Roosevelt, Newton Sign NFL Free Agent Contracts
BUFFALO, NY – Two more members of the University at Buffalo football team saw their football dreams come true by signing free agent contracts. Wide receiver Naaman Roosevelt signed with the Buffalo Bills, while safety Mike Newton, signed with the Indianapolis Colts shortly after the conclusion of the National Football League draft this weekend.
Roosevelt, a Buffalo native who played his high school football at St. Josephs, signed with his hometown team. Roosevelt broke every major receiving record at UB, after being converted from the quarterback position. Roosevelt was a three-time Mid-American Conference selection, including first-team All-MAC as a junior and senior in a brilliant career. He finished as the Bulls career leader in receptions (268), receiving yards (3,551) and receiving touchdowns (28). He broke the school record with 104 receptions in 2008 for 1,402 yards and 13 touchdowns, all single-season records.
In 2009, Roosevelt led the Bulls in receiving with 70 catches for 964 yards and nine touchdowns in only 10 games. The 6-0, 187-pounder, had five 100-yard receiving games and saved one of the best games of his career for last, with an eight-catch, 165-yard, three-touchdown performance against Ohio in his final game. Roosevelt, who broke nearly all of the receiving records of Drew Haddad ('96-99), follows Haddad into the NFL with the Bills, as Haddad was a seventh round pick of the Bills in the 2000 draft.
Newton, meanwhile, joins a pair of former Bulls' teammates on the AFC Champion Colts, as well as his long-time favorite NFL player in Indianapolis safety Bob Sanders. The 5-10, 197-pounder was a two-time second-team All-MAC selection in 2008-09, and finished his career fifth in career tackles (342) and solo tackles (196). In 2009, the free safety had 85 tackles, including a team-best 52 solo efforts. He added two interceptions, eight pass breakups and a pair of fumble recoveries. He was named MAC East Division Defensive Player of the Week following the Bulls' win over Akron.
Newton will go down in Bulls' football history for earning MAC Player of the Game honors in Buffalo's stunning MAC Championship game over No. 12-ranked Ball State in the 2008 MAC title game. Newton had nine tackles (eight solos), two tackles for loss, a pass breakup and a game-changing 92-yard fumble return midway through the third quarter as the Bulls downed the Cardinals for their first-ever Division I championship in football history. Newton joins former UB teammates, Jamey Richard (offensive line) and Drew Willy (quarterback) on the Colts roster.
Roosevelt and Newton join James Starks, a sixth-round draft choice of the Green Bay Packers as having earned a spot in an NFL training camp this summer. Tight end Jesse Rack has earned a rookie tryout with the New York Jets, which he hopes will lead to a free agent contract.