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Draft Memories: From Division II to the NFL, Reggie Langhorne made the incredible leap

1985 Draft landed the Browns one of their top receivers
Updated: Apr. 22, 2021 at 11:36 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - 36 years ago, Reggie Langhorne, like every Draft prospect, waited for the call. He had no idea when it was going to come. He had no idea who was going to make it.

“I just waited at my grandmother’s house,” Langhorne told me during a zoom interview. “My mom lives next door. I called my agent around 11 or 12 o’clock, I go ‘okay, is it over, did I get drafted?’, he goes ‘man, they’re still in the first round’. I had no idea it took 15 minutes for each guy and teams went through all these trade scenarios.”

Reggie Langhorne at Elizabeth City State University
Reggie Langhorne at Elizabeth City State University(Reggie Langhorne)

Five hours later, the call came. In Round 7, 175 picks in.

“I ran to my mom’s house and took the phone call, and had gotten drafted by the Cleveland Browns,” Langhorne says.

That wasn’t the only first, because media was next.

“It was the first time that I did an interview over the phone, the first time I did an interview with more than one guy (reporter), because in Elizabeth City (North Carolina), we only had one newspaper down there, and one guy interview you at a time, so there was never any big press down there.”

Reggie Langhorne
Reggie Langhorne(Reggie Langhorne)

Elizabeth City State was Division II. So, how did NFL teams even know about Langhorne? The USFL.

“The USFL was greedy, trying to get as many players stolen from the NFL back in ’83, ’84, and ’85,” Langhorne says.

And in January of ’85, the Oakland Invaders drafted Langhorne. A few months later, so did the Browns, who were loading up on talented receivers. Brian Brennan in ’84, Langhorne in ’85, Webster Slaughter in ’86.

Reggie Langhorne
Reggie Langhorne(Reggie Langhorne)

But it was a defensive star who gave Reggie his first, uh, glimpse into the NFL. And it’s funny to this day.

“The first guy that I met, coming into the facility in Berea ... there was no one in there ... and I walk in there and there’s this one guy who’s naked, taking a shower, he gets out and it’s Big Daddy Carl Hairston,” Langhorne says with a laugh. “The first thing I said to myself, ‘man, that’s an old coach right there’, then I realized he was actually a starting defensive end. I thought he was somebody’s grandfather.”

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