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Undrafted Rebels, Bulldogs sign in NFL

(MGN Online)
(MGN Online)
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Updated: 4/27/2013 10:31 pm
TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - At the conclusion of the 2013 NFL Draft on Saturday, three Mississippi State players had found new homes - Darius Slay (Detroit), Johnthan Banks (Tampa Bay) and Josh Boyd (Green Bay) were all drafted over the course of the weekend. That trio was among a record-high 63 players drafted out of the Southeastern Conference.

While Slay, Banks and Boyd were the only area players drafted in the three-day event, plenty more players found new homes in the National Football League on Saturday.

With the Draft done, all undrafted players became instant free agents, with rookies able to sign with any team they chose.

Ole Miss did not have any players drafted, but had plenty of signees. Gilbert Pena, Gerald Rivers, Uriah Grant, A.J. Hawkins, E.J. Epperson and Murphy Holloway all signed Saturday night.

Former Ole Miss basketball standout Murphy Holloway landed with the NFL's Baltimore Ravens. Holloway tweeted "I'm a Raven!!!!" shortly after the Draft concluded.

Holloway will look to follow in the footsteps of players like Saints tight end Jimmy Graham, who was predominantly a basketball player and has found success in the NFL.

Like Holloway, Hawkins announced his signing on Twitter. The offensive lineman signed on with the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday.

Hawkins started every game at right guard for the Rebels in 2012. He saw time during all four seasons he spent with the Rebels.

Hawkins will be joined in Kansas City by Rebel teammate E.J. Epperson. Rebel teammate C.J. Johnson announced on Twitter Saturday night that Epperson landed with the Chiefs.

Epperson saw time at multiple positions from fullback to defensive line during his time at Ole Miss.

Gilbert Pena landed with the Green Bay Packers. The 6-foot-2, 330-pound defensive lineman spent two seasons with the Rebels, recording 45 total tackles in 23 games played.

Pena is originally from Yonkers, New York, and played at ASA College before transferring to Ole Miss.

Gerald Rivers signed with the St. Louis Rams. The 6-foot-5 defensive end did not play during the 2012 season, but started five games for the Rebels in 2011 and made 13 total tackles.

Former Rebel Uriah Grant signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the signing first. Grant played in 11 games in 2012 and recorded 51 tackles in his two seasons in Oxford.

For Mississippi State, Chad Bumphis, Arceto Clark and Cam Lawrence were the Bulldogs' undrafted free agent signees.

Lawrence announced on Twitter that he has signed with the Dallas Cowboys. The linebacker tweeted that he would be "reporting to Dallas in 2 weeks with a chip on my shoulder."

Lawrence is from Coldwater and played in at least 10 games in all four years he spent at MSU.

Clark also took to Twitter to announce that he had landed with the Seattle Seahawks. Clark played high school football at Shannon High School and played for the Bulldogs for four seasons.

Clark led MSU in receiving during the 2011 season.

Tupelo-native Chad Bumphis signed with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted free agent. Bumphis is Mississippi State's all-time leader in receiving touchdowns after playing high school football with the Golden Wave.

Cam Lawrence (MSU) - Dallas Cowboys
Arceto Clark (MSU) - Seattle Seahawks
Chad Bumphis (MSU) - Miami Dolphins
Murphy Holloway (Ole Miss) - Baltimore Ravens
Gilbert Pena (Ole Miss) - Green Bay Packers
Gerald Rivers (Ole Miss) - St. Louis Rams
Uriah Grant (Ole Miss) - Jacksonville Jaguars
A.J. Hawkins (Ole Miss) - Kansas City Chiefs
E.J. Epperson (Ole Miss) - Kansas City Chiefs
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