April 26, 2010
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Tight end T.C. Drake, offensive lineman Zipp Duncan, offensive tackle Justin Jeffries and tailback Alfonso Smith have signed as free agents in the National Football League.
Drake signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, Duncan with the Philadelphia Eagles, Jeffries with the San Diego Chargers and Smith with the Arizona Cardinals. They join UK's draftees, defensive tackle Corey Peters (Atlanta), cornerback Trevard Lindley (Philadelphia) and fullback John Conner (New York Jets), as UK's 2009 seniors who will get an opportunity to play in the NFL. More players from last year's senior class could be signed later.
Seven draftees and free agents this year gives UK a total of 24 players who have signed NFL contracts from the 2007, '08 and '09 senior classes. The 2009 seniors were the first class in school history to advance to four-consecutive bowl games, including three bowl wins.
Here is some information on each player:
- Drake was a part-time starter at tight end the last two seasons. He caught 20 passes in his career, good for 281 yards and one touchdown. His lone TD catch came in UK's 43-37 triple-overtime upset of No. 1 LSU in 2007. He also saw extensive action on special teams.
- Duncan played defensive end and tight end early in his career before finding a home in the offensive line. He started every game of the last three seasons, 39 straight starts at left guard, right guard or left tackle. He was second-team All-Southeastern Conference at left tackle as a senior.
- Jeffries was a three-year starter at right tackle, including his sophomore season when Kentucky rang up a school-record 475 points. As a freshman, he played offensive tackle and defensive tackle and earned Freshman All-SEC honors before settling into the offensive line his last three seasons.
- Smith rushed for 957 yards and eight touchdowns during his career, averaging 4.5 yards per carry. He caught 30 passes for 322 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 10.7 yards per catch. He was a standout performer on special teams, totaling 28 tackles and causing a fumble during his career.