The Denver Broncos on Monday signed seven college free agents, Head Coach Mike Shanahan announced. As per club policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.
In addition, the club waived defensive tackle Michael Bozeman, safety Steve Cargile, guard Mark Fenton, fullback Steven Jackson, linebacker William Kershaw, fullback Paul Smith and running back Marquis Weeks.
The following seven college free agents were signed by Denver on Monday.
Anthony Alridge (5-foot-9, 175 pounds) is a running back who finished his career at the University of Houston ranked sixth in school history with 2,595 rushing yards on 363 carries for a 7.1-yard rushing average. A two-time second-team All-Conference USA choice, Alridge posted the second-highest single-season rushing total in Houston annals (1,597 yds., 6.2 avg., 14 TDs) along with 42 receptions (428 yds., 5 TDs) as a senior. His 10.1-yard rushing average (95-959) as a junior led the nation and marked the highest single-season average (min. 75 att.) in the NCAA since 1945 (Army’s Glenn Davis, 11.5 avg., 82-944). Alridge, who also returned kickoffs at Houston, totaled 4,438 career all-purpose yards that ranked fourth in Cougars history. An honorable mention all-state selection at Denton High School in Denton, Texas, Alridge was born on Nov. 24, 1983.
Mitch Erickson (6-foot-6, 285 pounds) is an offensive lineman who started at either guard or tackle in every one of South Dakota State University’s 44 games played during his four seasons (2004-07) at the school. A three-time All-Great West Football Conference selection, Erickson received first-team All-America honors from the Associated Press as a senior and was tabbed his team’s offensive Most Valuable Player. He picked up third-team All-America accolades (AP) as a junior and helped SDSU lead the conference in rushing as a sophomore. Erickson earned all-state recognition at Hutchinson High School in Hutchinson, Minn.
Garrett Hartley (5-foot-8, 204 pounds) is a kicker who was a two-time second-team All-Big 12 Conference selection at the University of Oklahoma, where he finished his career ranked third in school history in field goals made (47) and sixth in points scored (310). A second-team All-Big 12 Conference selection as a senior, Hartley connected on 13-of-15 field goal attempts (.866) in his last year with the Sooners. He was a finalist for the Lou Groza Award (nation’s best kicker) as a junior, setting a school record with a .950 field goal percentage (19-of-20) to pick up second-team all-conference honors. He played 43 career games at Oklahoma, connecting on 47-of-58 (.810) field goal attempts and 169-of-176 (.960) extra point attempts. Rated the second-best kicker in the nation by Rivals.com at Southlake Carroll High School in Southlake, Texas, Hartley was born on May 16, 1986.
Brett Kern (6-foot-3, 201 pounds) is a punter who ranked second in the nation in gross punting average (46.1 yds., 52-2,399) and was a finalist for the Ray Guy Award (nation’s top punter) as a senior at the University of Toledo. He was a third-team All-America choice during his final year at Toledo as the only player from the Mid-American Conference to receive Associated Press All-America honors. Kern, who also was tabbed the MAC’s Special Teams Player of the Year in 2007, punted 189 times for 7,994 yards (42.3 avg.) with 59 punts placed inside the 20-yard line in 47 career games. A first-team all-state selection at Grand Island High School in Grand Island, N.Y., Kern was born on Feb. 17, 1986.
Tyler Polumbus (6-foot-8, 300 pounds) is a tackle who played 48 career games (38 starts) at the University of Colorado after concluding his prep career at Cherry Creek High School in Greenwood Village, Colo. A 13-game starter as a senior at Colorado, Polumbus earned second-team All-Big 12 Conference accolades that year after allowing only one sack and was CU’s recipient of its Eddie Crowder Award in recognition of his leadership. He also was the only Buffalo to play every down from scrimmage (961) on his respective side of the ball in 2007. As a junior, Polumbus opened all 12 games at left offensive tackle and was one of just four CU players to start every game. A SuperPrep All-American at Cherry Creek High School, Polumbus was born on April 10, 1985.
Lorne Sam (6-foot-3, 215 pounds) is a wide receiver who played his final two collegiate seasons at the University of Texas-El Paso after transferring from Florida State University. Sam played 42 games during his college career, totaling 64 receptions for 934 yards (14.6 avg.) with one touchdown and 77 rushes for 436 (5.7 avg.) with four scores. Sam, who saw time as a quarterback and running back at UTEP, caught 42 passes for 589 yards (14.0 avg.) with one touchdown as a 10-game starter during his senior year. A PrepStar All-American who threw 15 touchdown passes and averaged 8.6 yards per rush as a senior at Buford High School in Buford, Ga., Sam was born on Dec. 5, 1984, in Denver.
Wesley Woodyard (6-foot-1, 227 pounds) is a linebacker who earned first-team All-Southeastern Conference honors during each of his final two seasons at the University of Kentucky, where he played 47 career games (42 starts). Woodyard, who concluded his college career ranked eighth in UK history with 395 tackles, led the SEC in tackles per game (10.6) and tied for 14th in the nation in total stops (139) as a senior. An academic all-conference choice, Woodyard posted 122 tackles as a junior that marked the second-highest total in the conference and ranked 14th in the nation. He was tabbed the Georgia Class AAA Defensive Player of the Year by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution at LaGrange High School in LaGrange, Ga., and helped the school win a pair of state championships. Woodyard was born on July 21, 1986.