THREE LIONS SIGN NFL FREE AGENT CONTRACTS, ANOTHER INVITED FOR TRYOUT FLORENCE -- At least four members of the 2009 University of North Alabama football team will have a chance at continuing their careers in the National Football League as three have signed free agent contracts and a fourth has been invited to a tryout.
Former UNA linebacker Michael Johnson of Panama City, Fla., signed a free agent contract with the Kansas City Chiefs. Former UNA receiver Preston Parker of Delray Beach, Fla., has signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and former Lion receiver Mico McSwain of Richton, Miss., has signed with the Tennessee Titans.
Former UNA two-time All-American punter Will Batson has been invited to a tryout with the Chicago Bears in Chicago later in the week.
UNA has a long history of players in the National Football League, with 18 previous NFL draft picks and 41 players having NFL free agent contracts. Harlon Hill was UNA's first NFL draftee back in 1954 and he went on become the league's Rookie of the Year in 1954 and Most Valuable Player in 1955, A total of five former UNA players have gone on to play in the Super Bowl.
MIKE JOHNSON BIO:
A four-year starter for the Lions at linebacker.
He played on teams that compiled a 44-7
record, won two Gulf South Conference
championships (2006, 2009), made four
straight NCAA Division II playoff appearances, had four straight seasons with 10 or more wins, had a 24-3 record at home at Braly Stadium and held a Top 11 national ranking every week of his entire career.
2009: Led the team in tackles for the fourth straight season with 113. Had 17 tackles for loss, five quarterback sacks, four fumbles caused and two fumble recoveries. Also had two interceptions for 23 yards. He was selected All-Gulf South Conference for the fourth straight season and was the GSC Defensive Player of the Year. He was a first-team All-Super Regional 2 selection by both Footballl Gazette and Daktronics, was the Daktronics Super Regional 2 Defensive Player of the Year, was a consensus first-team All-America pick by Daktronics, D2Football.com, Football Gazette and the Associated Press.
Chosen National Defensive Player of the Year by both Daktronics and D2Footballl.com. Led team to an 11-2 record, a GSC championship and a spot in the quarterfinals of the Division II playoffs. .2008: Johnson was chosen as a linebacker on the UNA Team of the Decade for 1999-2008. Helped anchor a defensive unit last season that led the nation in turnovers. Named first-team Daktronics All-American, first-team Football Gazette All-Super Region 2, first-team Daktronics All-Super Region 2, and first-team All-Gulf South Conference. Led the team in tackles for the third consecutive season with 84, making 37 solo stops and 47 assists. Had 2.5 tackles for loss and finished the season with two interceptions. Had nine games with five or more tackles including two games with 10 or more tackles. Finished with a career high 19 tackles against Carson-Newman. Intercepted a pass and ran it back 77 yards for a touchdown in a playoff game against Delta State. 2007: Started at middle linebacker for the second consecutive season for the Lions and earned firstteam All-Gulf South Conference, second-team Football Gazette All-Southeast Region, and second-team Daktronics All-Southeast Region. Led UNA in tackles for the second straight year with 81, making 44 solo stops and 37 assists. Had 5.5 tackles for loss of nine yards. Had one interception for 23 yards and had four pass break ups. Recovered one fumble and forced two fumbles.
Johnson recorded a season high 12 tackles against West Georgia. 2006: Earned a starting job at middle linebacker as a freshman for the Lions and earned second-team All-Gulf South Conference and second-team Daktronics All-Southeast Region honors. Led UNA with 87 total tackles, making 40 solo stops and
47 assists. Had 6.5 tackles for loss for 23 yards and three sacks for 17 yards. Recovered one fumble. Ranked fifth in the Gulf South Conference in tackles. Johnson had double-figure tackles in four games with 15 against Delta State in the playoffs, 11 against Valdosta State, 10 against Harding and 10 against West Georgia.
HIGH SCHOOL: Played running back and defensive end at Bay High School under head coach Jim Scroggins. Helped lead the Tornadoes to the state semifinals as a sophomore and junior and to the second-round of the state playoffs as a senior. Named first-team all-state offense and defense as a senior. Broke the school record for most rushing yards in one game on the least carries with 208 yards on just eight carries. PERSONAL:
Full name is Michael D. Johnson. Born September 8, 1986.
Son of Phyllis and Walter Grier and has two brothers and three sisters. Major is Physical Education.
MICO MCSWAIN BIO:
NORTH ALABAMA, 2009: Played in all 13 games as the Lions went 11-2, won the Gulf South Conference championship and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II playoffs. Finished second on the team in pass receptions with 55 and led the team in receiving yards with 913. Had eight TD catches and averaged 16.2 yards per catch and 70.2 yards per game. Had one rushing attempt for -9 yards. Returned six kickoffs for 108 yards and an 18.0 average. He finished the season third on the team in scoring with 48 points.
Selected first-team All-Gulf South Conference by the league's head coaches. Voted second-team Daktronics All-Super Region 2 by the sports information directors. Set UNA single-game receiving mark with 210 yards on seven catches on October 3 against Arkansas Tech, breaking a 29-year-old record of 187 yards set by Jerry Hill in1980. Had at least one touchdown reception in five straight games and in seven of eight games. Had two games with more than 100 receiving yards - 210 vs. Arkansas Tech and 133 vs. Valdosta State. OLE MISS,
2006: Played in 11 games for the Rebels in 2006. Finished third on the team with 140 rushing yards on 27 attempts. Scored his only touchdown of the year on a 27-yard run against Auburn. Had five receptions for 19 yards. Ranked sixth in the SEC with a 23.0 kickoff return average with 322 yards on 14 returns. Had a team high return of 69 yards in a game against Vanderbilt, earning him a Rebel QB Club Special Teams Player of the Week award. 2005: Named honorable mention Freshman All-American by The Sporting News. Played in nine games for the Rebels in 2005 before missing the last two with injuries. He led the team in rushing yards and set an Ole Miss freshman rushing record with 124 carries for 612 yards. Averaged 4.9 yards per carry, scored three touchdowns, and had a long run of 60 yards for a touchdown against Wyoming. He caught seven passes for 82 yards. He averaged 11.7 yards per catch and had a long reception of 45 yards against Arkansas. Set a school freshman record with three 100 yard rushing games.He finished with 114 yards on seven carries against Wyoming, 105 yards on 20 carries against The Citadel, and 104 yards on 24 carries against Kentucky. 2004: Redshirted at Ole Miss. PREP SCHOOL: Played at Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Virginia under head coach Robert Prunty in 2003. Started all 10 games and finished with 45 tackles.
He also intercepted two passs, returning one for a touchdown. HIGH SCHOOL: Played at Richton High School under head coach Danny Buckalew. Selected to Division 8-2A Super 22 Team in 2002. Also named first-team all-area. Rushed for 1,010 yards on 90 carries as a senior. Averaged 11.2 yards per carry and completed 12 passes fro 82 yards and two touchdowns. Caught 32 passes for 457 and returned 12 kickoffs for 277 yards with two touchdowns. Finished his senior year with 2,034 all-purpose yards and scored 18 touchdowns. Also lettered in basketball and track. PERSONAL: Full name is Gremico Cortellis McSwain. Born March 7, 1984.
Son of Rozelle Bradley and the late Anthony Sanders and has one brother. Major is Elementary Education.
PRESTON PARKER BIO:
NORTH ALABAMA, 2009: Transferred to North Alabama to play his senior season under Terry Bowden.
Played in 11 of team's 13 games as the Lions went 11-2, won the Gulf South Conference championship and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II playoffs. Second-team All-Gulf South Conference selection. Finished third on the team in receptions with 52. Had 789 receiving yards and averaged 15.2 yards per catch. He also scored six touchdowns. Had two games with over 100 receiving yards - 123 vs. Carson- Newman and 121 vs. Arkansas Tech in the second round of the Division II playoffs. Returned eight kickoffs for 220 yards and a 27.5 average. Had six rushing attempts for one yard. FLORIDA STATE, 2008: Played at Florida State Univeristy under head coach Bobby Bowden. Played in 10 games for the Seminoles in 2008. He led the team with 40 receptions and was second on the team with 372 yards receiving. He averaged 9.3 yards per catch, scored two touchdowns, and had a long of 39 yards. He also carried the ball 10 times for 87 yards. He averaged 8.7 yards per carry and had a long run of 40 yards. He returned eight kickoffs for 162 yards. He averaged 20.2 yards per return and had a long of 35 yards. He completed his only pass attempt for a 29 yard touchdown pass. He ranked seventh in the ACC in receptions per game and third for receptions per game in conference play. He had 169 all-purpose yards in a win over Clemson and 127 all- purpose yards in a loss at Georgia Tech. He caught a season high eight passes in a win against Maryland. His
102 catches the last tow years are the most in back-to-back seasons since Peter Warrick hauled in 132 in
1998 and 1999. 2007: Played in 13 games for the Seminoles in 2007. He led the team with 62 catches and was second with 791 yards receiving. He averaged 12.8 yards per catch and caught three touchdowns passes.