D3 Football Players Sign Undrafted Free Agent Contracts

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Three NCAA D-III Football players have signed undrafted free agent contracts as of Monday, April 27th afternoon. (PHOTO COURTESY: Anderson Mancini on Visual Hunt / CC BY)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Three NCAA D-III football players have signed undrafted free agent contracts as of mid-to-late Monday afternoon, including University of Redlands defensive back Jeff Hector, who inked his name on a contract last Saturday, April 25 with the Baltimore Ravens.

Hector was named an AFCA First Team All-American and D3football.com All-West Region honoree while securing a spot on the Southern Californa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) last November. The Palos Verdes Peninsula, California guided the Bulldogs to a 9-2 overall record while recording 35.0 total tackles, including two tackles for a loss and one sack to go with two forced fumbles and eight interceptions.

Broc Rutter, who quarterbacked North Central College to a Stagg Bowl victory last December against UW-Whitewater, signed a contract with the San Francisco 49ers.

Rutter, who was the recipient of the Gagliardi Trophy, announced his signing on Twitter this past weekend, telling his fans and followers that he “can’t wait to get to work.”

The Naperville, Illinois native started all 15 contests for the Cardinals and established new single-season program records in passing yards (4,591), passing touchdowns (56), completions (309), passing attempts (435), and passing efficiency (199.9). He was named the Player of the Year by both D3Football.com and College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW).

Berry College wide receiver Mason Kinsey signed with the Tennessee Titans shortly after the conclusion of the 2020 NFL Draft.

The D3Football.com third-team All-American enjoyed a very successful final season with the Vikings, catching 65 passes for 1,221 yards and 16 touchdowns. Kinsey helped Berry win nine contests and capture the program’s fourth-straight Southern Athletic Association (SAA) championship. Kinsey is currently first in program history in touchdown receptions (50) and receiving yards (3,343), and second in total receptions (203).

Kinsey shared his excitement on Twitter earlier today, saying “Let’s shock the world.”

Saint John’s University‘s Ben Bartch was the only D-III football player to be drafted this past weekend by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fourth round. Bartch becomes the most recent D-III student-athlete to hear his name called since Hobart‘s Ali Marpet was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Welcome To New England, Kyle Dugger

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Kyle Dugger, who played for Lenoir-Rhyne, was selected by the New England Patriots in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. (PHOTO COURTESY: Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

Kyle Dugger is officially a member of the New England Patriots.

The former Lenoir-Rhyne University safety, who won the Cliff Harris Award last December, was selected by the Patriots this evening with the 37th pick in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Dugger becomes the most recent member of the Bears’ football program to be drafted since John Milem was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in 2000.

Dugger competed in 42 contests for the Bears, recording 237 total tackles, including 152 solo stops to go with 10 interceptions, six forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries, and two blocks. He returned 67 punts for 929 yards and scored six touchdowns.

The Decatur, Georgia native, who played in just seven games last season, secured first-team honors from both D2Football.com and the South Atlantic Conference (SAC). He was also named to the Don Hansen All-America team, securing a spot on the third team while securing a spot on the 2019 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II Coaches’ All-America Team.

Dugger and the Bears finished their 2019 season in first place in the SAC with a 13-1 overall record, including an 8-0 conference mark. Lenoir-Rhyne advanced to the third round of the NCAA D-II Tournament, but saw their bid toward a national championship dashed by West Florida, which went onto beat Minnesota State, 48-40, in the finals.

Dugger will join a Patriots defense that ranked first in the league last year in total defense (275.9 yards per game) and second in passing yards per game (180.4).


Photo courtesy Lenoir-Rhyne University Athletics.  

New England Small Colleges In The NFL & AFL Draft

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Bates College fullback Tom Carr, who is one of two Bobcats to rush for 30 touchdowns in a career, was drafted by the Boston Patriots in 1966. (PHOTO COURTESY: Bates College.)

By NoontimeSports.com 

The 2020 NFL Draft is just a few hours away – are you excited?

While we anxiously await to hear who will be this year’s first-round pick – most likely Joe Burrow, right? – we wanted to highlight some former New England small college players that heard their names announced during past NFL and American Football League (AFL) Drafts.

Our list was created with the help of ProFootballReference.com’s NFL and AFL Draft History.


American International College (AIC)

  • 1944: Myron Majewski (Tackle): Majewski was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles with the 328th pick in the 32nd round.
  • 1953: Bill Murray (End): Murray was selected by the Green Bay Packers with the 272nd pick in the 23rd round.
  • 1957: Tom Rychlec (End): Rychlec was selected by the Detroit Lions with the 119th pick in the 10th round. The Meriden, Connecticut native played one season with the Lions before competing for the Buffalo Bills of the American Football League (AFL)from 1960 to 1963.
  • 1961: Joe Scibelli (G): Scibelli was drafted by two teams – the New York Titans of the AFL and Los Angeles Rams of the NFL. He elected to play for the Rams and played for Los Angeles from 1961 to 1975. He started 195 of 202 games on defense. The Springfield, Massachusetts native competed in six postseason contests.
  • 1961: Andy Griffith (RB): Griffith was drafted by the New York Titans of the American Football League with the 198th pick in the 25th round.
  • 1967: Bill Delaney (TE): Delaney was selected by the Atlanta Falcons with the 112th pick in the fifth round.
  • 1970: Glen Dumont (RB): Dumont was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs with the 364th pick in the 14th round.
  • 1972: Bruce Laird (DB): Laird was drafted by the Baltimore Colts with the 152nd pick in the sixth round. The Lowell, Massachusetts native played ten seasons in the NFL – eight with the Colts and two with the San Diego Chargers. He started in 127 of 164 contests while competing in five postseason games.
  • 1977: Terry Randolph (DB): Randolph was drafted by the Green Bay Packers with the 290th pick in the 11th round.
  • 1992: Gabe Mokwuah (LB): Mokwuah was drafted by the Green Pack Packers with the 287th pick in the 11th round.

Amherst College 

  • 1972: Jean Fugett (TE): Figett was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys with the 338th pick in the 13th round. The Baltimore, Maryland native played eight seasons in the NFL – he played four seasons with the Cowboys (1972-1975) before finishing his career with the Washington Redskins.
  • 1974: Freddie Scott (WR): Scott was selected by the Baltimore Colts with the 174th pick in the seventh round. The Grandy, Arkansas native played 10 seasons in the NFL – he spent the majority of his career with the Detroit Lions (1978-1983) while competing in four postseason contests. He never won a playoff game.
  • 1978: Bill Swiacki (TE): Swiacki was drafted by the New York Giants with the 232nd pick in the ninth round.
  • 1978: Sean Clancy (LB): Clancy was drafted by the Miami Dolphins with the 217th pick in the eighth round. The Manhasset, New York native played two seasons in the NFL – he spent one year with the Dolphins and his final season with the St. Louis Cardinals. He also competed in just one postseason contest.

Bates College

Bentley University

  • 2008: Mackenzy Bernadeau (G): Bernadeua was selected by the Carolina Panthers with the 250th pick in the seventh round. The Waltham, Massachusetts native played seven seasons, including four with the Dallas Cowboys from 2012 to 2015. He started 49 of 111 games, including all 16 for the Cowboys in 2012. He also played in two postseason games with the Cowboys in 2015 against the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers.

Bowdoin College

  • 1966: Paul Soule (HB): Soule, who was from Portland, Maine, was drafted by the Boston Patriots in the 1966 AFL Draft with 174th pick in the 20th round.
  • 1978: Steve McCabe (G): McCabe, who grew up in Westborough, Massachusetts, was drafted the Washington Redskins with the 324th pick in the 12th round. McCabe is the only member of the Polar Bears football program to be drafted by an NFL team after becoming the school’s first and only student-athlete to earn Kodak Division III All-American honors.

Brandeis University  

Colby College 

  • 1955: John Jacobs (E): Jacobs was selected by the New York Giants with the 224th pick in the 19th round.
  • 1959: Bob Sargent (T): Sargent was drafted by the Washington Redskins with the 292nd pick in the 25th round.

Middlebury College

  • 1949: John Corbisiero (B): Corbisiero was selected by the Chicago Bears with the 169th pick in the 17th round.
  • 1955: Al Dennis (E): Dennis was drafted by the Chicago Cardinals with the 191st pick in the 16th round.
  • 1958: Dick Fusco (T): Fusco was drafted by the New York Giants with the 214th pick in the 18th round.

Norwich University

  • 1943: Walt Domina (HB): Domina was selected by the New York Giants with the 106th pick in the 12th round. A two-spot athlete with the Cadets, Domina was remembered for his impressive play on the gridiron – he still holds individual records for points (31) and most touchdowns scored (five) in a single-game. Both records were recorded against Middlebury in 1940.

Southern Connecticut State University

  • 1963: Ralph Ferrisi (RB): Ferrisi was drafted by two teams – Boston Patriots and Minnesota Vikings. Ferrisi, who was born in Bronx, New York, but graduated from Weymouth High School, played professionally for the Vikings.
  • 1967: Tom Reale (OT): Reale was selected by the New York Giants with the 369th pick in the 15th round.
  • 1967: Dick Nocera (RB): Nocera was selected by the Boston Patriots with the 414th pick in the 16th round of the AFL Draft.
  • 1985: Travis Tucker (TE): Tucker was picked 287th overall in the 11th round by the Cleveland Browns. The Brooklyn, New York native played three seasons for the Browns while competing in a trio of postseason contests.
  • 1987: Scott Mersereau (DT): Mersereau was selected 136th overall in the fifth round by the Los Angeles Rams. The Riverhead, New York native never played for the Rams, however, but competed for the New York Jets from 1987 to 1993. He started in 91 of 102 contests and finished his career with three interceptions and three forced fumbles. He only played in one postseason contest in 1991 against the Houston Oilers.

St. Anselm College

  • 1940: Ray McLean (HB): McLean was drafted by the Chicago Bears with the 192nd pick in the 21st round. The Lowell, Massachusetts native played eight seasons with the Bears, making seven starts in 76 contests. He rushed for five scores while catching 21 touchdowns.

Trinity College

  • 1937: Mickey Kobrosky (QB): Kobrosky was drafted by the New York Giants with the 44th pick in the fifth round. The Springfield, Massachusetts native played seven games for the Giants in 1937, completing 2 of 13 passes for 18 yards while rushing for 41 yards on 13 carries.
  • 1959: Roger LeClerc (LB): LeClerc was drafted by the Chicago Bears with the 177th pick in the 15th round. The Springfield, Massachusetts native was transformed into a kicker with the Bears where he connected on 76 of 152 attempts while drilling 154 of 160 extra points. He did play one season for the Denver Broncos in 1967 before retiring.
  • 1985: Joe Shield (QB): Shielf was selected by the New York Giants with the 44th pick in the fifth round. The Brattleboro, Vermont native played just three games with the Packers during the 1986 season.

Tufts University 

  • 1946: George Feldman (HB): Feldman was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles with the 208th pick in the 22nd round.
  • 1958: George Kurker (T): Kurker was selected by the New York Giants with the 149th pick in the 13th round.
  • 1977: Daryl Brown (DB): Brown was picked 240th in the ninth round by the Cleveland Browns.

UMass Boston

  • 1974: Erle Garrett (DB): The only student-athlete to be drafted in UMass Boston’s history, Garrett was selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the 441st pick in the 17th round.

University of New Haven

  • 1958: Lou Pitney (C): Pitney was drafted by the New York Giants with the 345th pick in the 29th round.
  • 1959: Dick Splain (T): Splain was selected by the Washington Redskins with the 185th pick in the 16th round.
  • 1982: Mile McPherson (DB): McPherson was selected by the Los Angeles Rams with the 256th pick in the 10th round. The Queens, New York native never played a down for the Rams but did play four seasons for the San Diego Chargers while playing in two postseason games against the Miami Dolphins and Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • 1991: Harry Boatswain (G): Boatswain was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers with the 137th pick in the fifth round. The Brooklyn, New York native played began his five-year career with the 49ers before competing for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1995 and the New York Jets in 1996. He also competed in seven postseason games, including four contests against the Dallas Cowboys.

Wesleyan University 

  • 1947: Burt VanderClute (G): Vander Clute was picked 69th overall in the ninth round by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • 1947: Jack Medd (C): Medd was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 89th pick in the 11th round.
  • 1948: Jim Burton (E): Burton was drafted by the Boston Yanks with the 69th pick in the ninth round.
  • 1949: John Geary (T): Geary was selected by the New York Bulldogs with the 93rd pick in the 10th round.

Williams College

  • 1970: Jack Maitland (RB): Maitland was selected by the Baltimore Colts with the 408th pick in the 16th round. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native played just one season for the Colts, starting two of the 14 games. He rushed for 209 yards on 74 carries for one score while catching nine passes for 67 yards and one touchdown. One year later, Maitland suited up for the New England Patriots where he played for the hometown team in 1971 and 1972.
  • 1976: Scott Perry (DB): Perry was picked 147th overall in the fifth round by the Cincinnati Bengals. The Pleasanton, California native played four seasons with the Bengals before ending his career with both the San Diego Chargers and San Francisco 49ers. Perry played in two postseason games in 1981 with the Chargers.
  • 1996: Ethan Brooks (T): Brooks was selected 229th overall in the seventh round by the Atlanta Falcons. Brooks played seven seasons of professional football, including three with the Baltimore Ravens from 2002-04.

 

Daily Noontime: Friday, March 20th, 2020

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By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

Welcome to Friday (or as we like to call it, Fri-yay!).

It has been quite the week – when will the new normal end? – but like I did yesterday, I will continue to produce a ‘Daily Noontime’ going forward with hopes of putting a smile on everyone’s faces during this unique time (and the life we’re living these days).

Alright, it is official: Tom Brady is officially a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In a release (and story this morning from the Buccaneers’ website), the team’s General Manager Jason Licht said Brady will “immediately impact our entire organization.”

Indeed, Brady will make an impact on the Bucs, who finished their 2019 season with seven wins and nine losses.

But doesn’t it seem strange (or bizarre) to think Brady will end his historic career with the Buccaneers? I mean, I think so, but Joe Montana ended his career, not with the San Francisco 49ers, but the Kansas City Chiefs. Again, this just seems weird, but again, we’re living in unusual times.

So, with no Brady under center, it is time to embrace Jarrett Stidham, but maybe we should also Jameis Winston, too. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler thinks (and believes) that the former Buccaneers quarterback could be an ideal replacement for the Patriots, but do we really want a quarterback that threw 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions last season?

In other National Football League (NFL) news, the “stay at home” order in California could impact the completion of SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. The new home of the Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams was supposed to be ready for the upcoming season, but due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the “stay at home” order could mean a delay on the league’s new crown jewel.

In an interesting op-ed piece from the Los Angeles Times, there is a thought of building a people mover to the stadium, along with the shops and office space, which will be built nearby. Not a bad idea and it would decrease traffic, too.

Let’s switch gears to some quick hitters (and what occurred on this date in the past few months, years, and decades), beginning with wishing Bobby Orr a happy birthday!

On This Date in History: 

  • 1934: Babe Didrikson Zaharias pitched one inning in a Major League Baseball (MLB) spring training game for the Philadelphia Athletics. She gave up one walk but not hits in a single frame against the Brooklyn Dodgers.
  • 1965: UCLA beat Michigan in the 27th NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship.
  • 1973: Roberto Clemente was elected to the MLB 11 weeks after his death in a plane crash.
  • 1989: Baseball announced former Cincinnati Reds manager Pete Rose is under investigation for betting on baseball games.
  • 1990: The Los Angeles Lakers retired Kareem Abdul-Jabbar‘s number (No. 33).

As usual, please be well and be safe, take care of your family, and we’ll have more content on Brady (and some other topics) later today and this weekend! 

Daily Noontime: Friday, March 6th, 2020

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By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation

It’s Friday – hooray!

I hope you are excited about the weekend as I am – I know it will be a great one.

Tomorrow will be chilly, but then the mild-winter/early spring weather returns on Sunday and then Monday will feel like a beach day (wahoo!).

Let’s kick-off the final day of the workweek with a brand new ‘Daily Noontime.’

The Boston Bruins squeaked out a 2-1 win last night over the Florida Panthers – they needed a second-period goal to eventually force overtime. Torey Krug netted the game-winner while finishing with one goal and one assist. Patrice Bergeron tied the game in the second period.

With the win, the Bruins earned an additional two points and are now in complete command of the Atlantic Division. They have won 43 games and will look to continue their momentum tomorrow evening when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning with puck drop scheduled for 7 p.m.

Following their one-goal victory last night over the Panthers, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy made a funny joke about Krug. Apparently, he referred to the defensemen as “hammer hands there.” That is pretty funny, right?

Crew Ainge and the Babson College men’s basketball team are back in the NCAA D-III Tournament this afternoon – the Beavers will tip-off against Ithaca College at 5 p.m.

Ainge is the son of Boston Celtics president of basketball operations – that would be Danny Ainge – and has certainly enjoyed competing for the Beavers this winter.

Speaking of the Celtics, they will be at home this evening against the Utah Jazz. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m.

According to former Celtics forward (and center) Kendrick Perkins, he believes Boston’s best chance to contend for a title (and be a real threat in the Eastern Conference) is by locking-up the second seed. “If Boston gets the second seed, they’re going to the Eastern Conference Finals and they’re going to the (NBA) Finals,” Perkins said, via Nick Friar of WEEI.com.

As of this morning, the Celtics trail the Toronto Raptors by one-and-a-half games for the second spot. But I think Perkins is right – we need the second position to have a chance at contending for an NBA championship in June (fingers crossed!).

Finally, it sounds like the San Francisco 49ers could be a possible landing spot for Tom Brady, but the same could be said for our beloved New England Patriots.

Other potential landing spots, as noted by ProFootballTalk.com, are Tennessee TitansLos Angeles Chargers, and Las Vegas Raiders.