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Spokane Shock
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Spokane Empire’s Nick Haag earns shot with NFL’s New York Giants

Spokane Empire coach Adam Shackleford, left, and players Nick Haag, center and Junior Alexis watch the team run plays during the team’s first practice this season. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Spokane Empire coach Adam Shackleford, left, and players Nick Haag, center and Junior Alexis watch the team run plays during the team’s first practice this season. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Nick Haag is getting another shot in the NFL.

Haag’s agent called Wednesday morning to inform the linebacker that the New York Giants want to bring him in for rookie minicamp.

Haag will sign the paperwork when he arrives at team headquarters Thursday afternoon. The three-day minicamp includes six Giants draft picks and dozens of free agents and tryout players. The first practice is Friday.

“I’m truly blessed,” said Haag, who thanked his friends, family, coaches and teammates, as well as naysayers along the way. “When something like this happens, you remember all those who doubted you and said you couldn’t do it.”

Haag was with the Indianapolis Colts in the 2015 preseason.

“That’s going to help immensely, just knowing exactly what’s expected out of NFL guys as far as meetings and what practices are like,” he said. “I’m going to try to make the most of the opportunity.”

Haag is believed to be the first with Empire game experience to sign with an NFL team. Spokane coach Adam Shackleford said the team has signed players that didn’t report because they were offered NFL contracts.

The Spokane Shock had numerous players sign with NFL teams when they played in the Arena Football League from 2010-2015 and in arenafootball2 from 2006-2009. The organization rebranded to the Empire when it joined the Indoor Football League two years ago.

“Nick’s a dream-chaser and we like coaching dream-chasers,” Shackleford said. “We love being an avenue for that.

“He’s a coach’s dream at any level – high character, great motor, extremely coachable, great leader. He’s a guy that no matter where he goes, he’s goes to fit in instantly.”

The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Haag has spent the last 1 1/2 seasons with the Empire. He had 102 tackles, 13 for loss, and forced two fumbles while earning second-team All-IFL honors last season.

Haag is a native of Worcester, Massachusetts. He transferred to Assumption College in his hometown after beginning his collegiate career at Massachusetts.

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