Browns' Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi is already the best story of the NFL preseason

The NFL preseason may not technically count for anything, but for players trying to catch on with a team, it’s everything. That’s certainly true of 24-year-old Cleveland Browns rookie receiver Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi. He had a moment most people can only dream about during Thursday night’s preseason game against the Washington Redskins.

In the waning minutes of the 4th quarter, Sheehy-Guiseppi received the ball on a punt, and then returned it 86 yards for a touchdown. Once he made it to the end zone, his teammates ran over from the sideline and absolutely mobbed him, landing him at the bottom of a dogpile of love.

Sheehy-Guiseppi’s journey to that moment is what makes it so incredible. He used to play at Phoenix College, but when he wasn’t offered a scholarship following the 2016 season, he went in search of other playing opportunities. He didn’t find any, but in early spring of 2019 he found the address of the Browns workout in Miami and resolved to get himself in front of team talent evaluators — even though he didn’t have an invitation.

Sheehy-Guiseppi spent his last $200 on training services and didn’t have a place to stay, so spent two nights sleeping outside a gym before the workout. When the day came, he had to lie to even get onto the field — he pretended to know Browns vice president of player personnel Alonzo Highsmith.

But it was worth it. Sheehy-Guiseppi ran a 4.38 40-yard dash, which impressed Highsmith enough that he invited Sheehy-Guiseppi up to Northeast Ohio for an official tryout. His work at the tryout earned him a contract, and the chance to play in the preseason. In just one game we’ve already seen what he can do, but there’s yet another twist to this story — Mike Garofalo of NFL Network reported that Sheehy-Guiseppi was wearing teammate Odell Beckham Jr.’s cleats at the time.

Now Sheehy-Guiseppi’s goal is to make the 53-man roster. Hopefully Beckham won’t want his cleats back.

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