Four undrafted BYU players sign as NFL free-agents
Keith Johnson | The Salt Lake Tribune
BYU defensive tackle Eathyn Manumaleuna, October 14, 2013 in Provo, Utah.
The 2014 NFL Draft ended Saturday night with just one BYU Cougar — linebacker Kyle Van Noy — getting selected by an NFL team. Van Noy was taken in the second round (40th overall) on Friday by the Detroit Lions. But you probably know that.
Not soon after Mr. Irrelevant was picked, free agent news began pouring across Twitter and elsewhere.
As of 8 p.m. MDT, four BYU players had announced their signings as undrafted free agents.
Here’s the list, which I will update in the next few days as more announcements are made: WR Cody Hoffman, Washington:
A year ago, Hoffman seemed like a sure-fire draft pick, perhaps a middle-rounder, but he opted to come back for his senior year. He had a great final year at BYU, but apparently that wasn’t enough to overcome some rather unimpressive numbers at the NFL Combine.
“Cody had an amazing career at BYU,” BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said in a school news release announcing the free-agent signings. “He’s a great young man and he makes plays. I am looking forward to following his continued success.”
Hoffman set BYU career records for receptions (260), touchdowns (33), receiving yards (3,612) and all-purpose yards (5,015) and 100-yard receiving games (18).
“I am taking my talents to Washington DC to play for [Washington]!” Hoffman tweeted Saturday night.S Daniel Sorensen, Kansas City Chiefs:
A lot of folks, including Sorensen’s agent, Jim Grogan, expected the playmaking safety to get drafted in the later rounds Saturday, but it didn’t happen. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound safety will get the chance to be coached by former BYU player Andy Reid, however. Sorensen turned heads at the NFL Combine and was a terror on special teams, but it apparently wasn’t enough to get him drafted. He totaled 211 tackles and eight interceptions in his career.
“Daniel is one of the best football players I’ve coached,” Mendenhall said. DT Eathyn Manumaleuna, New York Giants:
One of the best run-stuffers in school history, Manumaleuna started for four years and was the player who kept Ziggy Ansah out of the starting lineup until he suffered a season-ending knee injury four games into the 2012 season. Manumaleuna made 144 tackles, 17 for loss, in his career while playing in a school-record 56 games.
“Eathyn is a great leader and an excellent football player who does all the little things right to make your team successful,” Mendenhall said. LB Spencer Hadley, New Orleans Saints:
Hadley played both inside and outside linebacker for the Cougars and appeared in 43 games in his career. He was suspended for three games for violating the school’s honor code his senior year, then got injured when he returned and miss several more games. Hadley finished with 149 tackles, including 13 tackles for loss, and had two picks and five fumble recoveries.
“Spencer plays hard and is extremely tough and productive,” Mendenhall said. “I am happy for Spencer and proud of the way he has worked to put himself in this position.”
Hopefuls: LB Uani Unga:
Unga’s agent, Rose Blakelock, told me Saturday night that it “looks likely” that the Jacksonville Jaguars would sign Unga to a deal, but later it was reported that the club wanted to make sure Unga was 100 percent before they brought him in. TE Kaneakua Friel:
Friel’s agent, Aaron Gordon, told me Saturday night that an undisclosed club was ready to offer Friel a free-agent contract, but changed its mind at the last minute and went with someone else. Gordon was hopeful that some other options would materialize for Friel. TE Richard Wilson:
Wilson has the same agent as Friel, Aaron Gordon, but didn’t have anything to announce Saturday night. WR JD Falslev:
Falslev’s agent is Carter Chow, son of Hawaii coach Norm Chow.
The BYU release says the Cougars have had 154 former players sign as free agents with NFL teams in addition to those drafted. Van Noy was the 140th BYU player to be drafted in school history.
© Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.