The Chicago Bears announced Thursday night that they had signed thirteen players to undrafted free agent contracts before their rookie minicamp starts on Friday. One of the thirteen players is former Gopher defensive end Hendrick Ekpe.
Ekpe played in all twelve games his senior season for the Gophers and started in eleven. He recorded 28 tackles including 7.5 tackles for loss, had 3.5 sacks and forced one fumble. His best game of his career came on Homecoming against Rutgers when he recorded six tackles including three for loss, and made two sacks.
Epke will be for sure joined in training camp by four other Gopher rookies. Jalen Myrick was drafted in the seventh round by the Jacksonville Jaguars, and Jonah Pirsig and Damaris Travis signed undrafted free agent contracts with the Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots respectively.
Former Gopher linebacker Jack Lynn is still trying to latch on with an NFL team as well. He participated in the Minnesota Vikings rookie minicamp last weekend but was not offered a contract. He will take part in the Atlanta Falcons rookie minicamp this weekend with the hopes of being offered a contract. Two other Gophers, Mitch Leidner and Drew Wolitarsky took place in the Baltimore Ravens and Vikings rookie minicamps last weekend but did not come away with a contract offer.
Ekpe will have one familiar face in minicamp this weekend as the Bears are bringing in fellow former Gopher defensive end Therian Cockran on a tryout this weekend. Cockran was in Vikings camp last summer but was one of the first players cut.
Good luck to Hank, Jack, and Therian in trying to get a shot with an NFL team this weekend.