A day after former Illinois DE Dawuane Smoot was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft on Friday, six of his college teammates struck deals with NFL clubs.
Had to make a correction, Hardy has signed with the Bengals. Congratulations to all the Illini this weekend joining the NFL! pic.twitter.com/CQWTiM4BWU
— Illini Recruiting (@_Illini_) April 30, 2017
According to the Illini’s Twitter feed, QB Wes Lunt (Minnesota), WR Justin Hardee (Houston), LB Hardy Nickerson Jr. (Cincinnati) and OLB Carroll Phillips (Jacksonville) all landed free-agent deals Saturday night after going undrafted.
Later Sunday evening, the Houston Chronicle reported that former Illinois DL Gimel President signed a UDFA contract with the Texans, while Illinois athletics reported former DT Rob Bain will have a tryout with the Jets.
According to the Illini website, there are 17 former Illinois players currently in the NFL. After not seeing any players selected in 2014-15, the Illini had three players drafted in 2016.
Correction: Former Illinois DL Gimel President was not offered a tryout with the Houston Texans. He was signed as an undrafted free agent to play outside linebacker. Land of 10 regrets the error.