home sitesearch sitemap contact fan about
  Submit/Update Profile  

Search the Network:

Football: Ex-Cajun group signs with NFL clubs after draft

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, May 10, 2014

No UL players were selected in the 2014 NFL Draft.

But much like a few of his former Ragin’ Cajun teammates, all Darryl Surgent wanted was a chance.

He has one now, as do several others.

After going unpicked Saturday in the final four rounds of the three-day, seven-round draft, wide receiver/return man Surgent and four ex-UL teammates quickly agreed to free-agent deals with NFL teams.

Surgent said he agreed to a deal with the Kansas City Chiefs, and inside linebacker Justin Anderson said he agreed to sign with the New York Giants. According to Cajuns tight ends coach Reed Stringer, tight end Jacob Maxwell was "picked up" by the Detroit Lions while fellow tight end Ian Thompson is "going to" the Houston Texans. And UL head coach Mark Hudspeth said defensive tackle Brandon McCray agreed to join the New Orleans Saints as a free agent.

"I’m past excited," said Surgent, an Alexandria Senior High product who became UL’s all-time kickoff returns leader last season.

"It’s an opportunity for me to show what I can do," added Surgent, who ended his Cajun career at slot receiver last year after having started it as a wideout. "Any opportunity like that is more than enough."

Surgent said the Chiefs had been showing interest in him lately, so he wasn’t surprised at all to receive a post-draft offer.

Anderson wasn’t shocked, either, to hear from the Giants, who had been in contact throughout the past week.

"I’m really exited to have a chance," said Anderson, a product of Foley High in Foley, Ala., who led UL in total tackles with 100-plus each of the past two seasons.

"All I was saying the whole time is all I was asking for was an opportunity to prove myself, and that’s what I’ve got," Anderson added. "Now I’m ready to get to work."

Anderson said he planned to fly to New York today and Surgent said he was scheduled to fly to Kansas City on Sunday. Both played in postseason all-star games – Anderson in the prestigious Senior Bowl in Mobile, Surgent in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.

So did Pearl River High-product Maxwell, who took part in the inaugural Medal of Honor Bowl in South Carolina, as did Thompson, who came to UL from East Forsyth High in Kernersville, N.C.

Thompson and Maxwell split time the last two seasons as UL’s top two tight ends, stepping up after current San Diego tight end Ladarius Green was selected by the Chargers in the 2012 NFL Draft.

McCray – a 6-foot-5, 318-pounder from Merritt Island High in Florida – started on the UL defensive line despite battling minor injuries all year long.

All five helped the Cajuns go 9-4 and win the New Orleans Bowl each of the past three seasons, and all five spent their entire college careers at UL.

This year ended a two-year streak of UL players getting drafted, as cornerback Melvin White, now with the Carolina Panthers, was taken in 2013 and cornerback Bill Bentley, now with the Detroit Lions, joined Green as a 2012 pick.

Four prospects from Sun Belt Conference schools, though, did hear their names called Saturday. Arkansas State nose tackle Ryan Carrethers was taken by San Diego 25th in the fifth round, 165th overall.

Two Western Kentucky teammates were drafted, with inside linebacker Andrew Jackson going into the sixth round to the Indianapolis Colts and strong safety Jonathan Dowling going into the seventh round to the Oakland Raiders.

The Colts also selected Georgia State offensive Ulrick John, who went in the seventh round.