Five Rebels Sign With NFL Teams

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Murphy Holloway is making the switch to football. (photo by Joshua McCoy)

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Murphy Holloway is making the switch to football. (photo by Joshua McCoy)
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

April 27, 2013

OXFORD, Miss. - Five Ole Miss Rebels signed free-agent deals with NFL teams on Saturday, following the 2013 NFL Draft.

Uriah Grant signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars, A.J. Hawkins with the Kansas City Chiefs and Gilbert Pena with the Green Bay Packers. Gerald Rivers, who last played for the Rebels in 2011, signed with the St. Louis Rams.

And one of the feel-good stories of the free-agent signings is SEC basketball champion Murphy Holloway being picked up by the Baltimore Ravens as a tight end.

Grant played in 22 games with 11 starts as a defensive tackle in two years for Ole Miss after transferring from Fullerton Community College. In two years, the Miramar, Fla., native compiled 51 tackles, 6.0 sacks and 9.0 TFLs.

Hawkins started at center and right guard during his four seasons in the Red and Blue. The lineman from Lithonia, Ga., played in 39 career games and helped Ole Miss become one of the top offenses in the SEC as a senior, starting every game at right guard.

Pena, a Yonkers, N.Y., native, played in 23 games with six starts at nose tackle during his two-year Rebel career after transferring from ASA College. As a senior, he racked up 34 tackles, 2.0 sacks and 6.5 TFLs and was invited to play in the Raycom College All-Star Classic after the season.

Rivers saw action in 27 games with 10 starts in three years as a defensive end for the Rebels. As a junior in 2011, the Ellenwood, Ga., native made 13 tackles with 2.0 sacks and 4.5 TFLs.

Holloway finished his four-year Ole Miss hoops career as the school's all-time leading rebounder and with more than 1,000 points. The Irmo, S.C., native turned his attention to football workouts following a memorable SEC Tournament championship and NCAA Tournament run. He has not played football since middle school, but impressed scouts enough as a 6-foot-7, 240-pound tight end to pick up a free-agent deal with the Super Bowl champion Ravens.

This group continues a rich tradition of Rebels in the NFL, which includes 279 all-time draft picks and 19 first-round selections. A total of 24 former players were on NFL rosters during the 2012 season, including two Pro Bowlers (Patrick Willis, Eli Manning), a world champion (Michael Oher) and 12 full-time starters.

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