The best NFL player from NIU found a long-time home with the Indianapolis Colts; right tackle Ryan Diem has been a longtime starter there and won a Super Bowl ring with a win over the Bears. The Colts could be an even better fit for another former Huskie.
Chad Spann, an Indianapolis native, signed with the Colts Tuesday, according to Spann. Tuesday was the first day NFL teams could sign undrafted free agents.
Spann was the Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Year last year when he led the MAC in both rushing (99.46 yards per game — not per carry, as the NIU news release said) and rushing touchdowns (with an NIU record of 22, which led the nation.
Spann has 49 career rushing TDs, second in NUI history, and his 300 career points ranks fourth.
The Colts report to Anderson, Ind. for training camp Sunday and their first preseason game is Aug. 13 at St. Louis.
The Bears signed 26 undrafted free agents Tuesday. I wish they would have made it 27 and grabbed Spann. Who knows? Maybe they tried, but Spann preferred his hometown team. I’m not saying Spann will become a starter in the NFL, but the Bears could use a runner with a nose for the end zone. Chicago seems to lead the league every year in failed short-yardage carries.
Return to this story as it will be updated as more signings of former Huskie players are confirmed.