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Local football players sign free-agent deals with NFL teams

A number of college and high school football players from Colorado signed with NFL teams after the 2022 Draft ended.
Credit: AP Images

COLORADO, USA — Not everybody hears their name called by the time the NFL Draft is over.

But that shouldn't stop hopeful players from following their dreams of trying to make it to the National Football League.

A handful of local undrafted prospects with Colorado ties, both college and high school, are pursuing their goal with free-agent signings with teams from around the league.

Here is a list of free-agent signings with ties to Colorado:

Ryan Stonehouse (CSU), Tennessee Titans

Colorado State punter Ryan Stonehouse had an impressive career in Fort Collins with the Rams.

Stonehouse averaged more than 50 yards per punt in 2021 over his senior season, and holds the NCAA record for five-year career average with 47.8 yards per punt.

Stonehouse signed a free-agent deal with the Tennessee Titans shortly after the conclusion of the Draft on Saturday.

Credit: AP
Colorado State Rams punter Ryan Stonehouse (41) in the second half of an NCAA football game Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019 in Fort Collins, Colo. Air Force won 38-21. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Nate Landman (CU), Atlanta Falcons

Colorado linebacker Nate Landman will be remembered for delivering hard hits in a Buffs uniform.

He played in 47 games for CU during his career, starting 36 of them. Landman racked up 409 tackles (285 unassisted), 41 of them for loss during his time in Boulder.

Landman battled a shoulder injury in 2021 and an Achilles injury the year prior in 2020. He signed with the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent on Saturday.

Credit: AP
Colorado linebacker Nate Landman (53) in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, in Boulder, Colo. Southern California won 37-14. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Max Borghi (Pomona HS), Indianapolis Colts

Running back Max Borghi was a preps star at Pomona High School in Arvada before moving on to play his college football at Washington State.

Borghi led the Pomona Panthers to three-straight Class 5A state championship games from 2015-17, finally winning the 5A state title his senior season. He scored three touchdowns in the Panthers' high scoring (56-49) win over Eaglecrest in that 2017 championship game.

Borghi went on to be a dual threat for the Cougars -- finishing with 2,158 rushing yards, 1,134 receiving yards and 41 total touchdowns over his career at Washington State.

Borghi signed a free-agent contract with the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday.

Credit: AP
Washington State running back Max Borghi (21) reacts and holds up two fingers after he scored a touchdown against Washington during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Carson Wells (CU), Cincinnati Bengals

Linebacker Carson Wells was a four-year starter for the Buffs, playing in 40 games and starting 34 of them.

Wells racked up 187 total tackles over his career in Boulder, 38 of those for los in addition to 15.5 sacks and 41 third-down stops.

On Sunday, it was announced the Wells was signing an undrafted free-agent deal with the Cincinnati Bengals. 

Credit: AP
Colorado linebacker Carson Wells (26) in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, in Boulder, Colo. Colorado won 37-34 in double overtime. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

JoJo Domann (Pine Creek HS), Indianapolis Colts

JoJo Domann was an all-around threat during his time at Pine Creek High School in Colorado Springs.

He helped lead the Eagles to two Class 4A state championship titles, playing both sides of the ball as well as special teams.

Domann went on to play his college career at the University of Nebraska, where he honed in as an outside linebacker. He recorded 72 tackles his senior season with the Huskers, nine of them for loss -- as well as two sacks, two forced fumbles and two interceptions.

Domann signed as a free agent with the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday.

Credit: AP
Nebraska's JoJo Domann plays during an NCAA football game on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)

Scott Patchan (CSU), Indianapolis Colts

Defensive lineman Scott Patchan joined Colorado State as a graduate transfer in 2020, playing two seasons for the Rams.

Patchan was named First-Team All-Mountain West both of his years in Fort Collins. He recorded 68 total tackles during his final season in 2021, 18.5 of them for loss in addition to 10.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Patchan signed with the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent on Saturday.

Credit: AP
Colorado State defensive lineman Scott Patchan (1) during an NCAA football game against San Diego State on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020 in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

Noah Ellis (Valor Christian HS), Philadelphia Eagles

Defensive lineman Noah Elliss helped lead the Valor Christian High School football team to back-to-back Class 5A state titles in 2015-16. Both of those state championship wins were over Pomona.

Elliss went on to play his college football at the University of Idaho. He recorded 46 total tackles his redshirt senior season in 2021, 6.5 of them for loss as well as one sack and a fumble recovery for the Vandals.

Elliss signed a free-agent deal with the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday.

Credit: AP
Idaho defensive lineman Noah Elliss runs the 40-yard dash during the NFL football scouting combine, Saturday, March 5, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Brandon Lewis (Air Force), Tennessee Titans

Wide receiver Brandon Lewis played for the Falcons in three of the four years he spent at the Air Force Academy, his biggest role played was during his senior season.

Lewis led Air Force in 2021 with 20 receptions for 600 yards, averaging 30 yards per catch -- setting a school record. He also received honorable mention for All-Mountain West honors.

Air Force announced Sunday morning that Lewis had signed a free-agent deal with the Tennessee Titans that is pending contract and Secretary of Defense approval. 

Credit: AP
Air Force wide receiver Brandon Lewis (13) runs upfield on a touchdown reception against Louisville during the first half of the First Responder Bowl NCAA college football game Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter)

Manny Jones (CSU), Arizona Cardinals

Defensive lineman Manny Jones played five seasons for the Rams.

During his career in Fort Collins, Jones recorded 181 total tackles (86 solo) with 13.5 total sacks (12 solo). He also had one interception, two pass deflections, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

CSU announced that Jones had signed with the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

Credit: AP
Colorado State defensive lineman Manny Jones (33) and linebacker Aaron Moore (35) stop Boise State running back Andrew Van Buren (21) behind the line of scrimmage during the first half of an NCAA college football game Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020, in Boise, Idaho. (AP Photo/Steve Conner)

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