BOYS TOWN, Neb. — New York Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara says his old Nebraska teammate Alfonzo Dennard has the ability to be a seventh-round steal for the New England Patriots.

Amukamara and Dennard formed one of the best cornerback combinations in college football in 2010.

The Super Bowl champion Giants picked Amukamara in the first round last year.

Dennard had been projected as high as a second-round pick before getting arrested for allegedly punching a police officer in Lincoln five days before the start of last week’s NFL draft. Dennard faces a third-degree felony assault charge.

Dennard will be out to prove doubters wrong when he hits the practice field for the Patriots, Amukamara said Tuesday.

“Alfonzo is a very cheerful guy, and he likes to make the best out of situations,” Amukamara said. “He has the hungry mentality that he’s going to go in and work hard and just put everything in the Patriots’ hands.”

Amukamara and another of his Nebraska teammates, Washington Redskins running back Roy Helu Jr., appeared at an evening athletic booster banquet for Boys Town, the nationally acclaimed home for troubled youth near Omaha.

Amukamara and Dennard started 22 games together in 2009-10 and combined for nine interceptions and 39 pass breakups.

The 2010 Cornhuskers ranked third nationally in pass efficiency defense.

Dennard’s fall to the seventh round after his arrest prompted Amukamara to send him a text a few days ago.

“I just told him I know this isn’t where you want to get picked, but you know what you can do and we know what you can do, so just prove (doubters) wrong,” Amukamara said.

Dennard’s arrest outside a Lincoln bar surprised Amukamara because it was out of character.

“I didn’t think it was a true story,” Amukamara said. “I got a lot of calls and texts. The only way I was going to know if it was true was if I saw it on Google. I googled it and it came up, and I just couldn’t believe it. I know he has good people around him, so he should be handling it pretty well.”


REDSKINS: Washington released veteran Jabar Gaffney, its leading receiver last season.

Gaffney made 68 catches for 947 yards and five touchdowns in 2011, setting career highs in receptions and yardage and matching a career high in TD catches. He started 15 games in 2011.


VIKINGS: Running back Caleb King was released from jail with no charges filed against him, three days after being arrested in an alleged beating outside a birthday party last weekend.

That didn’t stop the Vikings from cutting ties with the former University of Georgia standout.

The Vikings cut King just hours after he was released from jail.

The team did not comment on the decision, instead announcing it in a one-sentence press release.


RAIDERS: Oakland signed quarterback Matt Leinart to a contract to back up Carson Palmer.


JAGUARS: Jacksonville signed kick returner Jalen Parmele.


TEXANS: Houston waived receiver Jacoby Jones after five seasons.


BILLS: Free-agent quarterback Vince Young is traveling to Buffalo to work out with the Bills.

Young has had an up-and-down career since being selected third overall by Tennessee in the 2006 NFL draft.