Not drafted, but four more BYU players sign free agent contracts

2014-05-10T18:50:00Z 2014-05-11T16:42:05Z Not drafted, but four more BYU players sign free agent contractsJared Lloyd Daily Herald Daily Herald
May 10, 2014 6:50 pm  • 

The names appeared as the final four rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft slowly crept along until finally the last name was called.

For BYU football fans, it wasn't the names listed that mattered as much as the ones that weren't:

No Cody Hoffman ... no Daniel Sorensen ... no Eathyn Manumaleuna ... no Spencer Hadley ... no Uani 'Unga.

While the draft itself might've been disappointing, four of those talented athletes ended the day on an up note by signing free agent deals with four different teams:

  • Hoffman locked in with the Washington Redskins.
  • Sorensen is off to Kansas City and the Chiefs.
  • Manumaleuna signed with the New York Giants.
  • Hadley heads to the "Big Easy" to compete for the New Orleans Saints

"I'm proud of what each of these young men have accomplished,” BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said in a statement. “I'm grateful for their many contributions to BYU and our football program and excited they have earned these opportunities with the NFL."

Manumaleuna was the first ex-Cougar to get signed as the word got out that he was joining the Giants in the first few minutes after the draft.

"Eathyn is a great leader and an excellent football player who does all the little things right to make your team successful," Mendenhall said in the release. "He's extremely reliable and consistent and well-deserving of this opportunity in the NFL.”

Hoffman was quick to follow as he tweeted out from his @Cody_Hoffman2 account: "I'm taking my talents to Washington DC to play for the Redskins!"

Mendenhall said he thinks Hoffman set the stage for success at the next level during his time in Provo.

“Cody had an amazing career at BYU," Mendenhall said. "He's a great young man and he makes plays. I'm looking forward to following his continued success."

The word also got out that Daniel Sorensen would be joining a former BYU coach in Andy Reid as he was heading to Kansas City.

"Daniel is one of the best football players I've coached," Mendenhall said. "He has exceptional character, works hard, plays physical and is completely trustworthy. He has all the tools to be a great contributor both on defense and special teams in the NFL."

Finally, it was Hadley's turn to get a chance. He tweeted out from his @DeuceHad account: "Feeling blessed to be part of the Saints organization! Time to go to work! #WhoDatNation."

Mendenhall also added his compliments to Hadley for getting a shot at the next level.

"Spencer plays hard and is extremely tough and productive," Mendenhall said. "I'm happy for Spencer and proud of the way he has worked to put himself in this position."

These four now have to go to work to earn a roster spot on their respective teams. Their immediate futures will be decided in upcoming workouts and minicamps.

Perhaps the guy who had to endure the toughest day was 'Unga, a tackling machine who blew out his knee near the end of the Fight Hunger Bowl and is still getting back into shape.

He had hoped his body of work on the field might get him a shot but although teams showed interest, the initial verdict from most of the NFL squads was that they would wait until 'Unga was cleared to play on July 8.

He emphasized his dedication to chasing his dream when he tweeted out from his @UaniUnga account: "No love today I guess.. teams want me to go out to workout once I'm 100! #AintNoStoppin #stillworkin."

Other players with Utah Valley ties to also get opportunities post-draft included former American Fork and Utah Ute tight end Jake Murphy, who signed with the Oakland Raiders, and former Timpview and Utah State wide receiver Travis Van Leeuwen, who will be heading to the Green Bay and Miami rookie minicamps.

Daily Herald sports editor ​Jared Lloyd can be reached at 801-344-2555 or Twitter: @JaredrLloyd. Instagram: @JaredrLloyd.

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