It might not have been how he was hoping it would happen, but J Leman is still going to try out for a slot on football’s biggest stage: the NFL.
After injuring his ankle in the Rose Bowl and having to sit out the East-West Shrine game and the NFL combine, the All-American from Champaign had dropped some stock in the past three months since he led the Illini to their first winning season in six years. After he wasn’t picked up in the NFL draft over the past weekend, he was signed as a free agent by the Minnesota Vikings, a team that has no need for any new linebackers at the moment. Leman’s position in college, middle linebacker, is firmly held by E.J. Henderson, the Vikings’ leading tackler.
This weekend, the Vikings are holding a mini-camp and Leman plans on being there.
There were some other Illinois players that signed as free agents this weekend too, including defensive tackle Chris Norwell with the New England Patriots, kicker Jason Reda with the Cleveland Browns and safety Kevin Mitchell with the Washington Redskins.