Furman cornerback Ryan Steed, offensive tackle Ryan Lee, and linebacker Kadarron Anderson have signed free agent contracts with National Football League (NFL) teams, it has been confirmed.
Steed joined the New York Jets while Lee signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Anderson, meanwhile, inked a contract with the New Orleans Saints.
Steed, a 5-foot-11, 190 pound product from Mt. Pleasant, S.C., was named to AFCA, Associated Press, Sports Network, and SportsMadness All-America teams following the 2011 season and played in 2012 Senior Bowl. An NFL Combine invitee, he totaled 46 tackles, four interceptions, and four pass deflections in a 2011 campaign that also featured a 48-yard fumble return for a touchdown against Elon. The three-time All-SoCon selection finished his Paladin tenure with 180 tackles and tallied 38 passes defensed and 14 interceptions, the third and fourth best marks, respectively, in Paladin football history. He returned three pickoffs for touchdowns, forced four fumbles, recovered three fumbles, recorded a sack, and blocked three kicks in his career. He is a health sciences major.
Lee, who measured 6-foot-3, 309 pounds at Furman’s pro day this spring, earned first team All-SoCon honors in 2011 after starting in all 11 games, including 10 at right tackle and one at left guard. His strong play, which included a season high 89 percent blocking grade in a 26-21 win over fifth-ranked Wofford and 82 percent mark in a 20-10 triumph over third-ranked Appalachian State, helped pave the way for All-SoCon teammate Jerodis Williams, who rushed for 1,055 yards and nine touchdowns to become the first Paladin 1,000-yard rusher since 2003. A four-year letterman and three-year starter who registered playing time in 39 games and registered 1,641 snaps and 27 starts, he was selected to play in the 2012 AstroTurf NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in Carson, Calif., in January. The Carrollton, Ga., product graduated in December with a degree in health sciences.
Anderson, a 6-foot-1, 234-pound product of Greenwood, S.C., and three-time All-SoCon pick, paced the league in tackles in the 2011 regular season with 111 stops, an average of 11.1 per game, despite missing the season finale against Florida due to a knee injury. The three-year starter tallied 372 stops, including 21 for-loss, in his 44-game Paladin tenure, the 13th-highest tackle total in Furman history. He was named to the College Sporting News FCS Fabulous Fifty All-America Team after capturing AFCA and Associated Press All-America accolades in December. He also played in the 2012 AstroTurf NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in Carson, Calif., in January.