NFL football: Baskett to get start today for Eagles

CNJ sports

This is the big day for Hank Baskett.

The 2001 Clovis High graduate is expected to make his NFL debut in the Philadelphia Eagles’ starting lineup for today’s NFL season opener at Houston, the Philadelphia Daily News reported in Saturday’s edition.

Baskett, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound receiver from the University of New Mexico, was confirmed by Eagles coach Andy Reid to be the No. 1 slot receiver in the lineup, according to the report.

Many members of Baskett’s family are making the trip to Reliant Stadium in Houston for his pro debut (11 a.m. MDT, FOX).

Though he will likely get more playing time in the regular season than in the preseason, Reid said he plans to rotate other receivers like Greg Lewis and Jason Avant into the mix.

Baskett came in with much less fanfare, unlike other rookies starting today’s game — including Texans defensive end Mario Williams, selected No. 1 overall, who will also start.

After going undrafted, Baskett signed as a free agent with the Minnesota Vikings, but was traded shortly thereafter to the Eagles for fourth-year receiver Billy McMullen.

Baskett had a solid spring with the Eagles. Playing mostly with the first team, he caught five passes for 46 yards as Philadelphia posted a 2-3 record.

Baskett finished his four-year career at UNM ranked second in school history for touchdown receptions (nine), third in receiving yards (2,228) and fourth in receptions (140), averaging more than 16 yards a catch in a primarily running offense.