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Giants Now (5/19): Andrew Thomas surprises heart transplant survivor; Julian Love graduates


Julian Love earns degree from Notre Dame

Julian Love put together a strong collegiate career during his time at Notre Dame. Love saw action right away for the Fighting Irish, playing in 12 games as a true freshman in 2016 before being inserted into the starting lineup as a sophomore.

In both the 2017 and 2018 seasons, Love did not miss a game, starting in all 13 contests each year. As a junior in 2018, he registered 63 tackles (49 solo), three tackles for loss, an interception, a forced fumble, three fumble recoveries, a touchdown and 16 passes defended. His performance earned him a selection as a Consensus All-American.

Following his strong junior campaign, Love would forego his final year of eligibility and declare for the 2019 NFL Draft, where the Giants selected him in the fourth round (No. 108 overall). The young corner started the final five games of the season and played well, recording 34 tackles (27 solo), five tackles for loss, one forced fumble and two passes defended.

But Love's hard work and determination goes beyond his play on the football field. Following the conclusion of the 2019 season, Love completed his studies. This past week, he earned his degree and became an official graduate of Notre Dame.

View photos of the Giants' active roster as it currently stands.

Andrew Thomas surprises heart transplant survivor

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, 17-year-old heart transplant survivor Sam Prince was supposed to attend the 2020 NFL Draft in Las Vegas and announce the fourth overall pick for the Giants. With the plans for the draft being changed due to COVID-19, Prince was unable to announce the Giants' pick of Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas.

When Thomas heard about the change of plans, he got together with Make-A-Wish to help surprise Prince and make his dream come true. The two were able to meet and talk through a video conference.

Bryant McFadden predicts 'historic year' for Xavier McKinney

Giants second round pick Xavier McKinney enjoyed plenty of success at Alabama, earning the defensive MVP award of the 2018 Orange Bowl before being named First-Team All-SEC in 2019. The Giants selected him with the 36th overall pick in last month's draft, and according to a former Super Bowl champion, McKinney could be in for a huge rookie season.

Bryant McFadden, a two-time Super Bowl champion defensive back with the Pittsburgh Steelers and current analyst for CBS Sports HQ, made a bold prediction for McKinney's success in 2020. McFadden predicted that not only will McKinney be named Defensive Rookie of the Year, but he will also make the Pro Bowl and an All-Pro team.

The last safety to take home Defensive Rookie of the Year was Mark Carrier of the Chicago Bears all the way back in 1990. 30 years later, McFadden believes McKinney will be named the top defensive rookie.


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