The Giants' locker room, like most others in the NFL during minicamp last week, was stocked with players who have a certain pedigree.
There are the Florida State guys, the Boston College guys, the Nebraska guys. There are dozens of guys from powerhouse programs in Texas and California. And then, of course, there are the guys from Stony Brook.
All right, Stony Brook traditionally isn't considered an NFL feeder school. Truth be told, no football player from Stony Brook has ever made an NFL regular-season roster. This, however, is a fact that Michael Bamiro and Will Tye would love to change.
Bamiro, a 6-8, 340-pound offensive lineman, finished last season on the Giants' practice squad after beginning the year on the Eagles' practice squad. The Giants then kept him on with a reserve/futures contract when the 2014 season ended.
"My goal is to make the team and get better every day," Bamiro said. "At the same time, I'm very proud I went to Stony Brook and I know the history. I would love to be a part of Stony Brook getting to the NFL."
Tye, a 6-2, 262-pound tight end, went undrafted in May after making 34 catches for 495 yards and scoring five touchdowns for the Seawolves last season (despite his size, he also returned punts). The Giants offered him a free-agent contract after he impressed them at their rookie camp, and he wore a Stony Brook Seawolves T-shirt to the final day of minicamp last week.
Although both players are young and inexperienced, Giants coaches saw things they liked at this past week's minicamp.
"He's the Kevin Garnett of football players," offensive line coach Pat Flaherty said of Bamiro. "He's a good worker. He really is. He has some position versatility, from being a tackle to a guard. We have to find out a little more about him when we get him in pads."
It's hard not to be intrigued by Bamiro's size. He stands out even in a locker room of giants. Not only is he the tallest player on the roster, he's one of the heaviest.
If he made the Giants, he wouldn't be the first member of his family to play for a professional sports team. His brother Solomon, who was known as Bam Bam Bamiro, played several seasons for the Harlem Globetrotters after playing basketball at Stony Brook. Their older brother David graduated in 2004 as the all-time sacks leader in Stony Brook football history.
Tye, who is from Connecticut, has taken quite a circuitous path to the Giants. After playing for three different high schools, he began his college career at Florida State. After two seasons, he transferred to Stony Brook in search of more playing time.
Giants tight ends coach Kevin Gilbride has known Tye since he was in high school, and Gilbride tried to recruit him to Temple. He said he has been impressed by Tye's soft hands and ability to get in and out of breaks but added that he is making too many mental mistakes.
"As soon as we signed him out of rookie camp, I sat him down and talked to him about what he needed to do to be successful here," Gilbride said. "He's really made a great effort in doing that. He's got a ways to go as far as learning the offense . . . He has made too many mental mistakes, but that doesn't mean he won't eventually get it. We've thrown a lot at all of them."
Giants quarterback Eli Manning has liked some things he's seen from Tye.
" . . . He catches the ball very well, and that's always a good thing for a tight end," Manning said. "He seems to be running good routes. He is still getting a feeling for the offense and all the ins and outs and going through what a lot of rookies go through in learning a new offense."
One person who couldn't be more excited about having both players in camp is Stony Brook football coach Chuck Priore.
"First and foremost, there's nothing I would like to see more for either of them than extend their opportunity to play the game," Priore said. "From a selfish standpoint, of course, it wouldn't hurt to have the name Stony Brook connected to an NFL player in the newspapers. I'm pulling for both of them."