Former Northern Michigan University football players Zach Anderson and Jace Daniels have been invited to rookie training camps with two National League Football teams after last weekend's 2013 NFL Draft. Anderson is getting a tryout with the Cleveland Browns and Daniels will attend the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie camp on Friday (May 3).
"Having Zach and Jace getting the chance to make an NFL roster shows our players what hard work can do for you and that the dream of playing professional football is a reality at Northern Michigan," NMU football coach Chris Ostrowsky said. "These two guys brought a superior talent base and a tremendous work ethic every single day and we're proud of them."
Anderson, a native of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., was a four-year letterwinner for the Wildcats from 2008-12 as a defensive tackle. He appeared in 42 career games and had 213 total tackles (101 solo and 112 assisted). Anderson also had 33 tackles-for-loss and 10.5 sacks. He forced three fumbles, had one interception and blocked a kick in his career. NMU played a 3-4 defense in his first three years and switched to a multiple 4-3 his senior year.
"I'm really excited for the chance to play in the NFL and for the Cleveland Browns," Anderson said. "I need to work hard and make the roster so I can represent the U.P. and NMU."
In 2012, Anderson was named to the Don Hansen NCAA Division II All-Super Region Four third team as a defensive selection and the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference first team. Anderson was named the Gildo Canale outstanding male senior as an NMU student-athlete who competed in intercollegiate athletics for four years at NMU, has a superior academic record and exhibits high character. He was also a two-time GLIAC second team selection in his career and graduated with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice in December.
Daniels, a native of Escanaba, Mich., was a four-year letterwinner for the 'Cats from 2009-12 and started all 11 games at left tackle during the last two seasons to anchor the offensive line. He was named to the Don Hansen NCAA Division II All-Super Region third team and GLIAC first team in 2012 while garnering GLIAC second team honors in 2011.
"It means lot to be invited to the Buccaneers rookie training camp," Daniels sad. "I've put in so much hard work to get to this point and I'm blessed with the opportunity. I'm going to work as hard as I can to earn a spot on the roster."
Mark Maddox was the last NMU Wildcat on an active NFL roster. He played 14 games for the Arizona Cardinals in 2000 at linebacker and had 1.5 sacks at the age of 32 to wrap up a nine-year NFL career with the Buffalo Bills (1992-97) and Cardinals (1998-2000).
Steve Avery, Chuck Klingbeil and Jerry Woods also played in the NFL during the 90s. Avery played four seasons in the league with the Houston Oilers (1989), Green Bay Packers (1991) and Pittsburgh Steelers (1994-95) as a running back. Klingbeil played five seasons (1991-95) for the Miami Dolphins on the defensive line. Woods played two games for the Detroit Lions in 1989 and 16 games for the Green Bay Packers in 1990. Avery and Klingbeil were undrafted free agents.