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Arizona Wildcats players sign UDFA contracts with NFL teams

Arizona's Nick Wilson breaks through the Oregon defense for a 18-yard touchdown run in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Chris Pietsch)

After defensive back Dane Cruikshank went in the fifth round to the Tennessee Titans, four Arizona Wildcat alumni are getting their chance at the next level after signed undrafted free agent deals with different teams around the league.

NFL teams took notice of the Wildcats’ dominant rushing game.

The Wildcats ran for more than 300 yards per game as quarterback Khalil Tate won four Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week awards in a row, a conference record. That helped two offensive linemen get chances in the league.

Offensive lineman Jacob Alsadek signed with the Packers after earning an All-Pac-12 honorable mention as a redshirt senior in 2017.

Alsadek, a team captain throughout the season, started all 13 games at right guard for Arizona.

While veteran Jahri Evans is listed as the Packers’ starting right guard on the depth chart, Alsadek could compete against the two-year and a one-year pros behind Evans.

Gerhard deBeer got a contract with the Bills.

In 2016, deBeer started eight of the first nine games at right tackle before getting injured and missing the final three games.

This past year, he started 10 games at right tackle and was a captain for three games.

The Bills’ rotation at right tackle is young; only one has been on the team beyond 2017. Two players were signed in January.

If deBeer is to make the team, he will have to prove he belongs above them.

Two Arizona running backs also signed with NFL teams.

Nick Wilson, a 2017 All-Pac-12 honorable mention and season captain for Arizona, is one of seven players in school history to rush for 3,000 yards in his career.

He signed with the Bears.

Wilson took the conference by storm as a freshman when he rushed for 1,375 yards and 16 touchdowns as a rookie. He amassed 236 carries that year.

However, he got injured in 2015 and then played only five games in 2016 due to injury.

Last season, Wilson ran for 630 yards last season and averaged 4.8 per carry. In 128 rushes, he scored six touchdowns.

The Bears are hoping Wilson can regain his 2014 form as he is further removed from his injuries. He will have time to work out and learn; the Bears have a stud running back in Jordan Howard and a solid backup in Tarik Cohen.

Finally, running back Zach Green signed with the Cincinnati Bengals.

After redshirting his freshman year, Green primarily played special teams over the next two seasons. He took on a backup role at running back in his final two years, scoring 11 touchdowns in 2017.

That was the most by any Arizona running back.

Green could get a chance in Cincinnati, as neither Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard were unable to put together strong seasons.

With that, the Wildcats have five players fighting for roster spots in the NFL.


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