The Bucs signed No. 19 to their training camp roster, and it's not Keyshawn Johnson or Ike Hilliard. Mario Urrutia is the new bearer of the No. 19 jersey after being released from the New York Jets.
"Today we signed Mario Urrutia, big wideout from Louisville, reasoning being that a couple of wide receivers went down, a couple guys have tweaks and you've got to fill the holes," said head coach Raheem Morris, who saw Urrutia play live when he served as Kansas State's defensive coordinator in 2006.
In order to make room for Urrutia on their offseason roster, the Bucs released rookie running back Josh Vaughan.
The former Louisville wide receiver was drafted in the seventh round by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2008 and spent his rookie season on the practice squad learning from some of the best wide outs in the league.
"It helped me a lot [being on the practice squad]. My redshirt year, I learned a lot from Chad Johnson, Chris Henry and I use it everyday to do what I do," said Urrutia
The 6-foot-6, 232-pound Urrutia recorded 130 receptions for 2,271 yards and 16 touchdowns for the Cardinals. Being from the Big East Conference and having played against the University of South Florida, he's no newcomer to Raymond James Stadium.
"South Florida, I did my damage to them. I hope they don't take it personal out here, but hopefully this is home," said Urrutia.
In his first outing as a Buc, Urrutia made a splash on offense during the two-minute drill when he ran a 70-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Josh Johnson on a slant route.
"I didn't expect to get thrown in the fire that fast," said Urrutia when asked if he was surprised how quickly he saw action Friday, "but I'll take it. I love it."
The Bucs apparently think a lot of Urrutia, evidenced by the fact that Bucs wide receivers coach Richard Mann skipped the team's trip to the movies on Friday afternoon to spend time getting Urrutia caught up to speed.
With several weeks left in training camp, there's still a lot of football to be played, a lot of mistakes to be made. Competing against Michael Clayton, Antonio Bryant, Brian Clark and so many more receivers, it's too early to hand him a spot on the roster, but to Urrutia, he's just "going with the flow."
"I'm just getting used to the system and want to do what I do best, catch balls."