KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Following a busy NFL Draft weekend for Tennessee, several more Volunteers will get their chance at making NFL rosters after signing as undrafted free agents.
Five players from Tennessee were selected in the NFL Draft in all. Offensive lineman Darnell Wright became the highest draft pick from Tennessee in over a decade while Hendon Hooker became the highest Tennessee quarterback selection since Peyton Manning.
While many players may have been disappointed not to hear their names called, several from Tennessee will get an opportunity to earn their spot on NFL rosters as undrafted free agents through training camp and preseason.
While there are no guarantees they’ll make it to the final rosters, many undrafted free agents have gone on to become NFL stars. Arian Foster, Tennessee’s second all-time leading rusher, went undrafted in 2009 before becoming the Houston Texans’ all-time leader in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns.
Linebacker Jeremy Banks signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The West Tennessee native went from a freshman running back on Rocky Top to a major contributor on defense. As a junior, he finished second in the SEC in tackles and became the first Vol with over 100 tackles in a season since 2015.
He notched 20 tackles in Tennessee’s shootout loss to Purdue in the 2021 Music City Bowl, becoming the first Volunteer with 20 tackles in a bowl game since 1984.
Princeton Fant, a tight end and offensive Swiss Army knife at Tennessee, inked a deal with the Dallas Cowboys. Like Banks, Fant arrived in Knoxville as running back before switching to tight end ahead of the 2019 season. He grew into a reliable blocker and offensive option for the Vols.
The Nashville native accounted for nine total touchdowns in his final year on Rocky Top. He rushed for five touchdowns, caught three and even threw for a touchdown when he found Jalin Hyatt for a 66-yard score against UT-Martin.
Versatile offensive lineman Jerome Carvin signed with the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs. With 60 games at Tennessee, the Memphis native appeared in more career games than any position player in school history.
Carvin contributed across the Tennessee offensive line. He started 21 games at left guard, 17 at right guard and five at center. He allowed just two sacks over the last 26 college games and did not allow one in 2021.
If makes the roster, he could join his former Tennessee teammate Trey Smith on the Chiefs offensive line.
Defensive lineman LaTrell Bumphus will join his Tennessee teammate Jalin Hyatt in camp for the New York Giants. He was originally recruited out of Savannah, Tenn. as a tight end before switching to defense.
Bumphus started the final 10 games of the 2022 season, including the Orange Bowl win. Bumphus was one of Tennessee’s standout defensive performers against the eventual national champion Georgia Bulldogs, recording two TFLs and forcing a fumble.
Punter Paxton Brooks signed with the Indianapolis Colts. He was Tennessee’s starting punter for four straight seasons and his 42.33 yards per punt ranks as eighth all-time in program history. He also served as a kickoff specialist with touchbacks on exactly half of 252 career kickoffs.