Blaze players using NFL experience to advantage

Blaze players using NFL experience to advantage

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) - Mario Urrutia and Maurice Leggett both have NFL experience, and are hoping their outstanding seasons with the Utah Blaze will help them realize their dreams again.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) - Mario Urrutia and Maurice Leggett have both had a taste of the big time. Now, they want it again.

Urrutia, the leading receiver on the Utah Blaze, left Louisville after his junior season and was drafted in the 7th round by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2008. But his NFL career did not go the way he planned.

Urrutia was stricken with a foot injury while bouncing around between the Bengals, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New York Jets.

"My injury set me back," he said. "I had to have a bone removed from my right foot, and it was just a constant stress fracture over a period of time."

But Urrutia has resurrected his football career with the Blaze, leading the team with 16 touchdown catches in his first year playing arena football.

"I figured I'd come in and do what I had to do," Urrutia said. "But nobody could imagine that I'd do this good. I'm loving playing for the Blaze."

Leggett had a more successful NFL experience. An undrafted defensive back out of Valdosta State, Leggett went on to become the Kansas City Chiefs rookie of the year in 2008. But like Urrutia, his NFL career was cut short because of injuries.

"I injured my shoulder and that really hurt," said Leggett, who has two interceptions this season for the Blaze. "I know I can compete at the highest level. Just me being a young player with no guidance, I didn't know how to take care of my body through the course of the year, and that's what affected my career."

However, the dream of getting back to the NFL has not diminished one bit.

"The dream is like no other," Leggett said. "A lot of it is on who you know and lot of it is luck. You just have to be prepared when your number is called."

"That's definitely true," Urrutia agreed. "You have to play every play like it's your last. That's my advice to anybody that goes after their dream. It's still there for me. If I can get back, I'll get back. But, if not, I'm just going to take what I have because I'm just happy to be playing football."
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