Sunday, May 11, 2014 - 6:20am
UD footballers ink NFL free agent deals
Updated Sunday, May 11, 2014 - 10:30am
No University of Delaware football players were selected in this weekend's National Football League draft, but the dream of a professional football career is still alive for at least three former Blue Hen standouts.
Defensive tackle Zach Kerr, offensive tackle Erle Ladson, and cornerback Travis Hawkins all confirmed Saturday night that they have agreed to free agent contracts with NFL teams.
Kerr will join the Indianapolis Colts while Ladson has signed with the Oakland Raiders and Hawkins signed with the New England Patriots.
Several other former Blue Hens could also sign deals in the coming days.
The 6-1, 326 lb. Kerr (Quince Orchard HS/Gaithersburg, Md.) earned All-American honors in 2013 when he led the Blue Hens to a 7-5 record under first-year head coach Dave Brock.
A second-year transfer from the University of Maryland, he enjoyed an outstanding senior year that saw him earn first team All-Colonial Athletic Association, second team The Sports Network All-American, and third team Beyond Sports Network All-American honors.
He finished the season with 57 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles, took part in the prestigious East-West Shrine Game, and worked out for scouts at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Ind. in February.
The 6-6, 346 lb. Ladson (Cardinal Hayes HS/Bronx, N.Y.) started all 12 games at offensive tackle in 2013 and ended his career having played in 48 games with 23 starts.
He participated in the NFLPA Collegiate All-Star Game at the end of last season.
The 5-10, 192 lb. Hawkins (Quince Orchard HS/Rockville, Md.), who played for three seasons at Delaware after transferring from Maryland, appeared in 33 games with 31 starts at Delaware and recorded 168 tackles, eight interceptions, and 20 pass breakups.
A 2012 All-CAA cornerback, he recorded 66 tackles, four interceptions, and eight pass breakups and average 27.4 yards on nine kickoff returns with one touchdown last fall.
Delaware currently has eight active players in the NFL, including quarterback Joe Flacco and offensive lineman Gino Gradkowski with the Baltimore Ravens, defensive end Ronald Talley with the Arizona Cardinals, linebacker Paul Worrilow with the Atlanta Falcons, defensive back Anthony Walters with the Chicago Bears, defensive back Marcus Burley with the Indianapolis Colts, and quarterback Pat Devlin with the Miami Dolphins. Defensive back Mike Adams, who led the Denver Broncos to the AFC title and a berth in the Super Bowl this past season, is currently a free agent.
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