*From Troy Media Relations*
TROY, Ala. – Building on the already strong network of Troy Trojans in the National Football League, five members of the 2013 Troy football team signed undrafted free agent deals with NFL teams over the weekend.
Quarterback Corey Robinson and defensive tackle Antonio Gillespie inked deals with the Cleveland Browns, safety Camren Hudson signed with the Seattle Seahawks, wide receiver Eric Thomas will go to camp with the Indianapolis Colts and wide receiver Wilson Van Hooser signed on with the Green Bay Packers.
“All of those guys have been productive players for us and they have done a lot of things right during their careers at Troy,” head coach Larry Blakeney said. “It takes more than just brawn to go to the NFL, it takes smarts too and these guys have that. I’m proud that they have the opportunity and I’m sure they will give it their best. The free agent route is probably better than getting drafted late as the teams thought enough of them to offer them.
“I believe this is also a testament to the job we do with the NFL personnel,” Blakeney said. “We allow access to our place year round for scouts, coaches and general managers to come and evaluate our players. We are very open with the NFL guys and it really allows them to do their jobs.”
Robinson is one of just five quarterbacks in NCAA FBS history to throw for over 3,000 yards and total 3,000 yards of total offense in four different seasons. The Paducah, Ky., native holds 11 Troy and Sun Belt Conference career records and holds the career marks for touchdown passes, passing yards, passing attempts, completions and total offense both at Troy and in the Sun Belt.
Robinson ranks ninth all-time in NCAA FBS history with 13,477 career passing yards and sixth all-time with 1,179 completions. He completed 67.7 percent of his passes in 2013 for 3,219 yards and 20 touchdowns; he set the NCAA FBS single-game record for completion percentage (30 attempts) after he completed 30-of-32 passes against UAB.
“This is something that I’ve always wanted to do and this is really a dream come true,” Robinson said. “They said my body of work spoke for itself and the quarterback coach really liked my film. They are giving me a chance to compete and I’ll go up there and hopefully everything will take care of itself.”
One of Robinson's favorite targets over the past four years has been Thomas who is the Sun Belt's career leader with 28 touchdown receptions. The Shreveport, La., native held the nation's longest streak of consecutive games with a touchdown as his mark reached eight during 2013. Thomas finished the season 10th nationally with 12 touchdown receptions and came up just seven yards shy of 1,000 receiving yards.
Thomas finished his Troy career ranked third all-time in school history with 197 receptions, third with 2,655 career receiving yards and second with his 28 touchdown receptions. His totals are good for fifth all-time in Sun Belt history in catches and fourth in receiving yards.
Hudson finished his senior season 11th in the Sun Belt overall and second among defensive backs with 6.8 tackles per game. The senior from Tallahassee, Fla., was fifth in the league with 61 solo tackles and was eighth with nine passes defended. Hudson was named the Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week following the final game of the season and returned an interception 65 yards for a touchdown at Louisiana-Lafayette.
Gillespie, a native of Tulsa, Okla., recorded 7.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks for the Trojans from the interior of the defensive line in 2013. His sack total ranked eighth in the Sun Belt and his TFL total was 19th in the league. Gillespie finished eighth in the Sun Belt among defensive linemen with 44 tackles.
Van Hooser transferred to Troy prior to the 2013 season after his graduation from Tulane. The native of Montgomery, Ala., caught 13 passes for 188 yards and a pair of touchdowns during his one season at Troy. Van Hooser put on a show at Troy’s Pro Day as he ran a 4.40 in the 40-yard dash and registered 39 inches in the vertical jump.