Three Former Football Student-Athletes Sign Free Agent Contracts Monday

April 26, 2004

Corvallis, Ore. - Former Oregon State University football student-athletes James Newson, Lawrence Turner and Kirk Yliniemi signed free agent contracts Monday.

Newson will compete for a roster position with the Dallas Cowboys at wide receiver, while Turner and Ylniemi join their former head coach Dennis Erickson with the San Francisco 49ers. The two will also be reunited with linebacker Richard Seigler, who was selected in the fourth round by the NFC West club.

Newson concluded his career with at least one reception in 37 straight games and earned first team All-Pacific-10 Conference honors as a senior. He started 36 of 42 career games and owns OSU's all-time receiving marks for receptions (213), yards (3,572) and touchdown receptions (20). He ranked second in the Pac-10 and third in the nation last season with a 108.8 yards per game average.

Turner started 24 of 25 career games at strong safety and finished third on the team in tackles in 2003 with 69. The City College of San Francisco transfer also was second on the team for pass breakups last year with eight.

Yliniemi developed into one of the premier kickers in the nation last season and was a candidate for the Lou Groza Award, signifying the most outstanding college kicker. The Monmouth, Ore., native booted 37 of 43 career field goal attempts and at one time had a streak of 19 consecutive successful attempts. Yliniemi hit five field goals of 50-plus yards, including a career-long 54 against Arizona as a senior. He ended his OSU career with 207 points, the fourth-highest total in school history.

Four Beavers were drafted over the weekend. Running back Steven Jackson was a first round pick by the St. Louis Rams, defensive tackle Dwan Edwards was a second round pick of the Baltimore Ravens, tight Tim Euhus was selected in the fourth round by the Buffalo Bills and linebacker Richard Seigler was a fourth round selection of the 49ers.

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