Arizona Cardinal agree to terms with 21 rookie free-agentsPosted: Updated:
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Cardinals Football Club on Wednesday announced that the team has agreed to terms on contracts with 21 rookie free agents. Terms were not disclosed.
Miami safety Jared Campbell (6-0, 200), the brother of Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell, played in 26 career games with six starts and was a big special teams contributor. Last season, he played in 10 games at safety after playing in all 13 games (six starts) as a junior in 2009. He finished his Hurricane career with 36 tackles (21 solos), one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and two tackles for loss.
Northern Arizona wide receiver Daiveun Curry-Chapman (6-2, 195) appeared in 41 games (19 starts) in four seasons with the Lumberjacks and collected 107 receptions for 1,066 yards and 13 touchdowns during his collegiate career. His best season came as a senior when he earned All-Big Sky second-team honors after starting all 11 games and led the team in receptions (69), receiving yards (738) and receiving TDs. His 6.3 receptions per game average led the league and ranked 14th in the FCS last season.
Cornerback Desia Dunn (5-9, 195) from Fresno State is a former walk-on for the Bulldogs who worked his way to become the team’s top corner. Over his final three seasons, he appeared in 38 games with 34 consecutive starts to conclude his collegiate career. He totaled 155 tackles, three interceptions and 18 passes defensed in three seasons at corner and posted career-highs with 65 tackles, two interceptions and seven passes defensed as a senior last season.
Baylor punter Derek Epperson (6-3, 240) was a second-team All-Big 12 performer as a senior after punting 55 times for 2,406 yards (43.7 yard avg.) with 15 punts inside the redzone. A first-team All-Big 12 selection as a junior and a 2008 Ray Guy semifinalist for the nation’s top punter, Epperson finished his Baylor career with the third-most punting yards (9,574 yards), third in punting average (42.7 yard avg.) and second with 49 career punts of 50-plus yards. He also finished with 54 punts inside the redzone.
Safety Tommy Irvin (6-0, 212) from Wofford was a three-year starter who played at both strong and free safety. In four seasons with the Terriers, Irvin played in 46 games, including starting the final 33 games in which he appeared. He totaled 209 career tackles and led the team in tackles in both his junior (74) and senior (65) seasons. Irvin also collected seven interceptions, including a career and team-high four interceptions as a senior in 2010.
Elon wide receiver Sean Jeffcoat (6-2, 200) set career highs with 72 receptions for 1,025 yards (14.2 yard avg.) and seven touchdowns as a senior. A Fayetteville, N.C. native, Jeffcoat also contributed on special teams, including blocking two kicks as a sophomore in 2008 when he was named the team’s most outstanding special teams player. For his career, Jeffcoat played in 46 games and had 139 receptions for 1,826 yards (13.1 yard avg.) and 11 touchdowns.
Florida linebacker Duke Lemmens (6-3, 250) started all 13 games last season, contributing on the defensive line and at linebacker and finished the season with 43 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and three sacks. A former high school teammate of Carolina quarterback Jimmy Clausen at Oaks Christian, Lemmens saw action in 45 games (14 starts) during his career at Florida and finished with 66 tackles (32 solos), five sacks, nine tackles for loss, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
Defensive tackle RICKY LUMPKIN (6-4, 306) from Kentucky played in 44 career games for the Wildcats and finished his career with 82 tackles and three sacks. A native of Clarksville, TN, Lumpkin had his most productive season as a junior when he started all 13 games and had 26 tackles.
Oklahoma tackle ERIC MENSIK (6-6, 288) started all 14 games last season at right tackle for the Sooners and finished his collegiate career at the Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Rosenberg, TX native also played tight end in college and was recruited to Oklahoma as a tight end. He started two games at tackle as a junior in 2009 and one other contest at tight end. He finished his career by playing in 37 games with 16 starts at tackle and one at tight end.
Cornerback Da’mon Merkerson (6-1, 184) from Syracuse was a three-year starter for the Orange, including seeing action as a wide receiver as a sophomore and freshman. Last season he started all 12 games played at cornerback and had 23 tackles, two interceptions and 2.5 tackles for loss. For his career, Merkerson appeared in 46 games (31 starts) and had 59 tackles (38 solos), two interceptions, and four tackles for loss in addition to 14 receptions for 196 yards and two touchdowns on offense.
Wide receiver Aaron Nichols (6-0, 185) from Oregon State played in 12 games with 10 starts as a senior last season and had 31 receptions for 336 yards and one touchdown. A former walk-on who earned a scholarship for his senior season, Nichols played in 13 games as a junior, 11 games as a sophomore and five games as a freshman. He finished his career at Oregon State with 42 receptions for 512 yards and two touchdowns.
UMass guard Greg Niland (6-5, 305) played his final season with the Minutemen after spending the first three years of his college career with Northeastern University. He started all 10 games last season at guard for UMass as their offensive line ranked second in the CAA in fewest sacks allowed (1.3 per game). While at Northeastern, Niland was a three-year starter at left tackle and helped block for an offense in 2009 that averaged 130.8 rushing yards per game.
USC center and Tucson, AZ native Kris O’Dowd (6-4, 304) was a Parade All-American offensive lineman at Salpointe Catholic High School prior to playing with the Trojans. While at USC, O’Dowd appeared in 41 games (36 starts) and was an All-Pac 10 first-team selection as a sophomore in 2008 when he started all 13 games and was named USC’s Offensive Lineman of the Year. He finished his career by starting in 38 of the 40 games he appeared in including all 12 games as a senior last season when he was named All-Pac 10 second team.
Running back William Powell (5-9, 207) played two seasons at Kansas State after transferring from Navarro Junior College. While at Kansas State, Powell played in 15 games and had 23 carries for 250 yards (10.9 yard avg.) and four touchdowns to go along with 21 kick returns for 726 yards (34.6 yard avg.) and one touchdown. At the junior college level, Powell had 937 rushing yards on 139 carries and eight touchdowns in two seasons.
BYU safety Andrew Rich (6-3, 217) was a first-team All-MWC selection as a senior when he started all 13 games and led the team with 110 tackles, the third-highest total by a BYU player in the last 20 years. He also led the Cougars last season with 63 solo tackles, 47 assists, five interceptions, eight passes defensed and three forced fumbles. He finished his collegiate career with 221 tackles (127 solos), 10 interceptions, 12 passes defensed, six forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and two sacks in 39 career games (26 starts) in three seasons at BYU.
Fordham tight end Stephen Skelton (6-5, 250) is the brother of Cardinals quarterback John Skelton. He started 11 games as a senior last season and had 42 receptions for 443 yards and three touchdowns. As John’s favorite target in 2009 while the pair were together at Fordham, Stephen set career highs with 63 receptions for 634 yards (10.1 yard avg.) and six touchdowns. The 63 receptions were the most all-time in school history for a tight end and the fifth-best single-season total in school history. For his career, Skelton had 127 receptions for 1,313 yards (10.3 yard avg.) and 10 touchdowns in 40 games played.
Florida State linebacker Kendall Smith (6-0, 235) was a two-year starter at middle linebacker for the Seminoles and ranked second on the team as a senior with a career-high 97 tackles and a team leading 55 solos. He also had 3.5 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, one interception and one pass defensed last season in 14 games played. He finished his Florida State career with 210 tackles (121 solos), four sacks, 15 tackles for loss, four passes defensed, and two interceptions in 53 games played.
BYU tackle Jason Speredon (6-5, 308) was an All-MWC honorable mention selection as a senior guard after starting all 13 games while helping BYU rank third in the MWC by averaging 168.1 rushing yards per game. After missing the 2009 season due to injury, Speredon was able to come back in 2010 and regain his starting spot. For his career, Speredon played in 34 games with 13 starts.
Tackle Brad Thorson (6-5, 310) from Kansas started the final 24 games of his collegiate career after transferring from Wisconsin prior to the 2008 season. A versatile lineman, he made starts at center, left guard and right tackle for the Jayhawks. He was named KU’s top offensive lineman and earned Academic All-Big 12 first team honors as both a junior and senior. After redshirting in 2006, he saw playing time at center for the Badgers in ’07 before transferring to KU.
N.C. State guard Jake Vermiglio (6-5, 325) was a two-year starter for the Wolfpack and was an All-ACC honorable mention selection as a senior after starting 12 games and only allowing two sacks all season. After attending the same high school as Eagles running back LeSean McCoy (Milford Academy), Vermiglio finished his collegiate career with 45 games played and 32 starts at tackle.
Michigan State tackle D.J. Young (6-5, 298) started 23 games on the offensive line in two seasons with the Spartans after transferring from Bowling Green State University, where he played in 17 games (four starts) between 2006-07. After a season at Lansing (MI) Community College in ’08 following his transfer from BGSU, Young went on to start the final 11 games at right tackle during his first season with the Spartans and all 12 games at left tackle as a senior last season. Young’s father, Duane, spent six seasons in the NFL as a tight end for the San Diego Chargers (1991-95) and Buffalo Bills (1998).