The Cleveland Browns are a trendy pick next season to make some serious noise in the NFL — no matter how much their general manager tries to downplay all the hype. With second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield expected to take another leap forward, the team looks like it’s going all-in for a Super Bowl run, trading for All-Pro Odell Beckham Jr. and adding a bunch of other pieces to upgrade their roster. And, while many of the names the Browns have added are well-known, there’s one player who almost nobody has heard of, but his story to make the team’s roster is pretty awesome.
Meet Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi, a wide receiver-return man who completely duped the Cleveland Browns into giving him a tryout by pulling a quick one on them as he showed up, uninvited, and pretended to know the team’s personnel man, Alonzo Highsmith. After sneaking into the tryout, all Sheehy-Guiseppi did was actually introduce himself to Highsmith, then killed it in drills, running a 4.38-second 40-yard dash, and looking good as a returner and receiver.
According to a piece from Pro Football Talk, Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi hasn’t actually played organized football since 2016 at a junior college, but he hustled his way around the country, paying for a chance to tryout for the CFL, trying out for the Arena League and, finally, crashing the workout in Florida that Alonzo Highsmith was going to be at. Here’s how the PFT story detailed things.
When he got to the workout, someone asked if he knew the Browns executive.
“Yeah, I know Alonzo,” he said.
Once he got inside, he introduced himself to Highsmith, then ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash, and looked good in drills as a returner and receiver.
“I just knew I had to make it look like we were friends,” Sheehy-Guiseppi said. “Alonzo was real nice to me.”
After the workout, his new friend called him and offered an actual tryout at the Browns facility, where he impressed.
“Then we got a chance to see him for ourselves and you could see all of the explosive movement stuff that Alonzo was talking about,” Browns General Manager John Dorsey said. “Then when you watch him field kicks and punts, you are going, ‘OK, he can do this kind of stuff.’
“Now, he has not played in a couple of years, but it will not be because of lack of determination because this is a very determined young man.”
That’s pretty awesome, and ballsy, of Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi to do. And it’s even cooler that it paid off for him so far, with the Cleveland Browns adding him to their 90-man roster as OTAs are going on. Sure, the 24-year-old might be a long shot, but considering he’s actually on an NFL team right now, there’s a chance he makes the team as training camp starts in a few months. And it sounds like Sheehy-Guiseppi believes in himself that he’ll earn his way onto the team.
“No matter what opportunity I’m given, I want to become the greatest,” he said. “If it’s practice squad, I want to become the greatest practice squad player.”
Just last week, we heard about how a former college football player, Jordan Harold, was standing outside the Carolina Panthers’ facility with a sign hoping that the team would give him a chance at a workout. While the outcome of that scheme is still to be determined, for Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi, the Cleveland Browns have given him a chance, and now he’s just got to prove he’s worth the risk. It’s easy to root for a guy like this.