Three former Ferris State football players will be making the push this offseason to make it on an NFL roster.
Former Ferris quarterback and two-time Harlon Hill Trophy winner Jason Vander Laan signed with the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent shortly after the 2016 NFL Draft. Vander Laan was a dominant force as a quarterback with the Bulldogs, but he is expected to change positions to tight end at the NFL level.
The 6-foot-4, 244 pound Frankfort, Ill. native set the record for the most career rushing yards by a quarterback at any division in his time at Ferris State.
If Vander Laan makes the roster, he could find himself across the line from former teammate Justin Zimmer, who signed with the Jets’ AFC East rival Buffalo Bills shortly after Vander Laan signed.
Zimmer, a 6-foot-3, 302 pound defensive lineman from Greenville, Mich. gained the attention of scouts with his outstanding performance at an NFL Regional Combine in Houston, Texas followed by a great showing at the University of Michigan Pro Day.
After putting up unbelievable numbers, especially on the bench press, Zimmer confirmed that the stats from his senior season were no mistake. In his final season as a Bulldog, Zimmer recorded a team-high 83 tackles to go along with 13 sacks and 26 tackles for a loss.
The third Bulldog to sign with a team is receiver Jacob Lampman. Lampman signed with the Baltimore Ravens and was invited to their rookie training camp.
Lampman led the Bulldogs with 52 catches for 731 yards in his senior season and finished sixth all-time in Ferris history with a career total of 2,201 receiving yards. He is a very versatile player and may be an even better blocker than a pass catcher.
Lampman tied the NFL receiver record with 27 bench reps during his regional combine workouts to prepare for the draft. The combination of his strengths caught the eyes of Ravens scouts, giving him the opportunity of making an NFL roster.
Wherever these players land, their play at Ferris State was immaculate and they will forever be remembered in the eyes of the Bulldog faithful, as well as in the record books.