The NFL Draft came and went with no news for former University of South Dakota football players Noah Shepard and Ko Quaye.
But then, their phones rang. On the other line were NFL teams, who offered the two former Coyotes free agent deals on Saturday.
Shepard, a quarterback, signed with the Green Bay Packers, a team that had shown significant interest in the Colorado native in recent weeks. Shepard worked out for Packers scouts in late March and was later brought out to Wisconsin for a private workout.
Just got off the phone with Shepard and he said the Packers called him midway through Saturday’s seventh round of the draft. He had also been in contact with the Carolina Panthers and Arizona Cardinals throughout the draft, but it was the Packers who pulled the trigger. Shepard was the only quarterback invited to Green Bay’s minicamp, which starts next week.
“It was definitely a stressful process, but I couldn’t be happier. I still can’t believe I’m a Packer now; it’s crazy to think.”
Quaye, a defensive tackle, was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars. He said Saturday that he and the Jags had developed a solid connection for a few months, and that there was a good chance he would be drafted. But, as he said, if he wasn’t drafted, he was the team’s top free agent signee.
“When I got the phone call and heard it was my agent, I didn’t know what to think. Then he said he had good news. When he said, ‘It’s a wrap, you’re a Jaguar,’ it was so surreal. I almost couldn’t believe it at first. I just thank god they gave me a shot.”
Quaye was in Vermillion watching the draft with some buddies on Saturday. He said one of the first things he did after the phone call was call his parents in Minnesota. Now, Quaye will fly down to Florida on Thursday night.