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Courtesy: Monmouth University Photo

MUíS HOGAN AND OTTAIANO SIGN UNDRAFTED FREE AGENT NFL CONTRACTS

Courtesy: Monmouth Sports Information
         
Release: July 27, 2011
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WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J.-  Two Monmouth University players signed free agent contracts with National Football League teams on Tuesday evening, the first day teams were allowed to sign UDFA's after the league lockout was lifted.

Monmouth wide receiver/defensive back Chris Hogan (Ramapo, N.J./Ramapo/Penn State) and offensive lineman Tom Ottaiano (East Hanover, N.J./Hanover Park/Hofstra) were signed as undrafted free agents by the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Jets, respectively.

"It's an exciting time for Chris and Tom," said Monmouth head coach Kevin Callahan.  "They have worked very hard for this day and I am confident they will make the most of it."

Hogan, who played four seasons of lacrosse at Penn State before coming to Monmouth to finish his eligibility in football, came in as a wide receiver for the Hawks but had to also play defensive back after injuries decimated the position.  At wideout, he provided a big pla­y threat for the Hawks, scoring three touchdowns on his 12 receptions including his first collegiate catch.  Starting with game four, he started every game at cornerback cutting down his reps at wide receiver.  He recorded two interceptions in his first game at cornerback and finished the season with three picks and 28 tackles.  Hogan impressed scouts at Fordham's Pro Day, where he recorded the fastest times in a number of agility drills.

Ottaiano started all 11 games for the Hawks in 2011, mostly at center but showed his versatility when he switched to guard to fill a void left by injuries.  The East Hanover, N.J. native came to the Hawks after Hofstra dropped its football program after the 2009 season.  He had three years of playing experience for the Pride, including starting at guard in the program's final year.

Monmouth has two other players currently in the NFL, Pro-Bowl wide receiver Miles Austin with the Dallas Cowboys and tight end John Nalbone, who plays for the Philadelphia Eagles.  Austin was an undrafted free agent, signed by the Cowboys in April of 2006, while Nalbone was drafted in the 5th round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins.

Check back to www.GoMUHawks.com and to Monmouth's social media pages www.GoMUHawks.com/connect for more information and interviews with the players.

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