Quenton Bundrage could be a sleeper among all those undrafted free agent rookies who are trying to earn a spot in the NFL.
In what might be a relative unknown but intriguing stat, Bundrage forced one tackle for every 2.8 touches on offense last season at Iowa State, which was the best rate among the wide receivers in this year’s NFL rookie class (minimum of 25 touches).
The big thing for Bundrage is trying to show pro teams that he has fully recovered from the ACL he tore in the first game of the 2014 season that forced him out for the year. He was coming off a banner sophomore season when he caught 48 passes for 676 yards and nine touchdowns. Last season the 6-2 receiver racked up 548 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
Bundrage had a good Pro Day with a 37.5 vertical jump and a 4.46 40-yard dash time, though the most important thing was proving to teams that the knee could hold up through an entire season. He was invited for private workouts by three teams, including the Tampa Bay Bucs.
There’s good and bad news for Leon Allen.
Another Manatee High grad, Allen was granted a fifth year by the NCAA to play for Western Kentucky because of a grim injury he suffered to his left knee in the second game of the 2015 season. Unfortunately, his leg was injured so bad he might not be able to play next season or get back his starting spot. The good thing is that Allen will be able to graduate. That’s a huge plus for the kid, who struggled academically in high school, but turned things around to make himself eligible to play in college.
WKU coach Jeff Brohm said Allen has had some setbacks in his recovery and that it was too early to determine his status for next season. The 6-0, 235-pounder was ranked the 12th-best running back prospect by NFL Draft Scout before his injury, and sixth among seniors. He rushed for more than 1,500 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2014.
Derrick Calloway, another Manatee High alumni, who missed all of last season for USF because of academics, appears to be on course to return to the field this season, which would be a big plus for the Bulls, who return only one starter from their defensive line.
As a sophomore in 2014, Calloway was impressive, with three sacks and 30 tackles in only four starts. The three front four players USF lost (DE Eric Lee, DB Jamie Byrd and DT James Hamilton) accounted for 16 of the team’s 34 sacks last season.
The now 6-2, 320 pound Calloway led Manatee to the 2011 state championship and three regional titles. He posted 143 tackles, 13 sacks, 57 TFL, 23 pressures, five PBU, five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries during his three seasons at Manatee.
Now that Ray Bellamy has been voted into the FHSAA Hall of Fame, it’s time to add a few others from the long list of great athletes who played for Lincoln during the school segregation days.
At the top of the list has to be Neil “Chip” Nelson and Waite Bellamy, who were both inducted into the National Negro High School Basketball Hall of Fame.
Nelson is the last of the Lincoln basketball greats. The 6-1 guard graduated from Lincoln in 1967, ending his career with 61 points in the state championship game against Dillard. Nelson averaged 26 points per game his senior year. He finished his college career at the University of Tampa and had an offer from the Harlem Globetrotters.
Bellamy was a 6-3 silky smooth ball handler who could slash and shoot from the outside. He was the 33rd pick in the 1963 NBA Draft after averaging 27.9 points per game at Florida A&M, where he was a Small School All-American. He played most of his pro career in the Eastern Basketball League, where he won three scoring titles and once put up 62 points in a game and averaged more than 30 points at Lincoln.