While we we've been getting all hot and bothered over the prospect of our beloved Crimson Tide football team reporting to fall camp next week (OMG! OMG! OMG! /runs in a circle, hits wall, passes out)
Uhh... where was I?
Yeah, football. Seems all those guys who get paid to play the game are getting ready to start their training camps as well. And, as of today, each and every one of Alabama's NFL rookies have taken care of business and are ready to go.
All seven players chosen last April in the NFL Draft have penned contracts and will be reporting to their respective teams in time for the first day of practice (if they haven't done so already). In the case of the late rounders, business got sorted months ago but it was only in the past week or so that Terrence Cody, Rolando McClain and, as of this afternoon, Kareem Jackson were able to get things sorted.
Here's the tally and links to the various sources I've been able to dig up. (Mucho big tip of the houndstooth cap to the Press-Register's Genry Estes who's been on top of this all off season):
In addition to these seven, several other Alabama players who went undrafted were able to snag free agent contracts around the league. While this means they'll have a chance to compete in training camps their careers in the pros are far from certain.
Colin Peek got a phone call from the Falcons right after the draft ended, made a big impression in mini-camp and got that paper signed. Cory Reamer made his way to the Jets' rookie mini camp and wowed them in a big way. His contract followed soon after. We also heard PJ Fitzgerald was with the Rams but haven't been able to confirm it.
Sadly several others haven't been so lucky. Lorenzo Washington got a contract with the Cowboys but got injured in camp and was subsequently cut. Leigh Tiffin signed a free agent contract with the Browns and then was cut the very next day. Roy Upchurch finally snagged a tryout with the Ravens and then failed the physical and couldn't participate in their mini camp.
If anybody has any info (and, hopefully, a link) about where these guys have ended up, we'd love to know.
The most interesting story has to do with Justin Woodall, who went undrafted but has set his sights on baseball. In June, he was chosen by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 26th round of the Major League Baseball draft. So, technically, Alabama had eight players from the 2009 National Championship squad drafted into the pros.