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Ghiaciuc signs with Dolphins

Ghiaciuc (click for larger version)
December 15, 2010 - Eric Ghiaciuc has plenty of reasons to smile this week.

Ghiaciuc, a 2000 graduate and former standout offensive and defensive lineman for Oxford High School is down in the warmth and sunshine of Miami, FL as he recently signed with the Miami Dolphins to become their backup center due to numerous injuries along their offensive line.

Even if he only is in Miami as a backup, he is extremely grateful for the opportunity that has been presented to him.

"Down here in Miami we are here in the playoff hunt, and that is really exciting," he said. "I'm just excited to have a job and have an opportunity to be with a team that is in a playoff race."

Going from 20-30 degrees and snow in Michigan to upper 70 to mid 80 degree weather with sun in Miami certainly helps. "You're in south Florida and you really can't argue about the weather," he said with a chuckle.

He was contacted by the Dolphins on Friday, Nov. 19.

He flew down to Miami on Saturday, worked out with the team on Sunday and signed a contact the next day.

Being a backup is not going to get Ghiaciuc down. His plan is to train and practice just as hard as he did during those years he started in Cincinnati.

"In Miami I am a backup, but I am hoping for more opportunity and I am hoping to impress them here," he said. "I am working really hard everyday and hopefully next year I get a chance to come back."

Ghiaciuc is a five year NFL veteran. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the fourth round (119th overall) of the 2005 National Football League draft.

His playing debut in the NFL came on Oct. 9, 2005 in a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars and went on to play four more games in his rookie season.

Ghiaciuc went on to start 12 games in 2006 and 2007 for the Bengals. In 2008, he started all 16 games.

Since then, he has been a member of the Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers, Cleveland Browns, the United Football League team Florida Tuskers and most recently with the New England Patriots.

He said that when he wasn't on the football field, he could be found helping out the Central Michigan University football team, "doing a lot of hunting" and spending times with friends and family.

This summer he came back to Oxford and helped organize a Charity motorcycle ride in honor of his brother's fiancee, who passed away from leukemia in January.

Ghiaciuc said that "he appreciates the support from his friends and family" and he "hopes to make Oxford proud."

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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