Three Former Apps Sign NFL Free Agent Deals Following the 2017 NFL Draft

Published Monday, May 1, 2017 at 10:32 am

Three former Appalachian State Mountaineers have signed free agent contracts following the 2017 NFL Draft. Offensive lineman Parker Collins signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars, linebacker Kennan Gilchrist signed with the Dallas Cowboys, and safety Alex Gray is headed to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

All three are expected to participate in rookie mini-camp in the next week. Training camp for the 2017 season starts in July.

Collins started the final 32 games of his career on the App State offensive line, earning All-Sun Belt honors his final two seasons. He helped pave the way for the No. 1 Rushing Offense in the Sun Belt at 250.9 yards per game and (262.5 ypg) in Sun Belt play. He had over 60 pancakes and 30 knockdowns, twice as many as any other App lineman. He also cleared the way for Marcus Cox, the program’s all-time leading rusher with over 5,000 yards the last four seasons and for Jalin Moore to earn 2016 Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year honors.

Gilchrist was a fiery leader on one of the best defenses in Sun Belt history in 2016. The second team all-conference selection stared all 13 games at outside linebacker. He earned Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week honors with eight tackles, two sacks, and 3.5 TFLs in win over Texas State. He finished with 253 career stops in starting 39 games, including 11.0 tackles for loss as a senior. App led the Sun Belt in Total Defense each of the last two seasons, allowing the fewest points in conference games (91) of any FBS team in ’16.

Gray played in 49 career games and started 37 during his time at App. He was part of a dominant Mountaineer secondary in 2016 that was sixth nationally with 20 interceptions. He finished with three career interceptions and had 46 tackles as a senior. He had over 200 tackles in his career and helped App’s secondary become one of the top units in the country at third in the FBS over the last two seasons with 38 total interceptions.

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