After four strong seasons at Louisiana Tech, defensive end Matt Broha worked and waited for a shot at the NFL.
During last week’s draft, teams passed him over. The 6-foot-4, 255-pounder found a home in the pros after all.
Broha, a former Catholic High School standout who had 22 sacks on the college level, was among a host of local players who agreed to sign free-agent contracts after the draft ended. He landed with the world champion New York Giants.
“I got the call right after the last pick of the seventh round,” Broha said. “It was the scout that I talked to at our pro day in Ruston. He said the team and he (were) really excited to sign me and glad to have the opportunity to bring me up.”
Broha was one of four former Louisiana Tech players to sign free-agent contracts, including linebacker Adrien Cole (Bears), running back Lennon Creer (Redskins) and cornerback Terry Carter (Steelers).
Meanwhile, quarterbacks Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson are among 10 former LSU players who will have their chance with NFL teams.
Lee, who signed with the Chargers, was one of six former Tigers to get free-agent deals; the other five free-agent signees were defensive end Kendrick Adams (Jaguars), linebacker Ryan Baker (Buccaneers), guard Will Blackwell (Panthers), guard/center T-Bob Hebert (Rams) and tight end Deangelo Peterson (Rams).
Jefferson was invited to try out with the Buccaneers. Three other former LSU players — tight end/snapper Alex Russian (Steelers), tackle Greg Shaw (Lions) and fullback James Stampley (Seahawks) — got invitations to try out with NFL teams.
Two wide receivers from Southern, Jared Green and LaQuinton Evans, also agreed to terms with NFL teams after the draft.
Green, the son of Hall of Fame cornerback Darrell Green, joined the Carolina Panthers. Evans signed with the Tennessee Titans.
They are among four former Jaguars who are currently on NFL rosters. Wide receiver Juamorris Stewart signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason, and defensive tackle Jordan Miller spent last season on the Bears’ practice squad.
Mississippi Valley State receiver Paul Cox, a native of Patterson, signed with the Chargers.
Elsewhere, McNeese State safety Janzen Jackson — one of the most celebrated high school seniors in 2009 — signed a free-agent deal with Giants. The Barbe High School graduate originally signed with Tennessee in ’09, but was dismissed last summer for unspecified reasons. He had three interceptions last season at McNeese State.
Two of his Cowboys teammates, defensive back London Durham (Seahawks) and tailback Andre Anderson (Redskins), also signed free-agent deals.
Louisiana-Monroe return specialist Luther Ambrose, a former St. James star, is headed to Tampa Bay.
Finally, Grambling receiver Mario Louis — who led the Southwestern Athletic Conference with 1,129 yards and 18 touchdowns last year — admitted to being “kind of down” Saturday, when the NFL draft ended and he was still searching for a team.
Then he got a congratulatory call from his agent, Albert Elias, who informed Louis that he had a deal in place with the Houston Texans.
“It (hasn’t) really hit me yet, that I’m a pro,” Louis said. “I guess once I get there and get into the swing of things, the feeling will come. ... I’m just real excited to get in and work at the highest level of football.”
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