BEREA, Ohio -- Could free-agent wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. be the next former Glenville High School standout to sign with the Cleveland Browns?
One of the newest Browns' defensive backs, safety Donte Whitner, Ginn's former teammate at Glenville and The Ohio State University, and Glenville coach Ted Ginn Sr., certainly hope so.
"I sent the guys over here a text message the other day and told them, 'Take a look at him,'" Whitner said at his introductory press conference Wednesday. "He's still a speed guy. He can take the top off a defense. He has a chip on his shoulder also."
Since first being approached about joining the Browns, Whitner said he has fulfilled a promise to Ginn Sr. about talking to general manager Ray Farmer in an effort to bring his son home to Cleveland.
"I told his dad that I would say something to Ray about trying to get him in," Whitner recalled. "He's a free agent from Carolina, had a pretty good year last year. I believe that Cleveland guys will come to Cleveland and give a little more than somebody who's not from here."
Ginn is coming off ofa 2013 season that, offensively, was his most productive in the NFL.
The former No. 1 pick of the Miami Dolphins in the 2007 NFL Draft, Ginn was later traded to the San Francisco 49ers. After a run to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans following the 2012 regular season, Ginn signed with the Carolina Panthers.
Ginn played in all 16 games and turned 36 catches into 556 yards and five touchdowns for the Panthers, who lost to Whitner's 49ers in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs. It was the highest touchdown total and the second-most yards he gained during his seven-year NFL career.
"He had a great season," Ginn Sr. told WKYC Sports Director Jim Donovan on Tuesday. "God blessed him to have a great year. I'm happy for him. He's a free agent, so we'll see what happens."
In seven years with the Dolphins, 49ers and Panthers, Ginn has turned 197 receptions into 2,604 yards and 11 touchdowns, and gained 239 yards and scored two touchdowns on 31 rushes.
On special teams, Ginn has totaled 1,741 yards and scored three touchdowns on 156 punt returns and 6,026 yards and three touchdowns on 259 kickoffs.
And, according to Whitner, the success that Ginn has had might only get better if he were to return to Cleveland and sign with the Browns.
"He's a Cleveland guy," Whitner said. "He feels the same way I do about this city and about the Cleveland Browns winning. I know for a fact that he would love to be a Cleveland Brown. If everything goes well, hopefully, he's here."