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Five former McNeese Cowboys land undrafted free agent deals

McNeese players in the NFL
McNeese players in the NFL(Credit: MGN, Pixabay, NFL)
Published: May. 3, 2022 at 9:16 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - While no McNeese football players were selected in the 2022 NFL Draft, a quintuplet of former McNeese Cowboys are getting their NFL opportunity this offseason.

Jamal Pettigrew was the lone former Poke to sign an undrafted free agent contract, doing so with the defending Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams. Pettigrew will leave for Los Angeles on May 13 to prepare for the rookie mini-camp and OTAs.

Pettigrew, a 6-foot-7, 247-pound tight end was a red-zone threat for McNeese totaling 25 catches for 224 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Pettigrew is the first McNeese player since BJ Blunt in 2019 to sign a priority rookie undrafted free agent deal.

Four other ex-Cowboys will participate in rookie minicamps, with three of them transferring to a different school for the 2021 season.

Two-time consensus All-American defensive end Isaiah Chambers accepted an invitation by the Indianapolis Colts for their tryout. Chambers reportedly had 11 NFL teams express interest ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft after he led McNeese in sacks each of the last two seasons. His 17.5 sacks is good for eighth all-time among Cowboys.

University of Texas cornerback Darion Dunn accepted rookie minicamp invites from the New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals. The Oakdale native will attend Jets camp this weekend followed by the Cardinals’ camp next week. Dunn had a quiet season with the Longhorns this past year registering 22 tackles, one forced fumble and two pass breakups. With McNeese, Dunn was a preseason FCS All-American after making 35 career starts recording seven interceptions and 83 tackles as well as 20 pass breakups.

Another Southwest Louisiana native earned a minicamp invite in Marshall defensive back, Cory McCoy. The Leesville product agreed to a pair of rookie minicamp invites as well with AFC North rivals Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. The Ravens’ camp will be his first stop followed by the Steelers’ camp next week. McCoy enjoyed plenty of success in 2021 with the Thundering Herd totaling 68 tackles and a pair of interceptions, landing the Marshall defensive MVP honor. McCoy ended his McNeese career with career totals of 149 tackles, 22 pass break-ups and five interceptions.

Incarnate Word wide receiver Trevor Begue is hoping to catch passes from Patrick Mahomes this year as the Louisiana native agreed to a rookie minicamp tryout with the Kansas City Chiefs. Begue helped UIW to the playoffs this past season posting 46 receptions for 620 yards and three touchdowns. Begue also had a standout career with McNeese before transferring, as he’s ranked top 15 in receiving touchdowns, yards and receptions in the Cowboy record book. Begue posted 102 catches for 1,471 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns in his McNeese career.

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