After some speculation as to who would be joining the Arizona Cardinals on rookie free agent contracts, the team announced 14 signings and a pair of releases. Running back Zach Bauman and cornerback Roc Carmichael were released and Arizona added its 2015 undrafted rookie class.
Adams State CB Cariel Brooks
N.C. State T Rob Crisp
BYU LB Alani Fua
Shippensburg WR Trevor Harman
Georgia Southern LB Edwin Jackson
Florida Atlantic LB Andrae Kirk
BYU RB Paul Lasike
Bowling Green LB Gabe Martin
Iowa WR Damond Powell
Colorado State-Pueblo CB C.J. Roberts
Texas WR Jaxon Shipley
Missouri State TE Gannon Sinclair
Montana LB Zack Wagenmann
Northern Iowa NT Xavier Williams
This isn't necessarily the group of rookies that will end up in training camp. Rookie mini-camp is this weekend and there are tryout players. Last year, four players -- Jimmy Legree, Jalen Parmele, Kevin Ozier and Corey Brandon -- made the offseason roster after a successful tryout in rookie camp, which meant four other players had to be released.
Each of the past two seasons with Bruce Arians and Steve Keim leading the team, there have been undrafted rookies to make the team -- Tony Jefferson and Jaron Brown in 2013, both of whom became important contributors, and Chandler Catanzaro in 2014, who won the kicking job last year.
Who will be this years standouts? Will it be one of the four inside linebackers? Will it be pass rusher Zack Wagenmann?
Here are the bios for the players added to the roster (I will do a little more digging for more than this later...at least that is my plan for now):
Cornerback CARIEL BROOKS (5-10, 200) of Division II Adams State earned first-team All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference honors in 2014 after tying for the team lead with three interceptions, posting a team-best 14 passes defensed and collecting 40 tackles (30 solos) in 10 games. In three years with the Grizzlies (31 games), Brooks totaled 99 tackles (82 solos), eight interceptions and 31 passes defensed, and he led the team in both interceptions and passes defensed each of the last two years. He began his college career at Pasadena City College and played one season there in 2011 prior to transferring to Adams State.
N.C. State tackle ROB CRISP (6-7, 300) saw action in 49 games (26 starts) with the Wolfpack. As a fifth-year senior in 2014, he started all 13 games at left tackle and won the team's Jim Ritcher Award (named after the father of Cardinals area scout John Ritcher) as the team's top offensive lineman. A three-year starter at N.C. State, Crisp was a highly regarded recruit coming out of high school, and was a Parade All-American and played in the 2010 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
BYU linebacker ALANI FUA (Ah-lah-nee Foo-ah) (6-5, 234) played in 44 career games (18 starts) for the Cougars and totaled 124 tackles (71 solos), nine sacks, 14.5 tackles for loss, five interceptions, 15 passes defensed and a forced fumble. In 2014, Fua played in 10 games (nine starts) and was second on the team with a career-high four sacks while adding 7.5 tackles for loss. He had a breakout season as a junior in 2013, playing in all 13 games (nine starts) and collecting a career-best 63 tackles (30 solos), including five for loss and three sacks, and he was named to the College Sports Madness All-Independent Third Team.
Wide receiver TREVOR HARMAN (6-3, 205) was one of the best players in program history at Division II Shippensburg, setting 17 school records during his four years with the Raiders. He established Pennsylvania State Athletics Conference career records with 321 receptions and 61 receiving touchdowns and he ranks second in league history with 4,249 receiving yards in 46 games played (40 starts). Harman's best season came as a junior, when he earned All-American honors and set school single-season records with 105 catches for 1,421 receiving yards and 22 touchdowns, leading Division II in receiving touchdowns and finishing seventh in yards.
Linebacker EDWIN JACKSON (6-0, 230) played in 48 games (23 starts) over four seasons at Georgia Southern and posted 218 tackles (121 solos), two sacks, eight tackles for loss, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. He led the Eagles in tackles in each the past two seasons after posting a career-high 100 stops in 2014 and 92 tackles in 2013. As a senior, he was a first-team Sun Belt Conference selection after he started all 12 games, finishing in the top-10 of the conference with his 100 tackles to go along with one interception, one forced fumble and four tackles for loss.
Florida Atlantic linebacker ANDRAE KIRK (Andre) (6-2, 225) led the Owls with a career-high 103 tackles (53 solos) last season to go along with two sacks, 10.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions, eight passes defensed and a forced fumble while starting all 12 games. A four-year starter, Kirk never missed a game in college, playing in 48 contests (47 starts) while serving as a team captain as both a junior and senior. Kirk was a first-team all-conference selection as a senior and was named the team's MVP. He finished his college career with 344 tackles (157 solos), 18.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, four fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles, three interceptions and 15 passes defensed.
An Auckland, New Zealand native, BYU running back PAUL LASIKE (5-11, 232) is a rugby player who played football for the first time after enrolling in school. As a three-year football player at BYU (38 games), Lasike rushed for 843 yards and 10 touchdowns on 171 carries to go along with 31 receptions for 322 yards and two touchdowns. He also returned 15 kickoffs for 301 yards and had seven special teams tackles. As a senior in 2014, Lasike started 10 games and carried the ball 79 times for 364 yards and seven touchdowns while finishing fourth on the team with 25 receptions for 267 yards and two touchdowns. In rugby, Lasike helped the Cougars to three straight National Championships during his career at BYU.
Bowling Green linebacker GABE MARTIN (6-2, 235) was a three-year starter who finished his career with 246 tackles (144 solos), 30 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, three interceptions, four forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery in 45 games (30 starts). As a senior, he was a team captain and recorded a career-high 115 tackles (54 solos), two interceptions, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery and was named second-team All-MAC. He also had 18 tackles for loss, which led the conference. Martin was named second-team All-MAC as a junior and was a first-team all- conference performer as a sophomore.
Iowa wide receiver DAMOND POWELL (5-11, 180) played his final two collegiate seasons with the Hawkeyes after starting his career at Snow Community College in Utah. At Iowa, Powell played in all 26 games and had 31 receptions for 608 yards (19.6-yard avg.) and five touchdowns to go along with three carries for 23 yards. As a sophomore at junior college, Powell had 41 receptions for 1,231 yards and 14 touchdowns to lead the nation in yards per reception (30.0) while receiving honorable mention All-American accolades.
Colorado State-Pueblo cornerback C.J. ROBERTS (6-0, 180) appeared in 14 games and tied for the team lead with seven interceptions (including two returned for TDs) while adding 56 tackles (41 solos) and eight passes defensed as a senior in 2014. He helped the ThunderWolves win the Division II national championship last year with a victory over previously unbeaten Minnesota State-Mankato in the title game. In his collegiate career, Roberts played in 51 games and totaled 212 tackles (144 solos), 14 interceptions, 32 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries while scoring six career touchdowns on defense (five INTs returns, one fumble return).
Wide receiver JAXON SHIPLEY (6-0, 190) played in 48 games (35 starts) over four years at Texas and caught 218 passes for 2,510 yards and 11 touchdowns. His 218 receptions rank third in school history and his 2,510 receiving yards rank sixth, and he caught at least one pass in 47 of 48 career games. As a four-time honorable mention All-Big 12 choice and two-time watch list member for the Biletnikoff Award (2013-14), he became only the third player in Texas history to have three career 50-catch seasons. His older brother, Jordan, was an All-American wide receiver at Texas who played in the NFL from 2010-12 with Cincinnati, Jacksonville and Tampa Bay.
Missouri State tight end GANNON SINCLAIR (6-7, 270) played in 24 games (20 starts) in two seasons with the Bears, catching 29 passes for 361 yards and 10 touchdowns. In 2014, Sinclair led the team with seven touchdown catches and finished fourth with 18 receptions for 258 yards. He earned All-Missouri Valley Football Conference honorable mention accolades after ranking third in the league with seven touchdowns receptions and was the CFPA National Tight End of the Week after a Week 4 win over Central Arkansas. He began his college career at the North Dakota State College of Science from 2011-12 and he was a second-team all-conference pick and first-team academic all-conference selection as a sophomore.
Montana linebacker ZACK WAGENMANN (wageh-man) (6-3, 250) finished third in the voting for the Buck Buchanan Award as the best defender in the NCAA FCS in 2014. He tallied 74 tackles (34 solos), 17.5 sacks, 22.5 tackles for loss, six forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 14 games (13 starts) as a senior, earning Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year and All-American honors while helping the Grizzlies reach the second round of the FCS playoffs. Wagenmann set the Montana school record with 37.5 career sacks, playing in 52 games (37 starts) and totaling 201 tackles (80 solos), 52 tackles for loss, 11 forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in his four-year career.
Northern Iowa nose tackle XAVIER WILLIAMS (6-2, 309) played in 42 games (36 starts) with the Panthers and was a Buck Buchanan Award finalist which is given to the top defensive player in the FCS after collecting 93 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and eight sacks while starting all 14 games as a senior in 2014. He was a first-team All-MVFC selection as both a junior and senior and earned Sporting News first-team All-American honors last season. As a sophomore in 2012, he set a school single-season record with five blocked kicks. For his career, Williams had 224 tackles (106 solos), 29.5 tackles for loss, 15 sacks, and one forced fumble.