Cedar Grove grad Jadon Haselwood hoping to open some eyes at Shrine Bowl

Former five-star recruit has NFL aspirations

LAS VEGAS — Jadon Haselwood, who was a five-star recruit coming out of Cedar Grove High, has something to prove to the football world at the East-West Shrine Bowl, which is set for 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Allegiant Stadium.

“It’s been a grind,” Haselwood told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday. “I feel like I still haven’t shown the world what they need to see from me. I’m going to continue to work to get better every day.”

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Haselwood committed to Georgia before he signed with Oklahoma. He played three seasons with the Sooners and then transferred to Arkansas.

He played 25 games for the Sooners and caught 62 passes for 736 yards and seven touchdowns. In 2022 with the Razorbacks, Haselwood caught 59 passes for 702 yards and three touchdowns.

“Practice with the Falcons has been pretty good for me this week,” Haselwood said. “I had a rusty first day. I felt like I showed a little bit more the last few days that I’ve been here. It’s just been a blessing just to be coached by the Falcons. I grew up in Atlanta.”

Haselwood is fine with his how things worked out.

“I know my guys are probably mad at me for leaving the state,” Haselwood said. “But I had to do what I felt was best for me. Things didn’t work out so well at Oklahoma, and I ended up transferring to Arkansas with some of the UGA staff that I was committed to as a freshman and sophomore. Everything just swings back full circle, and I’ve got to show the world what I can do.”

Haselwood said it was just a matter of getting into the “right system, right spot.”

Haselwood plans to follow other Cedar Grove players in the NFL. Last season, the Falcons drafted former Cedar Grove players DeAngelo Malone and Justin Shaffer.

Former Cedar Grove quarterback Jelani Woods, who converted to tight end in college, was drafted in the third round (73rd overall) by the Colts.

“It was just a blessing to see them,” Haselwood said. “I always kind of looked up to them since I was behind them in high school. Not trying to measure their success to mine’s, but just watch them grow and become players at the next level. It’s kind of big for me.”

Haselwood is hoping to showcase his talent in the Shrine Bowl game.

“That I’m resilient,” Haselwood said. “I’m coachable. I can play. I’m a dominant player. I can run routes, catch the ball well. I’m just an overall good player.”

Haselwood likes the plays the Falcons have installed for the game.

“Just the route concepts,” Haselwood said. “They have some good routes in. I feel like that’s the way they are going to showcase my (talent). A lot of people kind of question that I can run routes. Can I separate? I feel like I’m in a pretty good system for that.”

After the bowl game, Haselwood will return to Miami to continue training for the NFL scouting combine, which will be held Feb. 27-March 4.

“My speed,” Haselwood said. “The 40-yard dash is going to be a big deal for me. Getting back to work for that as well.”

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