One more Coug goes pro

The San Diego Chargers announced today the signing of defensive end <b>Tupo Tuupo</b>, a free agent from WSU. He is the sixth Cougar to join an NFL club this week, with running back <b>Dave Minnich</b> expected to be the seventh by week's end.

Tuupo was named hononable mention All Pac-10 after starting all 12 games for the Sun Bowl Champion Cougars in 2001. He recorded seven tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks last season.


Five of his teammates hooked on with NFL clubs earlier this week. Linebacker Raonall Smith and safety Lamont Thompson were chosen in the second round of the draft on Saturday. Smith, the 38th pick overall, was selected by Minnesota and Thompson, the 41st pick overall, was drafted by Cincinnati.


Safety Billy Newman (Tennessee), receiver Nakoa McElrath (Jacksonville), and offensive lineman Joey Hollenbeck (St. Louis) all signed free agent contracts earlier this week.


Three other Cougs still face uncertain professional football futures. Punter Alan Cox, tight end Mark Baldwin, and running back Dave Minnich have yet to sign with an NFL (or CFL) club, although at least one team - - the Baltimore Ravens - - was rumored  to be interested in Minnich.


Minnich's failure thus far to sign with an NFL organization has been a mystery. The ex-marine was projected as high as a fourth round draft choice by several NFL analysts.


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