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.
With multiple media reports bannering an extension for Vontaze Burfict, the Bengals continue their tradition of using the preseason as their March Madness for free agency.
Marvin Lewis says two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins is a go for the regular-season opener in Baltimore Sept. 7. And he could potentially play in Sunday’s third preseason game in Arizona (8 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 5) for his season debut after working in team drills Wednesday.