NFL loves SEC players
Brian Bahr/Getty

Posted May 5, 2007


The Southeastern Conference had 41 players taken in last weekend’s National Football League Draft – more selections than any other conference. Now it appears the SEC is going to produce more free-agent signings, as well.

The Florida Gators had nine players drafted – more than anyone else – and they’re sending another wave of players into NFL camps as free agents, including quarterback Chris Leak (Chicago Bears). Besides the players previously mentioned in this space, here are 14 recent additions to NFL rosters:

- Florida linebacker Earl Everett, the Gators’ leading tackler in 2005 and 2006, has signed with the Cincinnati Bengals.

- Georgia punter Gordon Ely-Kelso and linebacker Tony Taylor have signed with the Atlanta Falcons. LSU running back Justin Vincent, who burned Georgia for 201 rushing yards in the 2003 SEC Championship Game, also signed a Falcons contract.

- Florida defensive tackle Steven Harris has signed with the Denver Broncos, reuniting him with 2006 Gator linemates Jarvis Moss (Denver’s Round 1 pick) and Marcus Thomas (the Broncos’ Round 4 pick). Denver also has signed Auburn guard Tim Duckworth, who was All-SEC in 2005 and 2006.

- Florida center Steve Rissler has signed with the Dallas Cowboys.

- Florida fullback Billy Latsko has signed with the Carolina Panthers. So has LSU’s Jessie Daniels, who was overshadowed by fellow safety LaRon Landry last year.

- Arkansas linebacker Sam Olajubutu has signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He started 40 games for the Hogs and recorded 372 career tackles but was not drafted because he is just 5-8 and 227 pounds.

- Alabama fullback Tim Castille, who backed up starter Le’Ron McClain last year, has signed with the Arizona Cardinals. So has LSU guard Brian Johnson.

- Mississippi State linebacker Quinton Culberson has signed with the St. Louis Rams.

- Vanderbilt linebacker Hunter Funtaine has signed with the Cleveland Browns.

As reported earlier, Tennessee kicker James Wilhoit (Ravens), wideout Jayson Swain (Bears), fullback Cory Anderson (Texans), defensive tackle Matt McGlothlin (Chiefs) and deep snapper Ryan West (Falcons) signed free-agent deals within hours after the NFL Draft concluded.


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