Reports: Ravens Pursuing Undrafted Rookies


The Ravens opted not to draft any competition for kicker **Steve Hauschka** last weekend, but they may have added another leg via free agency.

According to a report by the Pensacola News-Journal, Florida State kicker Graham Gano agreed to join the team as a rookie free agent.

In the article, Gano said that special teams coordinator **Jerry Rosburg** called him seconds after the final pick was turned in Sunday night and asked Gano to challenge Hauschka – Baltimore's kickoff specialist in 2008 – for the kicking job this season.

In addition, there have been other reported agreements for the Ravens. The University of Minnesota athletic department released information that defensive end Willie VanDeSteeg decided to enter minicamps with the Ravens, while the University at Buffalo said quarterback Drew Willy will add depth under center.

Gano might have the best chance of making the roster if he can outperform Hauschka.

The Ravens opted not to re-sign veteran Matt Stover, even though general manager **Ozzie Newsome** maintained that it could still be a possibility.

Hauschka displayed good length on kickoffs early in the season and converted one of his two field goal attempts, a 53-yarder against the Houston Texans.

Meanwhile, Gano is coming off a stellar senior campaign for the Seminoles, winning the 2008 Lou Groza Award for the nation's top placekicker after he made 24 of 25 field goals. Gano also was Florida State's punter for three years.

"I'm really excited," Gano told the News-Journal. "I couldn't be any happier knowing that I'm with an NFL team. I'm ready to get up there and compete."

VanDeSteeg, 6-foot-4, 256 pounds, is a tall and powerful end that could project to a standup linebacker in the Ravens' defense. He was a first-team All-Big Ten Conference selection by the media in 2006 and 2008, and he also holds the Golden Gophers' all-time record for tackles for a loss, with 43.5.

VanDeSteeg totaled 53 stops and 10.5 sacks last season.

Willy was not expected to be drafted, but his size (6-foot-3, 215 pounds), accuracy and experience after being a four-year starter made him an intriguing free agent target.

He capped his collegiate career by leading an 8-6 Buffalo squad to its first winning season in 10 years, its first Mid-American Conference title and its first bowl appearance, a 38-20 loss to Connecticut in the International Bowl.

Willy also set school records as a senior with 3,304 yards and 25 touchdowns, adding only six interceptions.

The Ravens will not officially announce information regarding potential signings of free agents until the player has completed a physical and signed their contract. It is not uncommon for a free agent to break their verbal agreement and sign with another team before that time.

Baltimore's first mandatory minicamp starts May 8 at team headquarters in Owings Mills, Md.


The *Bowling Green Daily News *is reporting that 6-foot-3, 295-pound offensive lineman Greg Ryan agreed to a contract. Ryan started at center, guard and tackle throughout his career at Western Kentucky University, but will likely compete on the interior.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh's father, Jack, was a longtime coach of the Hilltoppers, winning the 2002 Division I-AA NCAA Championship.

"It's an opportunity not only to represent me and my family, but also Western and everybody I played with - it'll just give me a chance to show people that I deserve to be there," Ryan told the Daily News.

"It's going to be the biggest task I've done in football so far, but I'm up for it, I'm excited for it and I'm going to give it everything I've got - I couldn't ask for anything better."

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