The St. Louis Rams sent out a press release on Wednesday announcing the signing of 23 undrafted rookies for the upcoming season. We have already talked about most of these guys, but some of the names are new. In a nice added bonus, the press release included little blurbs about each player to let us get to know them a little better. This is going to be an interesting summer for the rookies, who should be given every chance to make this team. I wouldn’t be shocked if more of these guys make the final roster than expected, because I think Jeff Fisher wants to get his guys in here and he has no allegiance to any player from the previous regime. Considering we have the worst record in the NFL over the last five years, some new blood probably isn’t such a bad idea.
Todd Anderson, FB, Michigan State - Converted to fullback in 2011 after spending first four collegiate seasons as a defensive lineman. Helped pave the way for Spartan running backs to gain 2,215 yards on the ground last season.
Sammy Brown, LB, Houston - Played in 25 games at linebacker, collecting 165 tackles, 25 sacks, four passes defensed and two forced fumbles in two seasons with Houston. Earned 2011 College Football Performance Awards Linebacker Watch List, All-Conference USA Honorable Mention in 2010, Conference USA co-Defensive Player of the Week (Oct. 24, 2010).
Jeremy Caldwell, CB, Eastern Kentucky - Four-year starter was a finalist for Buck Buchanan Award as a senior. During his career, recorded 15 interceptions, three of which were returned for touchdowns, as well as touchdowns on three kick returns and one punt return. Led Ohio Valley Conference with seven interceptions in 2010.
Derrick Choice, LB, Stephen F. Austin - Started 48-consecutive games and was named All-Southland Conference Honorable Mention three times. Career totals include 5.5 sacks and 33 tackles for loss.
Matt Conrath, DT, Virgina - First-team All-ACC pick and ranked third among all ACC defensive linemen with 64 total tackles in his senior season. Also made an impact on special teams with three blocked field goals in 2011.
Matt Daniels, S, Duke - Earned First-Team All-ACC and Second-Tteam All-America honors after leading Duke in tackles with 126 in 2001. Finished third in the balloting for ACC Defensive Player of the Year. Career totals included 324 tackles, 13.0 tackles for loss, four interceptions, seven caused fumbles, three fumble recoveries and 27 pass breakups.
Austin Davis, QB, Southern Mississippi - Passed for 3,496 yards and 30 touchdowns as a senior. Began his career as a walk-on and left campus as the school’s all-time leading passer with 10,727 yards, surpassing Brett Favre’s career record.
Cory Harkey, TE, UCLA - Finished his career with 26 straight starts. Regarded as one of the best blocking tight ends in college football last season. Received the Jerry Long “Heart” Award and the Kenneth S. Washington Award for Outstanding Senior of the Year by the coaching staff at the annual team banquet.
Michael Hay, G, Syracuse - Started 24 games at right tackle in two seasons with the Orangemen after beginning his career at Nassau Community College.
T. Bob Hebert, C, LSU - Versatile offensive lineman who played in 42 games with 26 starts at Louisiana State University. Started at three positions on the offensive line as a senior in 2011 (four at left guard, three at center and one at right guard). Led LSU offensive linemen in snaps (607) and knockdowns (76) in 2010.
John Hekker, P, Oregon State - Four-year starter finished his career as one of the most prolific punters in Oregon State history. Logged the third-best career punt yardage average at OSU at 41.3 yards per punt. Averaged 44.0 yards per punt in 2011.
Alex Hoffman-Ellis, LB, Washington State - Played in 35 games with 33 starts. Tallied 253 career tackles (178 solo), four interceptions, two returned for touchdowns. Named Second-Team All-Pac-12 and named to Phil Steele’s All-Pac-12 Conference second team. Finished senior season with 88 tackles, good for eighth in the Pac-12 and a team-best 64 solo tackles, third most in the conference.
Jamaar Jarrett, DE, Arizona State - Played in 46 games with 19 starts and two All-Conference honorable mentions. Tallied 100 career tackles, 7.5 career sacks, including a career-high two on two occasions.
Nicholas Johnson, WR, Henderson State - Caught 66 passes for 750 yards and four touchdowns in two seasons at Henderson State. Also handled kickoff and punt returns for the Reddies.
Noah Keller, LB, Ohio - Was named Second-Team All-MAC after racking up a career-best 110 tackles as a senior. Recorded 13 tackles, forced and recovered a fumble and tallied an interception in MAC Championship Game to earn MVP honors following the contest.
Joe Long, T, Wayne State - Started all 49 games at left tackle, breaking the Wayne State record for both career and consecutive starts. Was a four-time all-league performer (first team in 2010 and 2011, and Honorable Mention All-GLIAC in 2008 and 2009). Blocked for a 1,000-yard rusher all four seasons. Younger brother of Dolphins T Jake Long.
Rodney McLeod, S, Virginia - Earned Honorable Mention All-ACC honors after intercepting four passes and breaking up seven more as a senior. Started 31 games in four seasons with Cavaliers.
Calvin Middleton, RB, Jacksonville State - Rushed for 752 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior and caught two touchdown passes.
DeAngelo Peterson, TE, LSU - Played in 50 games, starting 10 times during his career with the Tigers. Converted wide receiver finished career with 39 receptions for 459 yards and three touchdowns, including 18 catches as a senior.
Quinton Pointer, S, UNLV - Rebels captain played at both cornerback and safety as a senior. Finished fourth on the team with 59 total tackles and tied for the lead with three forced fumbles and two interceptions, giving him six picks during collegiate career.
Nick Schwieger, RB, Dartmouth - Broke Dartmouth’s career rushing record with 3,150 yards and also holds the school record for all-purpose yards with 4,115. Three-time All-Ivy League performer.
Scott Smith, DE, Texas Tech - Played defensive end at Texas Tech, ranked 10th during league play in tackles for a loss (9.0). Played in eight games with seven starts, recording 37 tackles (31 solo), 5.5 sacks, three quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles and one pass breakup.
Travis Tripuka, LS, UMass - Snapped for the football team and also played lacrosse for the Minutemen. Father Kelly enjoyed lengthy NBA career and grandfather Frank played quarterback for 14 seasons in the AFL, CFL and NFL.