Weekend colleges: Former UMass football players will try to make NFL as free agents

  • Massachusetts wide receiver Jalen Williams (80) pushes off Hawaii defensive back Jamal Mayo (11) during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

  • Massachusetts wide receiver Jalen Williams (80) drops a pass near the end zone against South Carolina defensive back Rashad Fenton (16) during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, in Columbia, S.C. South Carolina defeated Massachusetts 34-28. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

Published: 4/30/2017 6:05:01 PM

AMHERST — No UMass players were selected in the NFL draft this weekend, but several will have opportunities to earn their way onto squads as free agents.

Jalen Williams became the latest Minuteman receiver to try to break in with the Giants, who signed him to a free agent contract. Victor Cruz was the most famous UMass pass catcher to land in New York, but Julian Talley also spent time in the organization.

John Robinson-Woodgett, who played both linebacker and fullback for the Minutemen, was signed by the New Orleans Saints.

Safety Khary Bailey-Smith has been invited to a mini-camp tryout with the San Francisco 49ers, while offensive lineman Elijiah Wilkison got a similar offer across the bay from the Oakland Raiders.

UMass has had several players land in the NFL without getting drafted. In addition to Cruz, James Ihedigbo, Jeremy Cain and Marcel Shipp had productive careers in the NFL, while several other players spent time on active rosters without having their names called on draft day.


Dayton 7, UMass 2; UMass 3, Dayton 0 — Shortstop Ryan Lever totaled four hits and three RBIs, as the Minutemen (12-24, 6-9 A-10) split their weekend series.

He hit a home run Saturday and knocked in two RBIs with two hits on Sunday.

Mike Geannelis struck out nine in a three-hit shutout Sunday.

Wesleyan 7, Amherst 6; Amherst 5, Wesleyan 3 — Yanni Thanos had three hits and two RBIs, while Athony Spina chipped in two hits and three RBIs on Sunday to help the Mammoths (16-12, 8-4) split Saurday’s doubleheader with a win in the second game.

Harry Roberson had two hits and two RBIs in the loss.

Women’s lacrosse

UMass 25, Duquesne 12 — Hannah Murphy led the way with five goals and added an assist in the Minutewomen’s 54th straight conference win Saturday.

Holly Turner added four goals and three assists for UMass (14-3, 9-0 A-10), the A-10 regular season champions.

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