Three Liberty football players ink NFL free agent contracts
Shortly after the conclusion of the 2016 NFL Draft, former Liberty standouts John Lunsford (kicker), Darrin Peterson (wide receiver) and Josh Woodrum (quarterback) each signed free agent contracts with NFL franchises.
Lunsford inked his contract with the San Francisco 49ers, Peterson signed a contract with the Chicago Bears and Woodrum inked a deal with the N.Y. Giants.
Woodrum will join a roster that features former Flames’ All-America running back Rashad Jennings, who is entering his third season with the N.Y. Giants.
Woodrum finished his career as the program’s all-time record holder in passing yards (10,266), completions (833) and attempts (1,304). The native of Roanoke, Va., also completed his career with 61 touchdown passes, which ranks second on Liberty’s all-time list.
The three-time All-Big South selection (second team, 2013, 2014 and 2015) set a program record and ranks second in Big South history with 10,690 total offensive yards.
Woodrum posted six of his 14 career 250-yard passing games during his senior season, including Liberty’s 2015 finale when the senior led the Flames to a 24-21 win over No. 4 Coastal Carolina during his final career game.
A four-year starter for the Flames, Woodrum was named the Big South Freshman of the Year in 2012, as well as the VaSID Offensive Rookie of the Year. He finished his first year on the field for the Flames as a finalist for the Jerry Rice Award (top FCS freshman in the country).
Following his senior year, Woodrum was invited to play in the 2016 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in Carson, Calif. The quarterback was the first player in program history to receive an invitational to participate in this postseason event.
Lunsford was a three-time All-American during his stellar four years with the program. He was named a Sports Network and CSN Fabulous Fifty FCS All-America first-team honoree in 2014 and to the STATS FCS All-America second team in 2015.
Lunsford finished his career as the NCAA FCS career record holder with 12 50-plus yard field goals. He is Liberty’s all-time leader in career extra points made (150) and ranks second in field goals (48) and career scoring (294 points).
Additionally, Lunsford set a new program record, connecting on 94 consecutive extra point attempts. His consecutive streak spanned extra point attempts during the 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons.
During his junior and senior year campaigns, Lunsford recorded six of the seven longest fields by a FCS kicker in the country (56 yards twice, 57 yards three times and 60 yards). His 60 yard field goal against Richmond on Oct, 4, 2014, set a new program and Big South record and earned the kicker a spot on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays of the Day list.
The native of Fort Myers, Fla., completed his senior season ranked No. 12 in the country among FCS kickers in career field goal attempts (79) and No. 23 in career field goals (48).
Following his senior year, Lunsford was invited to play in the 91st annual East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Fla. The kicker was the first player in program history to receive an invitational to participate in this postseason event.
Woodrum and Lunsford each received an invitational to the 2016 NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Ind., Feb. 23-29.
The pair were two of the 22 FCS players in the country invited to this year’s NFL Combine. Liberty was one of five FCS programs with multiple invitees, joining Harvard (2), North Dakota State (2), South Carolina State (2) and Southern Utah (3).
Peterson was a three-time All-Big South selection, earning first-team honors during his sophomore, junior and senior seasons (2013-15).
Peterson finished his career as Liberty’s all-time leader with 3,170 career receiving yards, 215 receptions and 27 receiving touchdowns. He also finished his career as the program’s all-time record holder with 15 career 100-yard receiving games.
The native of Gadsden, Ala., spent most of his senior season on the STATS FCS Offensive Player of the Year Watch List. During his senior year, he led the Big South in receptions (68), receiving yards (906), receiving touchdowns (7) and receptions per game (6.8).