When the Giants open their pre-season schedule tonight against the Cleveland Browns at MetLife Stadium my eyes will be focused on a pair of rookies for two very different reasons.

Of course running back Saquon Barkley will make his much-anticipated NFL debut with a lot of expected from the former Penn State star who was the #2 overall pick in the draft.

However I and others from the shore area will also be looking to see if Mike Basile gets on the field just a day after signing with the G-Men.  The former Brick Memorial and Monmouth University standout worked out with the team on Tuesday and then signed a free agent contract to fill the opening created when rookie cornerback Teddy Williams left the team.

Basile was not drafted in April and got a brief rookie tryout with the Indianapolis Colts but was not invited to mini-camp and was waiting for the phone call that finally came earlier this week.

Mike Basile (Shore Sports Network)

He left Monmouth as the most decorated player in school history. The Hawks first four-time all-conference player, a two-time All-American, Big South Co-Defensive Player of the Year as a senior and school record holder for career tackles.

Basile has yet to practice with the Giants as yesterday was a walkthrough day so he probably won’t play tonight and clearly he is a longshot to make the roster at safety but is hoping to write the same script as Miles Austin and Chris Hogan who were longshots coming out of Monmouth but made it in the NFL as did Manasquan’s Neal Sterling who is a tight end with the Jets.

By the way the Super Bowl champion Eagles also open the pre-season tonight at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the battle of Pennsylvania.

The Little League team from Middletown (Monmouth County) suffered a 5-2 loss to the New York state champions in the Mid-Atlantic Regional in Bristol, Connecticut Wednesday.  Mid-Island Little League from Staten Island is 3-0 in the tournament and has advanced to Saturday’s championship round.

Middletown falls to 1-1 and will next play on Friday night against either Pennsylvania or Maryland with a victory in that game giving them another shot against Staten Island in the championship game which will be televised on ESPN.