Gophers linebacker, lineman sign with N.Y. teams

by Marco LaNave

University of Minnesota linebacker Lee Campbell, the team’s leading tackler last season, has signed a free-agent contract with the New York Giants of the National Football League, the Gophers announced on Tuesday.

Offensive tackle Matt Stommes signed with the New York Jets, according to The Associated Press and ESPN.

Campbell’s signing was the sixth free-agent signee announced by the Gophers, as the team announced the deals of linebacker Simoni Lawrence (St. Louis Rams), punter Blake Haudan (Carolina Panthers), Nick Tow-Arnett (Dallas Cowboys), defensive tackle Garrett Brown (Kansas City Chiefs) and cornerback Traye Simmons (San Diego Chargers).  Three others will try out for NFL teams.

Campbell’s 119 tackles last fall were the third-most in the Big Ten, and he was an all-conference honorable mention.

Stommes, a graduate of Eden Valley-Watkins who was a defensive lineman his first two seasons for the Gophers, started four games at left tackle for Minnesota last season after making his first career start in the 2008 Insight Bowl.

Wide receiver Eric Decker and linebacker Nate Triplett were drafted by the Denver Broncos and Minnesota Vikings, respectively, last weekend.