West's name may be unfamiliar to many UT fans but he caught the attention of pro scouts with his excellent work as the Vols deep snapper the past 2½ seasons.
West, a 6-3, 260-pounder, was a four-year starter in the offensive and defensive lines for Jack Daniels - no kidding - at Brentwood High School. He also qualified for the state championships in wrestling and placed fifth in the shot put at the state track championships.
West joined the UT program as a walk-on in 2002. He redshirted that season, served as a backup in 2003, then won the first-team snapping job on punts midway through the 2004 season. He added the kick-snapping responsibilities for 2006, earning a scholarship for his efforts.
West's background as a defensive lineman served him well. He recorded two special teams' tackles in 2005 and two more in 2006.
West performed so well as a snapper that he worked out for the Falcons, Panthers, Chiefs and Packers this spring. The Falcons even sent their special teams' coordinator to put him through a workout.
West will compete with Boone Stutz, who was Atlanta's deep snapper as a rookie last fall.
In other free agent news, Chris Leak, who guided Florida to the 2006 national title, has signed with the Chicago Bears. He will compete with another ex-Gator, Rex Grossman, for playing time at quarterback. Leak passed for 2,435 yards and 16 touchdowns last season but was not selected during last weekend's NFL Draft.