New York Giants draft pick Corey Ballentine experienced a weekend that consisted of extreme highs and lows.
On Saturday, Corey Ballentine was drafted by the New York Giants in the sixth round. This, of course, was a monumental moment for the small school product. He expressed his gratitude to Giants head coach Pat Shurmur shortly after, saying, “I’ve been waiting on this opportunity for a lifetime, really.”
However, Ballentine and his teammate, Dwayne Simmons, were shot just hours later. Tragically, Simmons was killed in the shooting. Simmons was Ballentine’s best friend at Washburn College and this was a tragic incident for all that were involved.
If there was any silver lining in this awful turn of events it is that Ballentine is expected to make a full recovery. After the shooting, he was hospitalized and the details of his wounds were unknown.
Fortunately for the rookie, he was shot in the gluteal muscle. This is a hopeful prognosis because the glutes, one of the strongest muscles in the body, contain no organs.
Today, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman assured fans that the Washburn product will fully recover. He joined SiriusXM NFL Radio and spoke of his recent talks with Ballentine.
“He’s a really bright kid and he’s a great kid. What happened is tragic and unfortunate. That’s his best friend he was with. We spoke to him on Sunday. He’s coming along fine. He’ll be here Thursday for the minicamp this weekend.”
The ability to join the Giants as soon as Thursday will be a huge step for Ballentine. Not only is this a good sign physically, but this is also a good sign football-wise. A minicamp showing would mean that Ballentine has made a speedy and healthy recovery to the tragedy he experienced. This would also be great for the rookie because he would be able to assimilate himself with the staff and players.
The offseason will be a crucial period for Ballentine as he continues to grow as a player. Coming from a Division II college, Ballentine will need to get ready to go against NFL competition. He will also need to bulk up and put on some weight and muscle if he wants to be NFL ready.
As of now, Corey Ballentine is projected to play mostly special teams. He could also compete for time within the nickel and dime packages.