Three UConn football players to play in NFL
Published: Thursday, May 3, 2012
Updated: Thursday, May 3, 2012 17:05
UConn graduates Kendall Reyes, Kashif Moore, Mike Ryan, Gary Wilburn and Dave Teggart looked to make the next step in their football careers by continuing on from collegiate to professional football by entering the NFL draft, which took place on April 26.
Reyes was the only player drafted. The San Diego Chargers took the two–time All–Big East defensive tackle in the second round with the No. 49 overall pick, the highest for a UConn player since the New England Patriots took cornerback Darius Butler No. 41 overall.
Reyes is a part of a San Diego draft class intended to improve on a defense that ranked No. 16 in yards allowed and No. 22 in points allowed in the NFL. San Diego drafted three defensive players in the first three rounds, taking South Carolina linebacker Melvin Ingram No. 18 overall and LSU safety Brandon Taylor No. 73 overall along with Reyes.
For Reyes, the day of the draft was something really special.
“I was just kind of anxious, nervous, excited, a whole bunch of emotions all bunched up into one,” Reyes said. “When I got that phone call, I was like ‘hold on let me answer it, see if it’s real’ and it was. It’s exciting.”
Receiver Moore and offensive lineman Ryan signed three-year deals with the Cincinnati Bengals as undrafted free agents. Moore received a $5,000 signing bonus, but Cincinnati will only be locked into the contracts if the players make the final roster. Moore and Ryan have an opportunity to play with a talented young offense in Cincinnati. Quarterback Andy Dalton and receiver A.J. Green both made the Pro Bowl as rookies last season. Moore led the Huskies in receiving yards and touchdowns with 566 yards and five scores on 41 receptions.
Cornerback Wilburn signed a similar deal with the Tennessee Titans. He will compete for a spot on the roster after Tennessee starting cornerback Cortland Finnegan signed with the St. Louis Rams this offseason.
Two–time All–Big East kicker Teggart is currently unsigned. Teggart set UConn school records for field goals with 74, extra points with 128 and total points with 349.