Friday, August 17, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Small-school stars: Bucs sign two tryout players to rookie contracts

The Bucs' penchant for finding gems at small schools in college football continued Sunday, as Tampa Bay signed two tryout players from lower-level programs to rookie contracts after they impressed at rookie minicamp.

Cornerback Mark Myers attended startup NAIA Southeastern University in Lakeland, which didn't have a team when he arrived in 2013; offensive lineman Ruben Holcomb played at Division II University of Indianapolis. Both came to minicamp on tryout contracts, and now have a chance to continue the Bucs' success under general manager Jason Licht in finding talent in undrafted rookies.

To make room for the two, the Bucs released two players who were signed after the draft, in Georgia Tech defensive end Antonio Simmons and Arkansas safety Josh Liddell.

The Bucs also are sticking with Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen as their fourth QB moving forward, and not signing tryout QB Riley Ferguson of Memphis.

Licht has had success with small-school prospects, finding guard Ali Marpet at Div. III Hobart three years ago. The Bucs drafted guard Alex Cappa from Div. II Humboldt State last month as well.

The team has 14 undrafted rookies on its 91-man roster — those hope to follow the footsteps of current Bucs like TEs Cameron Brate, Alan Cross and Anthony Auclair, WR Adam Humphries, RB Peyton Barber, OLs Demar Dotson and Leonard Wester, DLs DaVonte Lambert and Channing Ward and CB Javien Elliott. All made the team initially as undrafted rookies.

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