This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Six former Utah State football players signed as undrafted free-agents following the completion of the NFL Draft on Saturday. The group includes tight end Wyatt Houston, one of the school's all-time leading receivers at his position.
The signings come on the heels of the Green Bay Packers drafting running back Devante Mays in the seventh round on Saturday.
Houston, an honorable mention All-Mountain West selection this past fall as a senior, signed with the Kansas City Chiefs as did defensive end Ricky Ali'ifua. Defensive back Marquan Ellison signed with the Seattle Seahawks and defensive back Daniel Gray agreed to a deal with the Arizona Cardinals. Offensive linemen Jake Simonich and Austin Stephens signed with the Houston Texans and Carolina Panthers, respectively.
Houston, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound Oregon native, ranked third among the Aggies in receptions (35) and receiving yards (330) this past season. He graduated ranked second all-time among tight ends on USU history in career receptions (86), receiving yards (933) and touchdown receptions (nine).
"That's all I want, just an opportunity," Houston said following the USU Pro Day in Logan on March 31. "I feel like I'm good enough to make a team."
The 6-foot-2, 280-pound Ali'ifua led the Aggies with 3.5 sacks and eight tackles for a loss on his way to earning honorable mention All-Mountain West honors this past season as a senior.
Simonich (6-foot-5, 305 pounds) started 40 games for the Aggies and played 52, while Stephens (6-foot-3, 315) started all 39 games he played. Both were three-time honorable mention all-conference selections.
Gray made 45 tackles and registered four pass breakups and one interception as a senior. He started 19 of the 27 games he played.
Ellison, who played in 36 career games, returned kicks (25.7 yards per kickoff return) as well as played defensive back for the Aggies. He had 17 tackles, forced a fumble and recorded one pass breakup in his collegiate career.