Daily Egyptian

Three Salukis sign NFL deals

By Nathan Dodd, Sports Editor

Following the conclusion of the 2018 NFL Draft, three Salukis — safety Ryan Neal and offensive linemen Austin Olsen and DeVondre Seymour — signed free agent contracts with professional squads.

Neal, who signed a pact with the Philadelphia Eagles, brings an impressive resume to the defending Super Bowl champion’s roster.

In four years at Southern, Neal racked up 226 total tackles, and his 84 in 2017 led SIU’s defense. Neal also tied for the team lead with three interceptions last season, earning him All-MVFC.

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The Arizona Cardinals added depth to the offensive line with the signing of Olsen, who turned in a streak of 33 consecutive starts on Southern’s line.

Twice selected as Second-Team All-MVFC, Olsen anchored a Saluki front that allowed only 10 quarterback sacks last season, 12th best in the nation.

A former transfer from the University of Georgia, Seymour started every game for SIU in 2017. In 2016, he appeared in 10 games and started the last five of the campaign at right tackle.

Seymour’s intimidating frame and his play one of the nation’s most efficient lines led him to a deal with the Kansas City Chiefs.

With the signings of the three Salukis, SIU now features five players in the NFL including Miami Dolphins’ linebacker Chase Allen and Houston Texans’ tight end MyCole Pruitt.

The new signees are slated to report to rookie camps with their new teams on May 4.

Sports editor Nathan Dodd can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @NathanMDodd.

To stay up to date with all your SIU sports news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

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