May 11, 2014
Three Vanderbilt standouts selected in the NFL Draft will be joined by at least seven former teammates hoping to continue their playing careers in the professional ranks.
The seven former Commodores expected in upcoming NFL rookie camps this week are All-Southeastern Conference safety Kenny Ladler
, all-conference placekicker Carey Spear
, wide receiver Jonathan Krause
, defensive end Walker May
, cornerback Steven Clarke
, safety Javon Marshall
and linebacker Chase Garnham
They will join three teammates taken in the NFL Draft last week hoping to further their careers: wide receiver Jordan Matthews
, second round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles; offensive lineman Wesley Johnson
, fifth round selection of the Pittsburgh Steelers; and cornerback Andre Hal
, claimed in the seventh round pick by the Houston Texans.
Ladler (Buffalo), Spear (Philadelphia), Krause (Cleveland), Clarke (Miami), Marshall (Atlanta) and May (Atlanta) have agreed to free agent deals. Garnham has accepted to invitation to tryout at Tampa Bay.
Here's more on Vanderbilt's 2014 class of undrafted rookie free agents.
Ladler Through the Years | Career Bio | Career Highlights
The safety agreed to terms with Buffalo late Saturday, and traveling to Bills' headquarters Monday.
Ladler, from Stone Mountain, Ga., was the one of the nation's top ballhawks and SEC's top tacklers in 2013. His on-field performance resulted in first team All-SEC recognition from the Associated Press and second team All-SEC honors from head coaches.
Ladler led the SEC and ranked among NCAA leaders with five forced fumbles and ranked third in the conference with a team-high five interceptions. Ladler also finished the year third in the league with 65 solo tackles and tied for the team high with 91 total tackles. He ended his Commodore career with 183 solo tackles, 277 total tackles, 11 tackles for loss, nine interceptions and seven forced fumbles in 39 starts.
Spear Through the Years | Career Bio
The placekicker agreed to terms with the Eagles after the draft Saturday. He flew to Philadelphia headquarters Sunday, and will join Matthews as Commodores at the Eagles' camp.
Spear was sensational as a junior and senior, connecting on 35 of 43 field goals, including three from at least 50 yards. As a senior, he made 15 of 19 field goal attempts. His career long conversion was 54 yards. As a junior, he earned second team All-SEC honors after setting a Vanderbilt record with 20 field goals.
Off the field, he was highly decorated, earning inclusion on the 2013 American Football Coaches Association/Allstate Good Works All-America Team. He was also a finalist for the Wuerffel Award and Senior CLASS Award.
Krause Through the Years | Career Bio
The wide receiver-punt returner flew to Cleveland Sunday after agreeing to terms late Saturday. The Browns' rookie camp starts later this week.
Krause enjoyed a banner season in 2013, catching 42 passes for 714 yards and three touchdowns as the Commodores' top receiving threat behind All-America wideout Jordan Matthews.
For his career, Krause amassed 98 receptions for 1,197 yards. He also ranked among the SEC's top punt returners in 2012, averaging 11.2 per attempt and returning two punts for scores.
May Through the Years | Career Bio
The defensive end agreed to a contract late Saturday with the Falcons. Will participate in team's rookie mini-camp this Monday.
A two-time defensive captain, May started 35 games, including the last 33 of his career. He accumulated 84 solo tackles, 141 total tackles, 30.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 quarterback sacks and 14 hurries during his career. As a senior, May matched single-season highs with 25 solo tackles and 41 total tackles. He also posted four sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss during the campaign.
Clarke Through the Years | Career Bio
The cornerback is returning to his south Florida roots after agreeing to a deal with the Miami Dolphins.
Clarke started all 13 games at cornerback as a senior, posting career highs in virtually every statistical category. He had 32 solo tackles, 41 total tackles, an interception and five passes defended.
Garnham Through the Years | Career Bio
The linebacker will travel to Tampa this week after being invited to the Bucs' rookie tryouts this Thursday.
Garnham was a standout defender for the Commodores, starting 27 games at linebacker during his career. He finished with 94 career solo tackles, 167 total tackles, 20.5 tackles for loss, and nine quarterback sacks. As a senior co-captain, Garnham started the season strong only to suffer a foot injury that kept him out of action for two months. He returned to start the team's last five games, contributing 25 total tackles in the 5-0 winning streak.
Marshall Through the Years | Career Bio
The safety has been invited to participate in the Falcons' rookie tryout this week in Atlanta.
A two-time defensive co-captain, Marshall concluded his career with 142 solo tackles, 209 total tackles, eight tackles for loss three interceptions and a pair of forced fumbles. He earned 33 career starts at safety. As a senior, Marshall ranked second on the team with 49 total tackles and third with 80 total tackles.