May 13, 2012

Blanchard joins Bears after tryout

Matt Blanchard signed with the Bears after a successful minicamp tryout.

The all-time leading passer in Division III history is getting an NFL look, as did two players from Mary Hardin-Baylor and from Endicott as NFL teams snapped up undrafted players shortly following the conclusion of the 2012 draft.

The NFL expanded training camp rosters for the upcoming season and Division III players got more of those opportunities. Former Monmouth quarterback Alex Tanney will get a tryout with the Buffalo Bills. He announced the change in plans Tuesday via social media after it was originally announced he was trying out with the Steelers.

Mary Hardin-Baylor tackle Nate Menkin and wide receiver Damian Davis each got picked up, by the Texans and Giants, respectively. Endicott defensive end Kevin Eagan will join D-III alumni with the Indianapolis Colts, while Gulls tight end Taylor Allen will do so with the Jaguars.

Derek Carrier, who had a stellar pro day at the University of Wisconsin in the winter, signed a contract with the Oakland Raiders.

Dubuque wide receiver Michael Zweifel, the leading pass-catcher in NCAA football history, received an invitation to attend a rookie tryout camp with the Green Bay Packers. Cal Lutheran standout Justin Haulcy-Bateman later was invited to participate in the rookie camp for the Miami Dolphins starting on Friday, May 4, and Wesley linebacker Mike Asiedu was invited to the Carolina Panthers' rookie minicamp from May 11-13.

Undrafted rookie contracts are traditionally three-year, non-guaranteed deals with a small signing bonus. Here's the full list of D-III players reported to have been picked up by NFL teams:

Derek Carrier, WR/TE, Beloit, Raiders
Mitch Elliott, OL, Bethel, Vikings
Taylor Allen, TE, Endicott, Jaguars
Kevin Eagan, DE, Endicott, Colts
Cody Pearcy, WR, Huntingdon, Falcons
Darnell Williams, WR, Louisiana College, Eagles
Damian Davis, WR, Mary Hardin-Baylor, Giants
Nate Menkin, T, Mary Hardin-Baylor, Texans
Chad Faulcon, S, Montclair State, Falcons
Rico Wallace, WR, Shenandoah, Panthers
Matt Blanchard, QB, UW-Whitewater, Bears *
* - Signed after rookie minicamp tryout

Tryouts
Nick Clark, LB, Alfred, Bills
Justin Haulcy-Bateman, CB, Cal Lutheran, Dolphins
Brad Fortney, LB, Carthage, Bears
Michael Zweifel, WR, Dubuque, Packers
Alex Tanney, QB, Monmouth, Bills
Kyle Fiedorowicz, TE, North Central, Saints
Long Ding, K, Norwich, Jaguars
Corey Balcerzak, T, St. John Fisher, Steelers
Derek Dreher, CB, UW-La Crosse, Ravens
Taylor Butzler, OL, UW-Stout, Packers
Kris Rosholt, P, UW-Whitewater, Packers
Casey Casper, LS, UW-Whitewater, Packers
Mike Asiedu, LB, Wesley, Panthers

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