Saints announce 2014 rookie free agent class
POSTED: Monday, May 12, 2014 - 12:53pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - 4:49pm
New Orleans Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis announced Monday that 17 undrafted rookie free agents have agreed to terms with the team following the conclusion of the NFL Draft. Joining the Saints will be offensive linemen Matthew Armstrong and Micajah Reynolds, wide receivers Brandon Coleman and Seantavius Jones, defensive back Brian Dixon, outside linebackers Kasim Edebali and Chidera Uzo- Diribe, running back Tim Flanders, linebacker Spencer Hadley, tight ends Je’Ron Hamm and Nic Jacobs, quarterback Logan Kilgore, defensive linemen Brandon McCray, George Uko and Lawrence Virgil and safeties Pierre Warren and Ty Zimmerman.
The following is an outline of the 17 players who – along with the club’s six draft choices and other tryout players – will be coming to New Orleans to participate in the team’s rookie minicamp, scheduled to take place May 16-18.
Matthew Armstrong – Offensive Lineman, Grand Valley State (6-2, 302): Armstrong appeared in 51 games, mostly at center, in four years with the Lakers, starting at least one contest in each spot along the offensive line. The 2013 Division II Rimington Trophy winner was also named the GLIAC Offensive Lineman of the Year and a finalist for the Gene Upshaw Award while serving as a key contributor to Grand Valley’s 12-3 record. The four-time All-GLIAC honoree helped pave the way for an offense that totaled 6,469 yards, averaged 6.8 yards per play and scored 525 points in 2013.
Brandon Coleman – Wide Receiver, Rutgers (6-6, 225): Coleman started 27-of-39 games at Rutgers and caught 94 passes for 1,808 yards (19.2 avg.) and 20 touchdowns, tying the Scarlet Knights’ school record for scoring grabs. In 2013, he finished second on the team in receiving with 34 grabs for 538 yards (15.8 avg.) with four touchdowns, as 12 of his grabs were for 20 yards or longer. In 2012, he was a second-team All-Big East Conference choice as he made 43 receptions for 718 yards (16.7 avg.) and tied the school record with 10 touchdown grabs.
Brian Dixon – Defensive Back, Northwest Missouri State (6-0, 195): Along with his brother Brandon, who was a sixth round draft pick of the New York Jets, Dixon transferred to Northwest Missouri State from Joliet Junior College in 2012 and helped lead the Bearcats to the 2013 NCAA Division II Football Championship. Dixon played in 25 games with 22 starts over two seasons and recorded 51 tackles, six interceptions and a recovered blocked punt for a touchdown. After recording 30 tackles and five interceptions as a junior, the Pompano Beach, Fla. native started all 12 games he appeared in as a senior and recorded 21 tackles, one pick, six passes defensed, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
Kasim Edebali – Outside Linebacker, Boston College (6-2, 253): A Hamburg, Germany native, Edebali moved to the United States as part of the USA Football International Student Program and enrolled as an Eagle where he appeared in 49 games and totaled 166 tackles (88 solo), 11 sacks, 24.5 tackles for a loss, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and 15 passes defensed. He served as a team co-captain as a senior and posted 67 tackles (36 solo), two fumble recoveries and five passes defensed while leading the team with 15 tackles for losses, 9.5 sacks and three forced fumbles, and earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference second-team honors from coaches and All-ACC third-team honors from the media.
Tim Flanders – Running Back, Sam Houston State (5-9, 210): Flanders leaves Sam Houston state as the Southland Conference’s all-time leading rushing and scoring leader, carrying 999 times for 5,664 yards (5.7 avg.) and 66 touchdowns. As a senior in 2013, the Kansas State transfer carried 241 times for 1,478 yards (5.9 avg.) with 14 touchdowns while also grabbing six passes for 63 yards and one touchdown.
Spencer Hadley – Linebacker, Brigham Young (6-1, 227): In four seasons with the Cougars, appearing in 43 games with 20 starts at middle linebacker, the Connell, Wash. native posted career totals of 149 tackles (77 solo), 13 stops for a loss, 4.5 sacks, two interceptions, four passes defensed, two forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. As a senior, he played in six games and recorded 36 tackles (16 solo), 2.5 stops for a loss, one sack, one interception, two passes defensed and one fumble recovery before suffering a season-ending knee injury.
Je’Ron Hamm – Tight End, Louisiana-Monroe (6-3, 236): Hamm was a four-year pass catcher for the Warhawks and registered career totals of 111 receptions for 1,587 yards and 10 touchdowns while appearing in 46 games, including every game in his first three seasons. Missed some time due to injury as a senior, but had his best collegiate season as a junior in 2012 when he started 11 games and recorded 62 catches for 915 yards and six touchdowns while being named All-Sun Belt Honorable Mention.
Nic Jacobs – Tight End, McNeese State (6-5, 269): Jacobs, a Louisiana native, spent his freshman and sophomore seasons at LSU where he served primarily as a blocker, catching five passes for 58 yards. After transferring to McNeese, Jacobs was able to develop his skills as a receiver and hauled in 32 passes for 453 yards (14.2 avg.) and four touchdowns in his lone season with the Cowboys.
Seantavius Jones – Wide Receiver, Valdosta State (6-3, 200): A four-year contributor at Valdosta State, Jones finished his collegiate career playing in 46 games and recording 149 receptions for 2,374 yards with 33 touchdowns. Over his final two seasons at Valdosta, the Tucker, Ga. native recorded 26 touchdown grabs and as a senior, he posted 55 grabs for 777 yards (14.1 avg.) with 13 scoring grabs. As a junior, he caught 51 passes for 922 yards (18.1 avg.) with 13 touchdowns.
Logan Kilgore – Quarterback, Middle Tennessee State State (6-3, 206): The California native transferred to Middle Tennessee State from Bakersfield College in 2010 and served as the Blue Raiders’ starter for three of his four seasons. He finished his career completing 692-of-1,135 passes (61.0%) for 7,849 yards with 53 touchdowns, starting all 39 contests he appeared in. As a senior in 2013, he started all 13 games and completed 216-of-355 passes for 2,507 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Brandon McCray – Defensive Lineman, Louisiana-Lafayette (6-5, 318): A four-year letterman for the Ragin’ Cajuns from 2010-13, McCray played in seven games as a senior for the 2013 New Orleans Bowl Champions and recorded 13 tackles (five solo), two stops for a loss and split a sack. The Merritt Island, Fla. native played in 36 games for his college career, tallying 39 stops, while often plugging the middle at defensive tackle.
Micajah Reynolds – Offensive Lineman, Michigan State (6-5, 307): Reynolds saw action in 43 games on the offensive and defensive line for the Spartans. He played at guard under current New Orleans running backs Coach Dan Roushar for his first two seasons in Lansing, made the move to defensive tackle in 2012 and started 19 games in his final two seasons while recording 58 career tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss, one sack, one pass defensed and one forced fumble.
George Uko – Defensive Lineman, Southern California (6-3, 284): Uko was a two-time honorable mention All-Pac 12 selection while appearing in 39 games with 29 starts for the Trojans along the defensive line. In his first year at defensive end, after spending first his two seasons on the interior, the Chino, Calif. native tallied 36 tackles, seven tackles for a loss, five sacks and one forced fumble in 2013. In his three-year career, the versatile lineman was able to total 85 tackles, 17.5 tackles for a loss, 11.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and two passes defensed.
Chidera Uzo-Diribe – Outside linebacker, Colorado (6-3, 250): The Corona, Calif, native appeared in 49 career games for the Buffaloes and totaled 118 tackles (99 solo), 32 tackles for a loss, 20 sacks, 10 forced fumbles and six passes defensed. As a senior, he started all 12 games at right defensive end and posted 46 tackles (36 solo), with 11 for a loss, including four sacks, while ranking second in the nation with five forced fumbles.
Lawrence Virgil – Defensive Lineman, Valdosta State (6-5, 290): Virgil was a three-year starter along the defensive line for the Blazers and gained even more attention with a great pro day outing, putting up 39 reps on the bench press. Virgil finished with 48 tackles, 8.5 tackles for losses, 4.5 sacks and three forced fumbles in 2013. In 44 games, the Quitman, Ga. native recorded career totals of 126 tackles, 28.5 tackles for losses, 14.5 sacks and eight forced fumbles.
Pierre Warren – Safety, Jacksonville State (6-2, 200): Warren was a two-year starter for Jacksonville State, posting career totals of 166 tackles, one sack, eight interceptions and two fumble recoveries. As a junior, the Prattville, Ala. native finished second on the Gamecocks with 76 tackles and led the team with five interceptions that he returned for a total of 105 yards and one touchdown, while also posting team-highs in passes defensed (17) and adding a fumble recovery and blocked kick.
Ty Zimmerman – Safety, Kansas State (6-1, 204): Martin, who will compete for a roster spot at both safety and on special teams, moved into the starting lineup at Kansas State as a freshman in 2010. In 2013, he was an Associated Press third-team All-American as the senior captain came away with 74 tackles in 11 games, including three for a loss, and picked off three passes, two brought back for touchdowns to lead the Big 12. In his four-year career, he appeared in 48 games with 42 starts and posted 256 tackles, 11 stops for a loss, 13 interceptions, 27 passes defensed, one forced fumble and four fumble recoveries.