Ty Summers Jersey

For a second consecutive spring, TCU football has produced a trio of NFL draft picks.

Former Horned Frogs linebacker Ty Summers was selected by the Green Bay Packers on Saturday with the No. 226 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, making him the third TCU football product to have his name called this week in Nashville, Tenn. Defensive ends L.J. Collier and Ben Banogu were previously drafted in the first twp rounds.

Summers’ selection marks the third straight spring in which a former TCU linebacker has been drafted. Travin Howard was among three ex-Horned Frogs drafted in 2018, taken by the Los Angeles Rams in the final round. Josh Carraway was the lone TCU player drafted a year prior in 2017 — a final round selection by the Tennessee Titans.

Summers, who ended his senior season in 2018 with 46 total tackles and 4 sacks, exited TCU as the programs second all-time leading tackler since Gary Patterson was named head coach in December 2000. The San Antonio native posted 317 total tackles in four seasons as a Horned Frog, including a career-high 121 total tackles as a sophomore in 2016.

In tune with Collier and Banogu, Summers path to becoming an NFL draft pick — let alone one of the most versatile defenders to ever play for TCU — was far from traditional. A former 2-star recruit, Summers played quarterback in high school and was initially committed to Rice before flipping to take a chance at linebacker for TCU. That versatility continued to show itself one Summers arrived in Fort Worth, as he spent considerable time rotating between linebacker and defensive end.

Even with his impressive numbers in Fort Worth, it wasn’t until this spring that Summers’ draft stock truly took off. Summers was among the top performers at TCU’s pro day in late March, a performance that included the fastest 40-yard-dash time of any participant (4.51 seconds).

Now, once again, Patterson has successfully reminded the football world that “those star-ratings are yours, not mine.”

Dexter Williams Jersey

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Dexter Williams catches the ball on the last route of his pro day workout and runs down the field near the entrance of the Loftus Sports Center. He looks up into the balcony of bleachers above him and searches for her.

Cheryl Williams is already standing at the railing, waiting for her son. She wears a Notre Dame winter beanie over her long hair and smiles down at Dexter, who is hard to miss with the back section of his hair dyed a bright Irish green. Dexter points up and she points back.

Dexter’s pro day workout had gone well. The same could be said of his life in general since his roomate—mama—moved in. When he was younger, he thought he lost her. Now, as she has been for the past few months and plans to be as Dexter starts his NFL career, she’s here.

Dexter was 14, a freshman at Orlando’s Olympia High School. He was already a budding star as a running back, brought up to varsity after just three games with the JV team, which rarely happens at high schools in the football-strong area. One typical morning he got ready to go to school, gave his mom a goodbye kiss on the cheek and said, Love you mama, I’ll see you later this evening.

Cheryl, then a private school teacher for kindergarten through second grade, had the day off. While Dexter was in class, Cheryl suddenly began to feel exhausted. A couple years earlier, she’d been diagnosed with myasthenia gravis, a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease that causes muscle weakness—she assumed these were the usual symptoms. Myasthenia affects her skeletal muscles, as well as facial muscles, eyelids, vision, and even her voice. She speaks softly because she loses her voice easily. Her husband, Leonard, was also home that day, and suggested she lie down to rest, which typically improves myasthenia symptoms. Cheryl went to their bedroom and quickly fell asleep.

When Dexter got home from school that afternoon, he went to find his mom—they would always catch up as soon as he got home and go over homework together. He found her asleep in her bed and tried waking up her up. Cheryl didn’t respond. Dexter knew something was wrong and ran to find his dad. Mom isn’t waking up!

Leonard rushed into the bedroom and started shaking Cheryl. “It was like she just couldn’t come out of it,” Leonard says. Cheryl could crack her eyes open a sliver but her eyelids were too heavy. Her breathing had slowed drastically, and Leonard knew he needed to get her to the hospital immediately. She was experiencing a mysathenic crisis; her respiratory system was shutting down. When Cheryl arrived at Florida Hospital, doctors immediately hooked her up to a ventilator to restore her breathing. They had to put her in a coma.

A day went by, and then two, then more. It didn’t seem real to Dexter until January 6, his 15th birthday. “It’s not like she was on vacation, she was gone,” he says. “It really didn’t hit me until it was my birthday and I was like, Wow, she’s not here… It was really tough because I was used to doing the same routine every morning. Going in, giving her a kiss and a hug and telling her I love her.”

Dexter visited his mom a few times at the hospital but not often because he couldn’t bear to see her look so helpless. Instead, his dad would visit daily and relay updates to Dexter. “When you see your mom like that—she was just healthy and then the next day she is hooked up to all these tubes—it was hard for me to digest,” he says. “It’s still a memory I won’t forget.”

As the days turned into weeks and then months, Dexter veered back and forth between dread and optimism. “At times I would think, Damn, my mom is gone,” he says. “But then there were times where I knew I just needed to pray, have faith and keep faith.”

At school, Dexter leaned on his football coach, Bob Head. Head often gave Dexter rides home after practices and offseason workouts, and the two grew close from their one-on-one conversations in Head’s car. Florida high school football knows no offseason, and even though Dexter was dealing with his mom in a coma he never missed a workout, something Head tells his players as an motivational tactic still today. “Dexter was really, really, really on a roller coaster,” Head says. “One day he felt really good and really excited about his mom’s progress and next thing you know he is down in the dumps.”

Ka’dar Hollman Jersey

The Green Bay Packers used the 185th overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft on Toledo cornerback Ka’dar Hollman.

Hollman (5-11, 196) started 35 games at Toledo over the last three seasons, including 27 straight between 2017-18. He produced 29 pass breakups and two interceptions.

The Packers brought Hollman to Green Bay for a pre-draft visit last month.

Hollman ensured he’d be drafted by running a 4.36-second 40-yard dash, hitting 39.5″ in the vertical and finishing the three-cone drill in 6.81 seconds at his pro day in March.

Dane Brugler of The Athletic believes Hollman is a high-upside cornerback worth developing.

“Projecting similar to E.J. Gaines, Hollman managed only two interceptions over 35 starts, but his 13 passes defended in 2018 tied for the conference lead,” Brugler wrote in his draft guide. “Play speed is critical at the position and he checks that box, but needs to improve his discipline in coverage and reliability as a tackler. Overall, Hollman does a better job pattern matching from press rather than off-coverage, showing the athleticism to blanket receivers up-and-down the field, projecting as a high-upside developmental cornerback.”

Hollman will provide more competition at cornerback behind Tramon Williams, Kevin King, Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson in Green Bay.

GREEN BAY – Ka’dar Hollman wanted so desperately to have a chance to play college football that he went on an email campaign in search of a scholarship – while working a variety of temporary jobs, from a bread factory to unloading Dunkin’ Donuts trucks to cutting meat for a deli.

On Saturday, the Toledo cornerback got another chance he was dreaming of: To play in the NFL, having been taken by the Green Bay Packers in the sixth round (No. 185 overall).

“Getting picked by Green Bay, I had a rush of emotions go through me,” Hollman said in a conference call with Wisconsin reporters after the pick. “I just felt like all my hard work and everything I went through (paid off). Just tons of emotions.”

Hollman said he was a “zero-star recruit” coming out of a prep school and said he wrote emails to every Division I college coach he could find an address for, attaching a highlight video to his notes. He finally got a preferred walk-on offer from Toledo and then earned a scholarship his redshirt sophomore year.

The 6-foot, 190-pound Hollman finished last season with one interception, 12 pass break-ups and 43 tackles. He took a pre-draft visit to Green Bay last week and said it felt like the perfect fit.

“It took place last week, on Wednesday,” Hollman said. “I could tell right when I got there I felt the Green Bay tradition. Stepping on Lambeau Field, it was just a different feel than everywhere else I went. I just felt like, ‘That’s the place I belong.’”

Kingsley Keke Jersey

Kingsley Keke, who started 35 games at defensive tackle or defensive end at Texas A&M, was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the fifth round.

In this draft, which is saturated with defensive linemen, Keke was taken in the fifth round with the 150th overall pick.

Keke was selected as a defensive end but has the versatility to play either position.

Last season he lost about 10 pounds to shift from tackle to end in a move to bolster the defensive line after Michael Clemons suffered a foot injury that prevented him from playing.

Keke responded to the move by posting 51 tackles and seven sacks. He was also credited with four quarterback pressures, a broken up pass, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Keke arrived at Texas A&M in 2015 as a 6-foot-3, 290-pounder out of George Ranch High School in Richmond, Texas. He was rated a three-star prospect by 24/7sports and a four-star prospect by ESPN. He chose A&M over Texas, Oklahoma and Florida.

Keke saw limited action as a freshman, but emerged as a significant contributor as a sophomore. That season he made nine starts at defensive tackle and posted 37 tackles and four sacks.

He had a breakout season and established himself as a productive run stuffer as a junior when he started all 13 games at tackle and recorded 54 tackles.

Keke projected to be one of the top interior defensive linemen in the SEC last season until he was moved to outside.

He was still extremely productive. Last season Keke posted 11 tackles for loss, which tied for 13th in the SEC. Only six defensive linemen posted more tackles for loss.

Jace Sternberger Jersey

GREEN BAY – Four years ago, Jace Sternberger wouldn’t have believed any of this was possible.

Not the consensus All-American nod. Not the third-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft. Not the opportunity to catch passes from two-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Yet, on the heels of a remarkable season at Texas A&M, the 6-foot-4, 251-pound tight end realized a once-unfathomable dream Friday when the Packers drafted Sternberger with the 75th overall pick.

The sixth tight end taken in this year’s draft, Sternberger is the first the Packers have selected at the position since Kennard Backman in 2015.

Asked whether any of this would’ve been conceivable a year ago, Sternberger laughs while admitting: “Not at all.”

“If you were to tell me (then) that Aaron Rodgers would be my quarterback in about four years, I would have laughed at you and called you a liar,” Sternberger said. “But it’s why you prepare the way you do and God is great.”

Those familiar with Sternberger’s story understand this overnight success was years in the making. A two-star recruit out of high school, Sternberger weathered three different offensive coordinators in two years at the University of Kansas, catching a single pass as a redshirt freshman.

Looking for a chance at a fresh start, he transferred to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in 2017. After catching 21 passes for 336 yards and six touchdowns, Sternberger caught the eye of FBS programs throughout the country and Jimbo Fisher, who recruited him to play at Texas A&M.