/notables/2014/05/2014-draft-prospects

Division III blanked in draft for second year in a row

Cole Klotz, UW-Whitewater linebacker, had an impressive workout. And he has the size.
Photo by Larry Radloff, d3photography.com

Six Division III football players have been drafted by NFL teams in the past eight seasons, including Mount Union wide receiver Pierre Garcon, who starred first for the Colts and now for the Redskins.

No Division III players were drafted in this season's draft, making it the second year in a row without a D-III draftee. We'll track players as they sign free agent contracts or get minicamp tryouts.

But it isn't necessary to get drafted in order to be an impact player in the NFL. Just ask Coe's Fred Jackson or Mary Hardin-Baylor's Jerrell Freeman, now starting in the NFL, or Middlebury's Steven Hauschka, who was drafted out of grad school at N.C. State and kicked the Seahawks to a Super Bowl ring this past season.

The poster man for undrafted D-III players was London Fletcher, whose amazing career in the NFL ended this offseason, when he announced his retirement. Will Freeman inherit the mantle or will someone step up out of the 2014 draft class and have a long NFL career? 

Here are some of the prospects who could get picked up by NFL teams. 

Invited: Mitch Hallstrom,
WR, Bethel

Invited to rookie camp by the Minnesota Vikings.

Hallstrom, a D3football.com All-American, is 6-2, 211, but has a huge wingspan. He started his career as a safety for the Royals but moved to the offensive side of the ball and had 171 receptions for 2,226 yards and 12 touchdowns over the past two seasons.

Invited: Seth Mathis, LB, Bethel

Invited to rookie camp by the Minnesota Vikings.

Mathis, a two-time D3football.com All-American, stands 6-2, 240 and ended his career with the Royals as the program's leading tackler after 361 career tackles. He also intercepted 11 passes, forced six fumbles, and had 3.5 sacks. His 40 time is 4.87.

Invited: Rob Ruggiero, DL, Bridgewater State

Invited to rookie camp by the Indianapolis Colts. 

At 6-1, 237, Ruggiero looks more like an inside linebacker in the NFL. He started his career with three seasons at Springfield before transferring and sitting out 2012. Ruggiero's 40 time is 4.66 and he had 25 bench reps at 225.

Bruce Doyle, OL, Brockport State

Doyle missed time at the end of the season because of injury, hurting his draft preparedness. At 6-4, 308, Doyle has the size for someone to still take a flyer on him in a rookie camp or in training camp in the summer.

Signed: Jamaine Sherman, WR, East Texas Baptist

Picked up by the St. Louis Rams.

Sherman, who played at two separate junior colleges in Arizona, then Abilene Christian and played club football at Alderson-Broaddus, used his final year of eligibility at East Texas Baptist. He caught 62 passes for 1082 yards and seven touchdowns for the Tigers last fall. 

Invited: Adham Talaat, DE, Gallaudet

Invited to rookie camp by the Seattle Seahawks.

Talaat, who dominated the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference and was seen by more than 20 scouts this season, has been training at the TEST Parisi Football Academy. Talaat had 46 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss for the 9-2 Bison. He's 6-6, 271 pounds, and has speed comparable to top prospects at the position. 

Signed: Ryan Montague, RB, Louisiana College

Signed by the Seattle Seahawks.

A D3football.com All-Region selection, Montague ran for 1,080 yards for the Wildcats last season. At 5-8, 221, looks like a third-down back in the NFL.

Invited: Mason Espinosa, QB, Ohio Wesleyan

Invited to rookie camp by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Espinosa, a four-year starter for Ohio Wesleyan, was fifth in Division III in passing yards per game last season and 17th in total offense. Espinosa stands 6 feet, 2-1/2 inches, and weighed in at 199 pounds with an official 40 time of 5.14. Sometimes Division III quarterbacks are brought into minicamp just to serve as a "camp arm" to throw to prospect wide receivers but any exposure is good.

Invited: Garrett Maloney, P, St. Thomas

Invited to rookie camp by the Minnesota Vikings.

Maloney averaged a hair under 40 yards per punt for the Tommies last season, with 10 punts landing inside the 20 compared to just two touchbacks. St. Thomas opponents managed just seven returns on his 24 punts.

Invited: Willie Schneider, FB, St. Thomas

Invited to rookie camp by the Indianapolis Colts.

Exclusively a fullback for the Tommies last year, Schneider got no carries in 2013 and only a handful of them in 2012. Schneider measures at 5-11, 230.

Invited: Randall Carroll, CB,
Sul Ross State

Invited to rookie camp by the Minnesota Vikings.

You wouldn't expect a defensive player from the offense-happy American Southwest Conference to be on a list of pro prospects, other than someone from Mary Hardin-Baylor. But Carroll has a Division I pedigree, which gives him a little extra credibility with scouts. He played three years at UCLA, catching a total of 21 passes at wide receiver. Carroll recorded one interception and broke up three passes for the 1-9 Lobos this past season.

Invited: Cole Klotz, LB, UW-Whitewater

Invited to rookie camp by the Green Bay Packers.

Klotz was the D3football.com Defensive Player of the Year, and the track record on those players getting a shot in the league is pretty decent. Measuring up at 6-3, 240, Klotz has the size to play linebacker in the league, rather than try to make the transition to safety. He and fellow Warhawk Kyle Wismer have a chance to get called for free agent contracts.

Octavias McKoy, RB, Western Connecticut

McKoy made headlines when he set the NCAA all-divisions rushing record last season vs. Worcester State. Even though Heidelberg's Cartel Brooks surpassed that record a few weeks later, McKoy's performance got him on the radar. His 40 time from his pro day at Yale puts him in the 4.8 range and at 24 years of age he is a stretch as a draftee but he studies the game relentlessly and could play his way in through a tryout.

Signed: Dave Wright, TE, Westminster (Pa.)

Picked up by the Tennessee Titans.

Wright got an extra year of eligibility after an injury cut short his senior year. He caught 20 passes for 289 yards and two touchdowns for the Titans. Wright is 6-5, 252 pounds.

Diante Jackson, WR, Whittier

Jackson had 58 catches for 1,114 yards and 10 scores for the Poets. At 6-1 with a 40 in the high 4.5 range, Jackson has the measurables, and a heck of a lot more stats than former Whittier wideout Giovanni Stanley, who got a free-agent call from the NFL in 2011.

Invited: Dashawn Johnson, OL, William Paterson

Invited to rookie camp by the Green Bay Packers.

Johnson started 33 of 37 games at William Paterson. At Wagner's pro day, he measured in a 6 feet, 2-1/2 inches, and 313 pounds. His 40 time was 4.97 and he had 24 reps at 225.

If you've seen media coverage on other players, add links in the comments below.

Oct. 14: All times Eastern
Final
Salve Regina 45, at Nichols 10
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Mount Ida 14, at Dean 7
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at Thomas More 59, Waynesburg 7
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Final
at Maine Maritime 34, Coast Guard 16
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at Finlandia 27, Trinity Bible 21
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Hamilton 28, at Bowdoin 7
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at Delaware Valley 49, King's 14
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Final
at Olivet 47, Albion 26
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at Wesleyan 41, Bates 23
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Union 27, at Rochester 0
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Amherst 40, at Colby 7
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at Western New England 41, Endicott 14
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at Brockport 48, Morrisville State 7
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Final - OT
at Plymouth State 16, Framingham State 13
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at RPI 27, Ithaca 14
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Hobart 49, at Hartwick 27
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at Ferrum 34, LaGrange 20
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at Carnegie Mellon 42, Geneva 27
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Ohio Wesleyan 16, at Wabash 13
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DePauw 26, at Denison 17
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at Trine 42, Kalamazoo 7
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at Washington and Lee 47, Guilford 26
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at Husson 49, Castleton 0
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Gallaudet 35, at Alfred State 19
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Final
at Wittenberg 49, Allegheny 15
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Brevard 41, at Methodist 17
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at Lebanon Valley 31, Stevenson 24
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Final
Buffalo State 24, at St. Lawrence 21
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Final - OT
at Cortland 20, Alfred 17
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Final
at Randolph-Macon 52, Emory and Henry 29
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at Wesley 29, Kean 9
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at Hampden-Sydney 58, Apprentice 28
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Frostburg State 59, at William Paterson 7
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at N.C. Wesleyan 45, Greensboro 0
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at Westminster (Pa.) 49, Grove City 27
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Washington and Jefferson 49, at Bethany 14
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at Westminster (Mo.) 56, Crown 15
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at Northwestern (Minn.) 29, Iowa Wesleyan 7
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at Knox 56, Grinnell 14
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at Widener 31, Lycoming 17
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Trinity (Conn.) 23, at Tufts 16
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at Mount St. Joseph 66, Earlham 7
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Final - 2OT
Ohio Northern 27, at John Carroll 20
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Baldwin Wallace 23, at Muskingum 20
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at Mount Union 72, Capital 14
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Final
Rose-Hulman 44, at Manchester 13
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at Hanover 31, Bluffton 28
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Defiance 45, at Anderson 0
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at Wartburg 42, Loras 11
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Hiram 62, at Kenyon 56
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Springfield 35, at Merchant Marine 13
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Williams 27, at Middlebury 26
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at Westfield State 33, Fitchburg State 21
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Marietta 43, at Wilmington 33
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at Berry 34, Hendrix 10
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Curry 40, at Becker 0
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TCNJ 20, at Rowan 14
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at SUNY-Maritime 51, Anna Maria 15
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Salisbury 28, at Montclair State 10
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at Huntingdon 28, Maryville (Tenn.) 16
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at Austin 33, Millsaps 19
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 65, Howard Payne 0
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at Washington U. 55, Buena Vista 20
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Alma 27, at Aurora 19
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at Rockford 29, Concordia-Chicago 14
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Wisconsin Lutheran 22, at Concordia (Wis.) 19
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at Lakeland 57, Benedictine 21
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at St. Norbert 10, Chicago 0
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Concordia-Moorhead 45, at Hamline 0
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St. Olaf 22, at Augsburg 20
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Bethel 24, at Gustavus Adolphus 3
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St. John's 35, at Carleton 0
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at Eureka 30, Greenville 19
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Final
Centre 27, at Trinity (Texas) 21
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Final
Dubuque 42, at Nebraska Wesleyan 27
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Central 30, at Coe 19
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Final
Lake Forest 56, at Cornell 28
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at Carthage 31, Elmhurst 8
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at Illinois Wesleyan 30, Carroll 0
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Millikin 28, at Augustana 27
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Final
Ripon 52, at Beloit 28
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MacMurray 49, at Minnesota-Morris 13
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Macalester 21, at Lawrence 18
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at Monmouth 59, Illinois College 14
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at UW-Stevens Point 26, UW-Eau Claire 3
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Final
Case Western Reserve 63, at Thiel 28
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Final
at Wooster 38, Oberlin 28
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Texas Lutheran 41, at East Texas Baptist 34
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at UW-Stout 21, UW-River Falls 16
Box Score Recap
Final
UW-Oshkosh 28, at UW-Platteville 14
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Final
Sewanee 34, at Birmingham-Southern 13
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Final
at Hope 22, Adrian 3
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Final
Linfield 49, at Lewis and Clark 14
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Cancelled
La Verne at Occidental
Final
Whitworth 17, at Pacific Lutheran 14
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Final
at Cal Lutheran 42, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 20
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at George Fox 58, Willamette 12
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Final
at Pacific 35, Puget Sound 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Pomona-Pitzer 45, at Whittier 23
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Final
at Western Connecticut 28, Massachusetts Maritime 21
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Final
at St. Scholastica 56, Martin Luther 21
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Final - 5OT
at St. John Fisher 39, Utica 36
Video Recap Live stats Audio
Final - OT
at Heidelberg 48, Otterbein 45
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Final
at Shenandoah 38, Bridgewater 20
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Final
Southwestern 60, at Belhaven 31
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Final
Hardin-Simmons 35, at Sul Ross State 10
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Final
at Louisiana College 52, McMurry 34
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Final
at Simpson 38, Luther 17
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at Chapman 45, Redlands 26
Video Video Box Score Recap Recap Photos
Oct. 16: All times Eastern
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 42, North Central (Ill.) 20
Box Score Recap
Oct. 20: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Gettysburg at Johns Hopkins
Video Video Live stats Live stats
Oct. 14: All times Eastern
Final
at Delaware Valley 49, King's 14
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final - OT
at Cortland 20, Alfred 17
Box Score Recap Live stats
Final
at Wesley 29, Kean 9
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Frostburg State 59, at William Paterson 7
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Wittenberg 49, Allegheny 15
Video Box Score
Final
at Brockport 48, Morrisville State 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Washington and Jefferson 49, at Bethany 14
Video Box Score
Final
Ohio Wesleyan 16, at Wabash 13
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 72, Capital 14
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Wartburg 42, Loras 11
Video Box Score
Final
at Berry 34, Hendrix 10
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Springfield 35, at Merchant Marine 13
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 65, Howard Payne 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
St. John's 35, at Carleton 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Illinois Wesleyan 30, Carroll 0
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Final
Concordia-Moorhead 45, at Hamline 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Case Western Reserve 63, at Thiel 28
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
UW-Oshkosh 28, at UW-Platteville 14
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Linfield 49, at Lewis and Clark 14
Video Box Score
Final
at George Fox 58, Willamette 12
Video Video Box Score Photos
Final
Hardin-Simmons 35, at Sul Ross State 10
Box Score
Oct. 16: All times Eastern
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 42, North Central (Ill.) 20
Box Score Recap
Oct. 20: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Gettysburg at Johns Hopkins
Video Video Live stats Live stats