Local college athletes reach UDFA deals
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KWCH) - With the 2023 NFL Draft in the books, the frenzy that is undrafted free agency began almost immediately after the draft’s conclusion. Multiple players from Kansas and Kansas State that did not hear their name called will still get a chance to chase the NFL dream.
Starting with the Jayhawks, OL Earl Bostick Jr. reached a deal with the Dallas Cowboys according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. The Jayhawk tackle inks with Dallas for one of the largest UDFA contracts handed out thus far, a reported $220K guaranteed.
His teammate Lonnie Phelps is headed to Cleveland, News 5 Cleveland’s Camry Justice reports. Phelps, one of the more surprising players to not hear his name called, joins the Browns after a season where he earned second team all-Big 12 honors in his lone season with the Jayhawks. He had 57 tackles and a team best 7 sacks in 2022.
Another Jayhawk defensive lineman, Caleb Sampson, is joining the Colts per On3′s Matt Zenitz. Sampson, a four year player for the Jayhawks, started 38 games over his career, including all 13 games in 2022. He totaled 5.5 sacks and 77 tackles in his time in Lawrence.
Then for Kansas State, the signings kept coming after four Wildcats heard their name called.
Starting with QB Adrian Martinez, who Pelissero also reports will be headed to the Detroit Lions. Martinez played one season with the Wildcats after transferring from Nebraska, starting 9 games in a year that was hampered by injuries. The California native threw for more than 1,200 yards and 6 scores with Kansas State, part of a college career that saw him throw for more than 10,000 yards.
Kade Warner, son of NFL Hall of Famer Kurt Warner, will be sticking with college teammate Josh Hayes in Tampa Bay. A Nebraska transfer like Martinez, Warner played in 27 games in two seasons with the Wildcats. He started 10 games his senior year, leading the Wildcats with 5 touchdown receptions to go with 456 yards.
Special teams ace Ty Zentner, who handled both punting and kicking duties for the ‘Cats, tweeted a simple message to announce his NFL destination.
A former standout at Butler Community College prior to K-State, Zentner will join the Super Bowl runner-up Eagles. The Topeka native was named second team all conference his senior year, averaging 44.5 yards per punt while also connecting on all 11 of his field goal attempts.
The Vikings announced the signing of WR Malik Knowles to a free agency deal as well. The receiver and return specialist earned second team All-America honors as an all purpose player in 2022. He ended his final year in Manhattan with 725 yards receiving and a pair of scores to go with a 25.7 yards per return average.
Two former Wildcats will try and earn contracts via mini-camp invites, Ekow Boye-Doe with the Chiefs and Sammy Wheeler with the Bears.
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