The Atlanta Falcons today signed 22 college free agents, including WR Doug Beaumont (Louisville), DB Kirk Belgrave (Kent State), FB Lucas Cox (Georgia Tech), WR Drew Davis (Oregon), C Paul Fenaroli (Stony Brook), QB Adam Froman (Louisville), WR P.J. Gore (Mars Hill College), DB Matt Hansen (Rhode Island), DE Tom McCarthy (Yale), T Rob McGill (Louisiana Tech), DB Kamaal McIlwain (Newbury College), C Ryan McMahon (Florida State), FB Thor Merrow (Northern Alabama), G Matt Murphy (Nevada-Las Vegas), LS Andrew Schulze (Iowa), RB Philip Sylvester (Florida A&M), LB LaMarcus Thompson (Tennessee), DT Kiante Tripp (Georgia), DB Suaesi Tuimaunei (Oregon State), DB Darrin Walls (Notre Dame), TE Ryan Winterswyk (Boise State), and LB Youri Yenga (Southern Methodist).
Beaumont, 5-9, 187 pounds, finished his collegiate career with 141 catches for 1,655 yards and one touchdown. The Louisville native also led the Cardinals with a team-high 41 catches for 440 yards and one touchdown as a senior in 2010.
Belgrave, 6-1, 205 pounds, notched a career-high 40 tackles (30 solo) and one interception during his junior season in 2008. After missing the 2009 season, the Nofolk, VA native posted 19 total tackles (13 solo) as a senior to run his career total to 78 stops.
Cox, 6-0, 245 pounds, served as both a rusher and blocker in the Yellow Jackets' triple option attack and logged 362 yards on 57 carries with three touchdowns during his three seasons at Georgia Tech. The Lewisberry, PA native enjoyed his best season in 2008 after transferring from the University of Connecticut. Cox rushed 26 times for 200 yards and three touchdowns.
Davis, 6-1, 205 pounds, earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors and was a co-recipient of the Todd Doxey Award, given to the Oregon player who exemplifies the traits of dedication associated with being an outstanding teammate as a senior. The Denver, CO native caught 42 passes for 470 yards and three touchdowns in 2010 and helped lead the Ducks to the BCS National Championship Game. In four seasons in with the Ducks, Davis appeared in 46 games and caught 73 passes for 823 yards with six touchdowns.
Fenaroli, 6-3, 310 pounds, started every game at center for his final three seasons at Stony Brook. He was honored with the Seawolves' Work Horse Award as well as first team All-Big South honors as a senior. He finished his career with a streak of 38 consecutive starts and blocked for a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in 2010.
Froman, 6-4, 220 pounds, played two seasons at Louisville after leading Santa Rosa Junior College to an 8-3 season in 2008, beating No. 2 Sierra CC in West Bank Bowl where he threw for 525 yards and three touchdowns. After transferring to Louisville, the Santa Rosa, CA native threw for 2,987 yards and 17 touchdowns in two seasons with the Cardinals.
Gore, 6-3, 180 pounds, led the Lions with 51 receptions for 1,086 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior in 2010. He posted a 21.3 yards per catch average and 98.7 yards per game. The North Myrtle Beach, SC native also played at Brunswick Community College prior to transferring to Mars Hill College.
Hansen, 6-1, 230 pounds, tallied a school record 401 tackles (237 solo) to go with 34.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, four interceptions, six forced fumbles and 10 passes defensed in four seasons as a linebacker with the Rams. He was named to All-CAA second team after recording his fourth consecutive 100-tackle season in 2010.
McCarthy, 6-6, 252 pounds, was named the Ivy League Player of the Year in 2009 as a junior after posting 29 tackles (21 solo) with six tackles for loss and three sacks. As a senior in 2010, he notched 28 tackles (18 solo), six tackles for loss and four sacks.
McGill, 6-6, 310 pounds, garnered all-WAC second team honors in his sophomore and junior years and added an all-Louisiana first team selection in his junior season in 2009. The Metairie, LA native played in 49 games in his career, including starts at both tackle and guard.
McIlwain, 5-10, 175 pounds, posted 25 tackles (20 solo), two interceptions and eight passes defensed in 2010 after being named a Preseason All-South Atlantic Conference second team selection. He was also named All-South Atlantic Conference second team as a junior, as well as DAKTRONICS All-Super Region Two second team, Football Gazette All-Super Region Two Second Team and All-South Atlantic Conference first team during his breakout sophomore season.
McMahon, 6-5, 284 pounds, set a Seminole record with 53 consecutive starts which is the second-longest streak in ACC history after transitioning from defensive tackle following his redshirt freshman season. He was named a candidate for the Rimington Award, presented to the nation's top center, three times in his career and earned second team All-ACC honors as a senior in 2010.
Merrow, 6-1, 235 pounds, saw time at fullback and on the defensive line during his collegiate career. The Buford (GA) High School graduate was named Gwinnett Defensive Player of the Year and was an All-State and Atlanta Journal-Constitution Super 11 selection after recording 109 tackles, nine sacks, 23 tackles for loss and four fumble recoveries as a senior. He also led the Wolves to a 58-2 record during his career, winning three state championships.
Murphy, 6-4, 300 pounds, anchored the Rebels offensive line and started 46 consecutive games at left tackle. The Lake Forest, CA native played in every game during his college career. He earned freshman All-America honors and won the UNLV Outstanding character award after his junior season.
Schulze, 6-6, 255 pounds, handled all long snapping duties for punts and PATs in the final 39 games of his college career at Iowa. The Downers Grove (IL) High School graduate was given the Reggie Roby Special teams award as a Specialist in 2009 and 2010, and he was named to the Academic All-Big Ten team in 2008.
Sylvester, 5-10, 195 pounds, finished the 2009 season with 455 yards on 112 carries with seven touchdowns. In 2008, the Marianna, FL native earned second team all-Conference honors after rushing for 717 yards on 166 carries with eight touchdowns and 101 receiving yards on 17 catches. Sylvester was also named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year following his freshman campaign.
Thompson, 6-1, 228 pounds, recorded 115 tackles (71 solo) with 10.5 tackles for loss, one sack, one forced fumble, five passes defensed and one interception in four seasons with the Vols. He posted a career-high nine tackles against SEC rival LSU as a senior en route to a career-high 60 total tackles as a senior. Thompson also played heavily on special teams during his first two seasons before earning a starting role at linebacker as a junior.
Tripp, 6-6, 293 pounds, appeared in 13 games recording 13 tackles, including four for loss and 1.5 sacks to go along with seven quarterback pressures as a senior in 2010. The Atlanta, GA native was also a recipient of the Davis Family Foundation Football Scholarship and earned Athletic Director's Honor Roll distinction for summer semester. He graduated in December with a degree in Risk Management & Insurance.
Tuimaunei, 6-1, 205 pounds, finished second on the team with 85 tackles (53 solo) with five tackles for loss, one interception and two forced fumbles as a senior in 2010. Originally from Laie, Hawaii, Tuimaunei served as a reserve safety as a sophomore and junior, and posted 21 tackles prior to taking over a starting role in the secondary in his final season in Corvallis.
Walls, 6-0, 190 pounds, notched 41 tackles (30 solo) with two tackles for loss, four passes defensed and three interceptions, including one interception return for a touchdown. He totaled a team-best six pass breakups and added one interception with 27 tackles as a junior. The Pittsburgh, PA native had a breakout year as a sophomore with 32 tackles (23 solo), 2.5 tackles for a loss, nine passes defensed, one interception and two forced fumbles.
Winterswyk, 6-4, 258 pounds, was named to the All-Western Athletic Conference team for three consecutive seasons while at Boise State where he primarily played defensive end. The La Habra, CA native will move to tight end with the Falcons after he posted 43 tackles (21 solo), nine tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and one interception in his final year as a Bronco. Winterswyk also played some tight end in goal line situations while in college.
Yenga, 6-1, 231 pounds, totaled 81 tackles (43 solo) with four tackles for loss, two sacks, six passes defensed, one fumble recovery, one forced fumble and one blocked kick as a senior. He was named honorable mention All-Conference USA by the league's coaches and was named to Dave Campbell's Texas Football's All-Texas team as a junior after posting 54 tackles and two sacks in 2009. The Euless, TX native appeared all but one game during his college career.
College Free Agent Bios
- QB Adam Froman, Louisville
- LS Andrew Schulze, Iowa
- TE Ryan Winterswyk, Boise State
- WR Doug Beaumont, Louisville(Follow Doug on Twitter)
- WR Drew Davis, Oregon
- WR PJ Gore, Mars Hill(Follow PJ on Twitter)
- RB Philip Sylvester, Florida A&M(Follow Philip on Twitter)
- FB Lucas Cox, Georgia Tech
- FB Thor Merrow, North Alabama
- C Paul Fenaroli, Stony Brook
- C Ryan McMahon, Florida State
- G Matt Murphy, UNLV
- T Rob McGill, Louisiana Tech
- CB Kirk Belgrave, Kent State
- CB Kamaal McIlwain, Newberry
- CB Darrin Walls, Notre Dame(Follow Darrin on Twitter)
- S Matt Hansen, Rhode Island(Follow Matt on Twitter)
- S Suaesi Tuimaunei, Oregon State
- LB LaMarcus Thompson, Tennessee
- LB Youri Yenga, Southern Methodist
- DE Tom McCarthy, Yale
- DT Kiante Tripp, Georgia