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Justin Halley just wants to be model player for Giants

New York Giants safety Justin Halley speaks to

New York Giants safety Justin Halley speaks to the media during training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, N.J., on Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015. Photo Credit: Brad Penner

If you Googled rookie safety Justin Halley to get an idea of the kind of player the Giants were getting when they signed him Friday night, you might have been surprised. Or thought you had the wrong guy.

Nope. That's him. Almost all of him, right there to see.

Halley gives new definition to the term "good-looking prospect.'' He has experience as a professional model and has done shoots in bathing suits and underwear, walked fashion runways and even appeared on the cover of Vogue.

That career, though, is on hold for now as he focuses on being a football player.

"It's not really part of my life at the moment,'' he told Newsday Saturday, referring to modeling. "It's a cool industry, it's different, but football is all I've ever wanted to do. And you have to train all year long for football.''

He's 6-3 and 207 pounds, which is an almost ideal size for a safety. And the Giants certainly have room for him to get experience in training camp, particularly with second-year player Nat Berhe sidelined indefinitely with a calf injury. Safeties coach Dave Merritt said this past week that he does not have any starters yet and expects to keep rotating players throughout the preseason as he looks for strong combinations.

Halley had a workout with the Giants on Friday afternoon and was signed Friday evening. On Saturday, he was with his new team, learning the playbook and already fending off comments from other players who may have come across his half-dressed portfolio online.

"One [player] asked about it,'' he said. "Throughout college [at Florida International], teammates in college would say things. You just have to be able to roll with the punches and not worry about it. Try to stay focused on the playbook and your job.''

Halley doesn't shy away from his past, which has included work with big-time fashion companies such as Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy and Dsquared2.

Other Giants have done some modeling, most notably Victor Cruz, but Cruz was a football player first who was able to leverage that fame into fashion shoots. Halley's days in front of the lens are in his past, even if he is reminded of them in every locker room and team of which he is a member.

"I'm not ashamed or anything,'' he said. "But it's definitely a little different. It's a whole 'nother world. Not too many people do that and play football. I'm pretty proud I was able back in the day to do a little bit of both, but football is all I want.''

Who knows? He could become a model teammate for the Giants.


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