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Frost 05-01-2006 11:09 AM

greeleytrib.com: Former bear becomes a big hit

Reed Doughty is going to Washington, D.C. this week.

It's not to visit the White House.

Washington Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs is a little higher on Doughty's priority list right now than President Bush.

Doughty will check in with the Washington Redskins after being drafted in the sixth round Sunday afternoon in the National Football League college draft.

"It's been a pretty exciting day," said Doughty, a Division I-AA All-American safety from the University of Northern Colorado. "I was the fourth pick in the sixth round. It turned out just about as I expected it would. I figured I had a good shot to go late in the fifth round, and then it happened early in that round."

Doughty, a 6-foot, 209-pounder, fielded a call from the Atlanta Falcons moments before the Redskins announced his name, which took him a bit by surprise.

"I kind of expected that the Falcons would call back, and they had a few picks coming up, but by then it was too late. Washington called, and it got pretty exciting around here."

Doughty, 23, first talked to Redskins assistant head coach for defense Greg Williams, who informed him he was their next pick. It was only moments later that Gibbs, the head coach and team's president called.

"It was pretty unbelievable to talk to Joe Gibbs on the phone," Doughty said. "Coach Gibbs told me that I was exactly the kind of player they look for, and he looked forward to getting me in there to start working out."

Doughty will leave for the nation's capital on Thursday for four days of physical testing and working out.

"I'm going to keep working out right up until the day before I go, which I would normally do anyway," said Doughty, who graduated in December with a 4.0 grade-point-average as a sport and exercise science major. He was a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, given annually to the top I-AA player in the nation. He finished the season with a I-AA best 159 tackles.

Gibbs told the Washington-area media that Doughty is "an extremely smart, bright guy who could also play special teams."

The Redskins didn't have Doughty on their draft list last fall when an area scout came to watch him play. A second visit left a more lasting impression, and peaked Gibbs' interest.

"Reed Doughty is somebody that we talked extensively about when it came down to getting ready for the draft," Gibbs told Washington-area media. "He's somebody that when our scouts went through Northern Colorado in past years, didn't have him on the list.

"We went back through this year and our area scout came back and said we needed to have this guy cross-checked because he's a heckuva football player. We went back and cross-checked him, and our guy said he liked him better than the area scout did."

Doughty worked out in front of Redskins' personnel at the scouting combine in Indianapolis, but he wasn't sure if a Redskins scout was in attendance at his pro workout day in Fort Collins last month.

"I do remember having a scheduled interview with them at the scouting combine, and obviously that went well," Doughty said. "But I hadn't heard from them in the last week, asking me where I'd be on draft day or to keep my phone line open."

Doughty was the 173rd overall pick, the first-ever from Roosevelt High School and 11th player in UNC history to be drafted.

"He's a guy who makes a lot of plays, is a three-time Academic All-American who's very sharp, and we think he fits in real well at safety for us, and could do a lot of things for us," Gibbs said.

Doughty was the only defensive back the Redskins drafted, a fact he was unaware of Sunday night.

"The moment you hear your name, it's pretty exciting," Doughty said. "It's unbelievable. Getting married was obviously more important to me, but the moment I talked to Joe Gibbs and saw my name on the board, it was unreal. I'll get on the Internet the next few days and learn all I can about the Redskins."

Doughty kept up with the draft by watching the NFL Network, which had several clips of him.

"I'm a little nervous right now, but I want to get in there and show that I'm worthy of this pick," Doughty said. "I know it's going to be tough, and coach Williams told me I'd better be in shape because he said he was going to make me throw up. I'm ready physically and mentally though."


[/B]There was a mad dash by a group of exuberant, newfound Washington Redskins fans to the Greeley Mall and Foothills Fashion Mall in Fort Collins Sunday afternoon.

The beaming fans were members of Reed Doughty's family, looking for Redskins gear.

And for good reason. Reed, a senior Division I-AA All-American safety for the University of Northern Colorado, had just been drafted in the sixth round by Washington.

"There's not a lot of Redskins stuff around here," Doughty's father, Marlon said. "We did find what we wanted though. We bought the normal things -- hats and T-shirts."

Doughty's head coach at Roosevelt High School, Ed Eastin, was one of his guests Sunday afternoon.

"I've never had a former player get drafted -- this is exciting," Eastin said. "It's great to see kids who deserve this kind of chance get it. Reed is one of those kids who deserves this.

"I've never known a kid who is so balanced in so many ways. He has his feet on the ground, knows what he wants and knows how to go and get it."

The Doughty clan displayed its new wardrobe well after the draft ended, still enjoying the moment the family learned Reed would get a chance to play at the next level.

"It's nice to know you're wanted," Marlon said. "As a father, it's really a good feeling. We're all really excited."

The Doughty family has had the luxury of watching its son go from Roosevelt High School to UNC, where the family attended nearly all of the Bears' games, home-and-away for four seasons.

"I've watched Reed make the most of every situation he's ever been in, and he'll do the same with this one," Eastin said. "He'll show everybody how good of a football player he is."

Reed labeled Sunday afternoon as the second-most important and exciting day of his life -- next his wedding day to his wife Katherine in 2002.

"It's been a pretty fast transition, and a lot has happened," Marlon said. "Some things, like being drafted, you can never expect. We've been really, really blessed."

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