May 1, 2009
Three former University of Cincinnati football players signed free-agent contracts with NFL teams, while two more have earned tryouts with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Defensive tackle Adam Hoppel signed a deal with the Cleveland Browns, and linebacker Corey Smith will join the Kansas City Chiefs. Offensive lineman Khalil El-Amin signed with the Arizona Cardinals, joining teammate Trevor Canfield, who was a seventh-round draft choice of the Cardinals.
Linebackers Torry Cornett and Ryan Manalac will reunite with punter Kevin Huber in the Cincinnati Bengals mini camp. The duo will join other unsigned players to work with the team during the minicamp on a tryout basis
The group joins UC's six draft choices, Connor Barwin (Houston Texans), Canfield, Huber, Mike Mickens (Dallas Cowboys), DeAngelo Smith (Dallas Cowboys), and Brandon Underwood (Green Bay Packers) in upcoming NFL rookie mini camps.
UC's six overall draft choices were the most in school history, bettering the previous mark of five, which had occurred three times, in 1998, 1960, and 1947. The six selections were the most of any BIG EAST school, and the Bearcats were one of nine institutions in the nation with six or more players drafted.