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Several Buffs Sign NFL Free Agent Contracts

Apr 24, 2005

BOULDER - Despite the University of Colorado football team having no one selected in the National Football League draft this weekend for just the second time in the last 16 years, four of last year's seniors and two others with former ties to the program were signed to free agent contracts Sunday afternoon and evening.


Defensive tackle Brandon Dabdoub signed with the Tennessee Titans, defensive lineman Matt McChesney signed with the St. Louis Rams, tailback Bobby Purify signed with the San Francisco 49ers and offensive tackle Sam Wilder with his hometown Dallas Cowboys.


"I'm just happy I'm getting a shot," McChesney said.  "I thought I was going to (get drafted), but I didn't.  I'm over it.    St. Louis didn't draft any defensive linemen, so I'm pretty much like a draft pick for them.  Now, it's all up to me."


"It's a great opportunity?I get to unite with (former CU tailback) Chris Brown," Dabdoub said.  "This is all I wanted, just the opportunity to show them what I have, and it's also close to some of my family.  It's eight hours from home in New Orleans and my brother's just two hours away in Memphis."


"I'm definitely excited, Purify said.  "I just hope to get out there, display my talents, and make the team." 


As far as not being drafted, Purify was understandably disappointed but remained positive.  "(You can say that) it adds fuel to the fire that I wasn't drafted, but at the same time, I feel fortunate and blessed that I get the opportunity to take my game to the next level."


Wide receiver Ron Monteilh had not yet signed with teams as of 8:30 p.m. Sunday evening.  One other Buff who was "under the radar" for this year's draft but did not get any free agent offers was Jeremy Bloom, who's college career came to an abrupt end last summer when the NCAA ruled him ineligible to play collegiately.  Bloom, who is expected to represent the United States in the 2006 Winter Olympics, wants to play pro football after he completes his pursuit for a gold medal in moguls skiing. 


Two former Buffaloes also signed free agent contracts with the San Diego Chargers, defensive end Marques Harris and quarterback Craig Ochs.  Harris finished up his career at Southern Utah last fall after lettering three times at CU between 2000-02 (he was injured two games into 2003 and was granted a medical redshirt), and Ochs wrapped his career at Montana, where he transferred in the fall of 2002 and lettering twice for the Buffs in 2000 and 2001.


 "I'm very excited and happy," Harris said.  "I know everyone says the same thing, that it's a great opportunity just to sign, which it is, but for me, it's another chance to keep doing what I want to do, and that's play football for as long as I can.  San Diego, Jacksonville, Dallas and Green Bay all called, but San Diego offered the most money and a three-year contract, so it was an easy choice to make.  I'm actually going to sign for two years with them."


Harris was also excited to get the chance to reunite with Ochs.  "It'll be nice knowing somebody there, and Craig is a great guy and a great person, so it always helps going to a new place to know a person like him."


CU had a small senior class, numbering just a dozen in all; the last time CU had no players selected was in 2001, when even fewer seniors (9) were eligible to be selected.  Since 1938, the Buffaloes have had two or more players drafted 53 times, with this the 10th time none were selected (1939, 1940, 1949, 1950, 1960, 1966, 1983, 1989, 2001, 2005) and five years when only one player was selected.  The last two times it happened, in 1989 and 2001, the Buffs won conference championships later that same year, the Big Eight in 1989 (an 11-1 season) and the Big 12 in 2001 (10-3); the '88 senior class for the '89 draft was also small in number with just 11.