was a busy and compacted offseason for the Falcons, who reached the Super Bowl for just the second time in franchise history. After suffering the most devastating loss in the history of...
More Stories