First-year player looks to land a spot in Bengals rotation at WR ... Spent time in 2011 preseason with San Diego before being waived, and was signed late in season to Bengals practice squad, where he closed the season and postseason.
CAREER TRANSACTIONS: Signed with San Diego as a college free agent on 7-27-11 ... Waived by Chargers on 8-31-11 ... Signed to Bengals practice squad on 12-27-11 ... Signed 1-9-12 to Bengals offseason roster.
PREVIOUS SEASONS: 2011 - Played in two Chargers preseason games (no statistics) ... Signed to Bengals practice squad after Game 15, where he spent the remainder of regular season and postseason.
COLLEGE: Began his college career at Southern California from 2006-08, totaling 57 catches for 586 yards and four TDs ... Transferred to University of Cincinnati and began play in 2010, but suffered knee injury in first game at UC, the 2010 season opener at Fresno State, causing him to miss remainder of season ... Majored in sociology at both USC and UC.
PERSONAL: Hometown is Staten Island, N.Y. ... Attended Moore Catholic High School ... Spent 2005-06 academic year at Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va. ... Favorite hobby is bowling, and also enjoys music, video games and comedic movies ... First name is pronounced “vee-DAL” (second syllable rhymes with “pal”).NOTE ABOUT NFL EXPERIENCE: Hazelton did not earn an accrued year of experience toward NFL free agency in 2011 because he was not on a 53-player roster, a Reserve/Injured list or a Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list for the required minimum of six games that year.
The Bengals’ Mike Nugent is halfway to his goal of kicking 20 years in the NFL. Which means if he makes it, half his career will come dealing with extra points that weren’t as automatic as they were during his first 10 seasons.
The spine of the Bengals locker room still runs through Andrew Whitworth and Domata Peko. But young leaders like Jeremy Hill (above) and Giovani Bernard are emerging.
The addition of four rookie tight ends means, for the moment, the Bengals can let Ryan Hewitt continue to develop into what some in the building already see as potentially the NFL's best fullback.