The Ravens officially signed 13 rookie free agents Friday, including one former college basketball star that went undrafted by the NBA.
Joe Reitz, who averaged 15.0 points and 7.9 rebounds per game as a center at Western Michigan last year, is now attempting to make it to the NFL as a tight end.
And he'll have a solid opportunity to do so, considering the Ravens only have two healthy tight ends on the roster.
Daniel Wilcox is still nursing a toe injury that required surgery early in the offseason, 2006 draft pick Quinn Sypniewski hurt his knee in the Ravens' first minicamp and former practice squadder Jake Nordin was recently moved to fullback, leaving only Pro Bowler Todd Heap and Lee Vickers at the position.
Head coach John Harbaugh even hinted that Sypniewski could miss the entire season after practice last Friday.
"It's nothing too detailed right now," he said at the time. "We're still assessing it right now. We're not sure where it stands at this point."
The 6-foot-7, 256-pound Reitz will compete with Scott Kuhn, a 6-foot-6, 275-pound tight end from Louisville.
Reitz was a talented football prospect out of Hamilton Southeastern High School in Fishers, Ind. - even earning scholarship offers from a number of MAC schools and Indiana - but he decided to pursue basketball at the Division I level. Now, Reitz is hoping to follow in the footsteps of San Diego's Antonio Gates, Kansas City's Tony Gonzalez or the Ravens' own Heap, each of whom played basketball collegiately.
Kuhn primarily served as a blocking tight end behind Gary Barnidge, a fifth-round draft pick for the Carolina Panthers.
The Ravens also added four offensive linemen, guards Brandon Barnes from Grand Valley State, Michigan's Adam Kraus and Isaiah Wiggins from Illinois, and tackle Sean Dumford out of Eastern Kentucky.
Minnesota' Ernie Wheelwright, 6-foot-5, 215 pounds, and Louisville's Patrick Carter, 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, give an infusion of size to the receiving corps, while 6-foot-6, 245-pound quarterback Brad Roach from Catawba brings another strong arm to the offseason camps.
On defense, the Ravens signed linebacker Jameel McClain out of Syracuse and Missouri defensive lineman Lorenzo Williams.
Punter Ben Dato from Fordham and Wagner College kicker Piotr Czech will be added to the specialists.
Complete List of Rookie Free Agent Players Signed by the Ravens on Friday:
|BARNES, BRANDON||OG||GRAND VALLEY STATE|
|CZECH, PIOTR||PK||WAGNER COLLEGE|
|DUMFORD, SEAN||OT||EASTERN KENTUCKY|
|REITZ, JOE||TE||WESTERN MICHIGAN|