Dunning, Davis, Osemwegie get NFL shots

NASHVILLE-– At least three Commodore seniors from the 2005 football squad – linebacker Moses Osemwegie, receiver Erik Davis and tight end Dustin Dunning – will join quarterback Jay Cutler in getting an opportunity to continue their careers in the NFL.

Davis, of Nashville, agreed to a free agent deal with the New England Patriots late Sunday. Osemwegie, also of Nashville, confirmed Monday that he has been invited to the Chicago Bears mini-camp next week. Dunning, a resident of Hoover, Ala., will take a similar route by participating in a Washington Redskins mini-camp.

The news on Davis, Osemwegie and Dunning comes two days after Cutler became the first Commodore in two decades taken in the first round of the NFL Draft. Denver, trading up from 15th to 11th overall, took Cutler, a resident of Santa Claus, Ind. "I'm delighted for all these young men," Vanderbilt Bobby Johnson said. "Each of them has given a great deal of effort and commitment to our program and is very deserving of an opportunity to play professional football. I'm very happy for all of them."

Though limited by injuries late in the 2005 season, Davis finished among the SEC leaders with 46 receptions, a single-season career high. He had three touchdown receptions and 619 receiving yards. Davis opened the year with at least six receptions in each of the first five games, then had a career high of eight catches in his final Commodore appearance at Florida.

Osemwegie, a two-time first team All-SEC performer, ranked among the SEC and national leaders this season with 83 solo tackles and 118 total tackles. He also topped the Commodores with 9.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, two fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles. Osemwegie also added a pair of interceptions during his senior campaign, and was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week following his performance against Ole Miss.

Dunning became a key possession receiver for the Commodores as a senior, earning second team All-SEC honors from the coaches. A two-year starter at tight end, Dunning finished the 2005 season by posting career highs with 35 receptions and 389 receiving yards.

Photos by Brent Wiseman.

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