By BRIAN CUNNIFF
Two football players with deep ties to Cape May County are getting their shot to play in the NFL next season.
Mike McGlinchey, a Philadelphia area native who spent nearly every summer of his childhood in North Wildwood, was selected by the San Francisco 49ers as the ninth overall pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday evening.
And Ed Shockley, a Woodbine native who attended Millville High School, signed a free agent deal with the Dallas Cowboys shortly after the draft concluded on Saturday.
The 6-8, 315-pound McGlinchey finished a very productive four-year career at Notre Dame last season. He was a two-year captain and was named a first team All-America selection by the Walter Camp Football Foundation as a redshirt senior in 2017. He was also named to the watch lists for the Maxwell Award, Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award.
McGlinchey, a graduate of Penn Charter High School, was rated by some NFL experts as the top offensive tackle in this year’s draft class.
McGlinchey has been well known in the Wildwoods for years. He played in various summer basketball leagues in North Wildwood and Wildwood Crest while in grammar school and high school. He is also the cousin of Atlanta Falcons star quarterback Matt Ryan.
“Every time I walk the beach in North Wildwood, I see Irish and Notre Dame flags all over the place,” McGlinchey said in a story on shorenewstoday.com late last summer. “I always appreciate it when people root for you from where you grew up and it’s nice to know they’re thinking about you as the season goes on.”
Shockley, who was also a star wrestler at Millville, is a linebacker who finished an outstanding career at Villanova University last fall. He led the Wildcats in solo tackles with 56, assisted tackles with 45 and total tackles with 101 in 2017. He was second on the team in tackles for losses with 7 ½ and also added a sack and four passes defensed. Shockley finished the season by recording double digits in tackles in each of the final three games.
Shockley was named a first team Colonial Athletic Association all-star as a senior.
Shockley’s father, also Ed, was a standout football player at Lower Cape May in the mid 1990s.