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Ex-Morgan State cornerback Joe Rankin taking another shot at NFL

Joe Rankin worked overnight for several months as a forklift operator, toiling away to save up enough money to train for another shot at the NFL.

Now the former Morgan State cornerback is preparing for a Pro Day next week at his alma mater. Last year, he went undrafted, participated in the Ravens' rookie minicamp on a tryout basis and was not signed.

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"I'm definitely very hungry and excited," Rankin said in a telephone interview. "I've been training and trying to better myself to give it another go and hopefully put up some good numbers and grab the attention of NFL scouts.

"I was working overnight so I could train during the day. I did that for five months to save enough money to devote myself full time to training. I'm taking all of the experiences I've had and giving it a strong push."

Rankin was invited to the NFL super regional combine last year at Ford Field in Detroit after participating in an NFL regional combine and a local-prospects day at the Ravens' facility.

Last year, Rankin ran the 40-yard dash in the range of 4.4 to 4.5 seconds and bench-pressed 225 pounds 15 times.

Rankin intercepted 13 passes for his career at Morgan State, two shy of matching Joe Fowlkes' school record. As a junior, the second-team all-conference selection had five interceptions, 11 pass deflections, 46 tackles and a blocked field goal. The Seneca Valley graduate also intercepted three passes as a sophomore.

Rankin is upbeat about his chances despite being out of football last season.

"I've learned a lot," said Rankin, who's represented by Maryland-based agent Scott Bergman. "I'll definitely test better. I've been training very hard. I'm looking forward to a better Pro Day than last year, when we worked out in the pouring rain."

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