Undrafted Gophers reach deals with NFL teams

Also, Gophers baseball pitcher wins Big Ten weekly award.

by Marco LaNave

For a handful of former Gophers football players, their hopes for a professional career did not end along with last weekendâÄôs National Football League draft. The team had announced by Monday afternoon that five former Gophers had signed free-agent contracts and three others will have chances to try out for NFL teams. Tight end Nick Tow-Arnett (Dallas Cowboys), defensive tackle Garrett Brown (Kansas City Chiefs) and cornerback Traye Simmons (San Diego Chargers) have signed free-agent contracts, the team announced Sunday. Tow-Arnett was the GophersâÄô second-leading receiver in 2009. Brown was a defensive captain and tied for the most tackles by a Minnesota lineman last season. Simmons earned a second-team All-Big Ten selection in 2008 and an honorable mention in 2009. The Gophers also announced that cornerback Marcus Sherels and defensive end Barrett Moen will work out at the Minnesota VikingsâÄô minicamp, while center Jeff Tow-Arnett will try out for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. All 10 players drafted or undrafted were seniors last fall. Wide receiver Eric Decker (Denver Broncos, third round) and linebacker Nate Triplett (Minnesota Vikings, fifth round) were the only two Gophers drafted last weekend. The team announced Saturday that linebacker Simoni Lawrence (St. Louis Rams) and punter Blake Haudan (Carolina Panthers) had signed free-agent contracts. Rosin gets weekly honor Gophers junior pitcher Seth Rosin was named the Big TenâÄôs pitcher of the week following a weekend in which he helped lead Minnesota to a home-series win over Indiana. Rosin allowed just three hits and struck out seven in 7 2/3 shutout innings to earn his team-leading fourth win in a 14-0 victory Friday night. Rosin has pitched at least seven innings in five straight starts and is 3-1 in those outings.