Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Three former CMU football players make NFL rosters

By Anthony Fenech, Senior Reporter || September 08, 2010

It didn’t take long for Dan LeFevour to land on his feet again.

On Sunday, just a day after being cut by the Chicago Bears, the former Central Michigan quarterback was claimed by the Cincinnati Bengals off waivers and placed on their regular roster.

“I wasn’t sure what was going to happen,” LeFevour told the Bengals website. “I was just keeping an open mind. Luckily, I landed in a place like Cincinnati where at least I have some connections and know some guys on the team, so the transition won’t be that bad.”

During the preseason, LeFevour, who was drafted by the Bears in the sixth round of April’s NFL Draft, completed 19-of-41 passes for 204 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

In Cincinnati, he will serve as the third-string quarterback behind eight-year veteran Carson Palmer and his younger brother, Jordan.

There, the 23-year-old will be reacquainted with rookies Geno Atkins and Jordan Shipley, who share the same agency, and University of Cincinnati head coach Butch Jones, who coached LeFevour for three years at CMU.

Brown, Zombo make NFL rosters

LeFevour’s main target during his stay in Mount Pleasant has also found a home.

Wide receiver Antonio Brown, a sixth-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers, made the team’s 53-man roster on Saturday.

Brown, who left school for the NFL Draft after his junior year, amassed nearly 3,200 receiving yards at CMU. He was a force on both the offensive side of the ball and special teams, where he scored five times during his collegiate career, and expects to make an impact on the Steelers offense this season.

Brown ranked third on the team in receiving this preseason, catching nine passes for 121 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His 11.4 yards/return average on punt returns led the team.

Brown and LeFevour are joined by linebacker Frank Zombo, who made the Green Bay Packers 53-man roster over the weekend, as three former Chippewas will suit up on Sundays this fall.

“I was very impressed with Frank,” Packers General Manager Ted Thompson said in a press conference on Sept. 5. “I think he competed very, very well. We’re counting on him helping the team this year.”

Zombo, an undrafted rookie from Sterling Heights, recorded 18 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble this preseason, but it was an early-camp ankle injury on Aug. 5 that impressed most on Thompson.

“He was hurting and still practicing,” Thompson said on Sunday, “And that’s very admirable.” But, Thompson added, “The reason he made our team is because he showed that he can play at a high level at that position.”

Zombo earned first team All-Mid-American Conference honors in 2008 and 2009 and ranks second in CMU history with 25.5 sacks.

He was unable to be reached for comment.

Other players cut

Former CMU players Eric Ghiaciuc and Andrew Hartline were cut over the weekend by the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins, respectively.

Ghiaciuc was drafted by the Bengals in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft and has played in 48 career NFL games. Hartline was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Packers in 2009 and spent most of last season on the Dolphins practice squad.

No comments: