Five Former Nittany Lions Sign NFL Rookie Free Agent Contracts
July 29, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Five seniors on the 2010 Penn State football team have officially signed NFL free agent contracts, as announced by the teams today.
Chris Colasanti (Leonard, Mich.) and Ollie Ogbu (Staten Island, N.Y.) were signed by the Indianapolis Colts, Lou Eliades (Ocean, N.J.) and Bani Gbadyu (Gaithersburg, Md.) agreed to contracts with the Oakland Raiders and Brett Brackett (Lawrenceville, N.J.) has signed with the Miami Dolphins.
Brackett will join three former Penn State football student-athletes in Miami: 2010 NFL first round draft choice Jared Odrick, Cameron Wake and Mickey Shuler. Eliades and Gbadyu will reunite with All-American offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski in Oakland, who was drafted by the Raiders this past April and signed on Thursday. Penn State's career rushing leader, Evan Royster, was drafted by the Washington Redskins, bringing the Nittany Lions' total to seven members of the 2010 that will be in NFL training camps.
A 2010 co-captain, Brackett was the recipient of Penn State's 2010 Outstanding Senior Player Award and Big Ten Sportsmanship recipient. During his senior season, he ranked second on the team in receptions (39), receiving yardage (525) and touchdown receptions (5), making at least one reception in every game. A three-sport standout at Lawrence High School, Brackett set career-highs with eight receptions for 98 yards, including 20 and 22-yard touchdown catches, in the season opening win over Youngstown State.
A three-year starter at defensive tackle, Ogbu was a 2010 second-team All-Big Ten selection. A co-captain last season, he was tied for second on the team with 8.5 tackles for loss (minus-19 yards) and recorded 48 tackles. The former Milford Academy standout made a career-high seven tackles on Senior Day vs. Michigan State and recorded 2.0 TFL against Iowa and Northwestern this past season.
Eliades missed the majority of his senior season after suffering a serious knee injury in the Temple game last year. He had started 17 games on the offensive line his final two seasons, including all 13 games at right guard, helping Daryll Clark throw for a school record 3,003 yards and Royster eclipse 1,000 rushing yards, as Penn State went 11-2 and earned another Top 10 finish, capped by a win over LSU in the 2010 Capital One Bowl.
Gbadyu finished sixth on the squad in tackles last season and made a career-best eight tackles vs. Youngstown State, topping his former high of seven, set against Iowa in 2009. On Senior Day in 2010, he tied his career-high with eight tackles (five solo) vs. No. 10 Michigan State to go along with 1.0 TFL.
A 2010 Honorable mention All-Big Ten choice, Colasanti ranked fifth in Big Ten in tackles with 112 and was tied for second on team tackles for loss. His 18 tackles vs. Illinois tied for most by a Big Ten player during the 2010 season. He was the 21st Nittany Lion to record at least 100 tackles in a season. Colasanti was selected a 2010 first team CoSIDA Academic All-American and was named Academic All-Big Ten three times.
There are 37 former Nittany Lions on NFL rosters, placing Penn State in the top 12 nationally among schools in producing current NFL players.
The Nittany Lions return 41 letterwinners and 15 starters for the 2011 season, (7 offense, 7 defense, 1 specialist), as well as 17 players that have starting experience. Penn State opens its 125th season Sept. 3 vs. Indiana State in Beaver Stadium and Alabama visits Happy Valley on Sept. 10 (3:30 p.m. kick) for the first time since 1989. All Penn State fans are encouraged to wear white to the Alabama game.
Penn State Football season tickets are available and the single game ticket sale began Friday. Ticket information is available online at www.GoPSUsports.com/tickets or fans can call Penn State Athletics Customer Relations at 1-800-NITTANY (648-8269) Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m-5:00 p.m.
Penn State Athletics is on Twitter (http://www.gopsusports.com/ot/twitter.html) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/pennstatenittanylions).