Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Isaac Odim to San Diego; Other Notes

Greetings ... wanted to throw up a quick blog with the news on Isaac Odim, a former All-American running back for the UMD Bulldogs.

Odim has agreed to a free-agent deal with the NFL's San Diego Chargers. After going undrafted in April, he -- along with a slew of other undrafted prospects who found NFL jobs today -- had to sweat out this seemingly never-ending lockout before signing their deals.

Going undrafted in any sport is hardly a disaster. In many cases, prospects like Odim are better off not being drafted late, because they can hand-pick the fit that is best for them, rather than being stuck on a roster or in a system that might not be a good fit for the talent or the personality.

In Odim's case, there might be an argument that he put himself in the best situation possible.

The Chargers were led in the ground game by Mike Tolbert, rookie Ryan Mathews, and diminutive veteran Darren Sproles last season. Tolbert and Sproles are free agents, and the Chargers drafted Connecticut star Jordan Todman this April.

There is competition for playing time, but Odim walks into a situation where he can open eyes and earn playing time if he has a good camp. For an undrafted player, that's usually the best you can hope for.


Also on the undrafted free agent front, former Gophers quarterback Adam Weber signed with the Denver Broncos, and three former Wisconsin offensive stars found homes. Quarterback Scott Tolzien joins Odim in San Diego, running back John Clay is heading to Pittsburgh (where they like big, bruising backs), and wide receiver/kick returner David Gilreath latched on with the Colts.

Clay and Odim both did outstanding jobs finding places where their talents would be used properly, assuming they can make the cut.


UMD's national championship celebration continues this weekend, as the team and alumni gather at Amsoil Arena Friday night. As part of Alumni Weekend, the players and staff will receive their national championship rings. Alumni are gathering for a dinner at the arena prior to the ring ceremony.

There is an annual alumni golf outing scheduled for Saturday, so we're all hoping for good weather.

One of the perks of my job is access to events like this, and I am immeasurably excited about the chance to hang out with the team and alumni Friday. For many of us, it could be the last chance for a while to get the gang together. Seniors Kyle Schmidt and Chad Huttel will soon be leaving for overseas professional hockey gigs, and others will be going their separate ways.

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