(STATS) – Feeling overlooked and undervalued has a way of fueling FCS players heading into the NFL – especially the many who go undrafted and become even longer shots.
Past awards, honors and statistics don’t matter, even for a player as highly decorated as former Northern Iowa defensive end Karter Schult, the 2016 STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award winner.
“It helps build my motivation. Not that I need any more,” he said.
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“I love being an underdog. If that’s the way it is, that’s fine with me.”
Undrafted players from the FCS were among those in demand as soon as the three-day NFL Draft ended Saturday evening. The bargain shopping included Schult signing with the Cleveland Browns and some of the other top undrafted players finding homes: Tennessee State offensive guard Jessamen Dunker (New York Giants) and cornerback Ezra Robinson (Jacksonville Jaguars); Missouri State linebacker Dylan Cole (Houston Texans); Saint Francis safety Lorenzo Jerome (San Francisco 49ers); and Charleston Southern offensive guard Erik Austell (Denver Broncos).
Going undrafted can be an advantage for a player who has multiple free agents offers and can pick a team that offers a favorable situation for him.
Following are many of the FCS players who have signed, agreed to terms or accepted a tryout with NFL teams. The list will continue to grow as teams head toward rookie minicamps in May.
Arizona Cardinals: Tevin Floyd, OLB, The Citadel; Tre’von Johnson, ILB, Weber State; Javancy Jones, OLB, Jackson State; Justice Liggins, WR, Stephen F. Austin; Lucas Nikolaisen, TE, Holy Cross (also Kansas City tryout); Steven Wroblewski, TE, Southern Utah
Atlanta Falcons: Kendall Anderson, RB, William & Mary; Dante Blackmon, CB, Kennesaw State (also Indianapolis tryout); Marcelis Branch, DB, Robert Morris; Larson Graham, OL, Duquesne; Will Hines, CB, Southeastern Louisiana; Cam Keizur, C, Portland State; Myles Overton, DT, Northern Colorado; Desmond Owino, DE, Jacksonville State; Tyler Renew, FB, The Citadel; Taylor Reynolds, CB, James Madison; Alek Torgersen, QB, Penn
Baltimore Ravens: Aaron Bailey, RB, Northern Iowa; Zavian Bingham, CB, Jackson State; C.J. Board, WR, Chattanooga; Donald Payne, S, Stetson; Pat Richard, DT, Maine
Buffalo Bills: Voghens Larrieux, OT, Coastal Carolina; Jeremy Salmon, LS, Maine; B.T. Sanders, S, Nicholls State
Carolina Panthers: Dylan Colucci, OL, Youngstown State
Chicago Bears: Rashard Davis, WR/PR, James Madison; Chris Fraser, P, Cornell (also San Francisco tryout); Lance Lenoir, WR, Western Illinois; Alex Searce, LB, Coastal Carolina; Mark Spelman, C, Illinois State; Jordan West, QB, Eastern Washington
Cincinnati Bengals: Karel Hamilton, WR, Samford; Landon Lechler, OG, North Dakota State
Detroit Lions: Brandon Barnes, TE, Alabama State; Jonah Hodges, RB, San Diego; Josh Thornton, CB, Southern Utah; Robert Tonyan Jr., WR/TE, Indiana State; Cameron Young, OG, Weber State
Green Bay Packers: Thomas Evans, OL, Richmond; Josh Letuligasenoa, DE/OLB, Cal Poly; Lucas Nikolaisen, TE, Holy Cross (also Arizona tryout); Raysean Pringle, RB, Southern Utah; David Rivers III, CB, Youngstown State; Christian Schneider, OT, UC Davis; Riley Shantz, OL, Missouri State
Houston Texans: Dylan Cole, LB, Missouri State; Zach Conque, TE, Stephen F. Austin; Shaq Hill, WR, Eastern Washington; Dee Virgin, CB, Chattanooga
Indianapolis Colts: Dante Blackmon, CB, Kennesaw State (also Atlanta tryout); Dalton Crossan, RB, New Hampshire; Brian Riley, WR, San Diego (also New England tryout); Jerry Ugokwe, OT, William & Mary
New England Patriots: David Jones, FS, Richmond; Max Rich, OT, Harvard; Brian Riley, WR, San Diego (also Indianapolis tryout)
New Orleans Saints: Miles Bergner, P, South Dakota; Andrew Lauderdale, OG, New Hampshire; Cameron Lee, OG, Illinois State; Jet Moreland, LB, South Dakota; Mike Sharp, WR, Southern Utah
New York Giants: Joshua Appel, LS, Indiana State; Armando Bonheur, OG, Samford; Jessamen Dunker, OG, Tennessee State; Sam Ekwonike, OG, Coastal Carolina
New York Jets: Chris Bordelon, OL, Nicholls; Austin Calitro, LB, Villanova; Xavier Coleman, CB, Portland State; Anthony Firkser, TE, Harvard; Kevin Kenton, OL, Tennessee State; Javarius Leamon, OT, South Carolina State; Kevin Malloy, C, Albany; Darius Victor, RB, Towson
Oakland Raiders: Najee Harris, LB, Wagner; Yamen Sanders, SS, Montana; Dan Williams, WR, Jackson State
Philadelphia Eagles: Winston Craig, DT, Richmond
Pittsburgh Steelers: Wayne Capers Jr., WR, Duquesne
San Francisco 49ers: Kendrick Bourne, WR, Eastern Washington; J.P. Flynn, OG, Montana State; Chris Fraser, P, Cornell (also Chicago tryout); Tyson Graham, S, South Dakota; Lorenzo Jerome, S, Saint Francis; Chad Geter, LB, Gardner-Webb; Jihaad Pretlow, CB, Fordham; Jameer Thurman, LB/S, Indiana State; Bret Treadway, OL, Lamar
Seattle Seahawks: Michael Birdsong, QB, Tennessee Tech; Ronald Butler, QB, Tennessee State; Calvin Steyn, OL, Weber State
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kyle Avaloy, OG, Illinois State; Deondre Barnett, DE, Southern Illinois; Christian Kuntz, LB, Duquesne; Darnell Leslie, DE, Monmouth; Christophe Mulumba Tshimanga, Maine; Chad Newell, RB, Montana State; Bret Niederreither, OG, Mercer
Tennessee Titans: Rod Henderson, NT, Alabama State
Washington Redskins: Verlan Hunter, WR, Grambling State