Bucs Add CB Fitzgerald, 11 Other Free Agents

April 22 - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed 12 undrafted free agents on Monday. The group was headlined by cornerback Markese Fitzgerald of the national champion Miami Hurricanes and ballhawking Memphis safety Glenn Sumpter.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed 12 undrafted free agents on Monday, April 22. Click here to view Tampa Bay's current 2002 roster.

CB Markese Fitzgerald - MIAMI (FL) - 5-10, 184
Fitzgerald, who played at St. Petersburg's Dixie Hollins High School, was the Hurricanes' nickel back for the past two years. He played on one of the most talented secondaries in NFL history with all four starters being drafted over the weekend. Fitzgerald racked up 37 tackles, two picks, three forced fumbles, two sacks and nine passes defensed last year. Known as a physical player, Fitzgerald earned the Hurricanes' Hard Hitter Award at the end of his senior year.

CB Bennie Alexander - FLORIDA - 5-9, 181
Alexander posted 43 tackles and three passes defensed in 2001 for the Gators. He played 36 games throughout his career, compiling 164 tackles, eight interceptions and 30 passes defensed. His best season came as a sophomore, when he set career highs in tackles (52), interceptions (five) and passes defensed (15). He returned two of those interceptions for touchdowns, including one against Florida State.

RB Zain Gilmore - MISSOURI - 6-0, 215
Gilmore played in 10 of Missouri's 11 games last season, carrying the ball 90 times for 357 yards and one touchdown. He also had eight catches for 89 yards and another score. In four years at Missouri, Gilmore recorded 1,818 rushing yards on 434 carries for a career average of 4.2 yards per tote. He was the Tigers' leading rusher in both 1999 and 2000, despite starting only two games in the first of those two seasons. Gilmore, who is a cousin of NFL receiver Torrance Small, was a statewide star at Tampa's Robinson High School and was named Florida's "Mr. Football" after amassing 2,322 rushing yards and 31 touchdowns as a senior, leading the state in both categories. His first name is pronounced Za-een.

G Howard Duncan - OKLAHOMA - 6-4, 324
Duncan played two years at Butler County (KS) Community College before transferring to Oklahoma in 2000 where he took part in the team's undefeated season and national championship. He played right tackle and right guard in college, as well as a some left guard. He only allowed five sacks in his two Sooner seasons.

S Glenn Sumter - MEMPHIS - 6-1, 192
Sumter was the the Tigers' starting free safety and picked off five passes and 14 pass deflections and 58 tackles in 2000. As a senior he racked up an amazing 137 tackles, six interceptions, 13 pass breakups and two fumble recoveries. Sumter started every contest over the past two seasons after missing 1999 as a medical redshirt. In 1998, he played in nine games with two starts and recorded 26 tackles and two interceptions as a freshman.

LB Ryan Nece - UCLA - 6-3, 224
Nece was a four-year starter at UCLA and has played both inside and outside linebacker, although he is better suited to play outside. He played in all 11 games last year, and racked up 53 tackles, one sack, one interception and three fumble recoveries. Nece burst on the scene as a freshman with 85 tackles, six sacks and 10 tackles for loss. His Bruins career totals include 281 stops and 10 sacks.

LB Jamal White - KENTUCKY - 6-3, 223
White was a reserve linebacker for three years at Kentucky before starting as a senior in 2001 and posting 79 tackles, two passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery, which he returned 82 yards for a touchdown. White is a speedy middle linebacker with good speed. He played in 43 games at Kentucky, notching 111 tackles and one sack.

LB Justin Smith - INDIANA - 6-0, 218
Known as a very agile and intelligent player, he won both all-conference (second team) and academic all-conference (first team) honors each of his last two seasons. A four-year starter for the Hoosiers, he missed only two games in his career and recorded 326 tackles, five forced fumbles, three picks, nine sacks and 16 pass breakups. He recorded 99 tackles last year and six sacks as a junior.

LB Corey Smith - NC STATE - 6-2, 250
Smith was a passrushing end and linebacker at North Carolina State, and started at left end over the past two seasons. He compiled 11 sacks and 21 tackles for loss and tallied 15.5 sacks and 31 tackles for a loss during his four-year career. Smith had 54 tackles and six sacks as a senior and tied the school's single-season record with six forced fumbles. As a junior, he logged 55 tackles and five sacks. He could play strongside linebacker or defensive end for the Bucs.

LB Sterling Rogers - SW TEXAS - 6-1, 223
The Bucs view Rogers as a linebacker despite the fact that he played strong safety at Southwest Texas. He posted 78 tackles, six sacks, 12 tackles for loss, one interception and seven forced fumbles as a senior even though he missed two games. During his four-year college career, the hard-hitting Rogers forced a whopping 17 fumbles.

P Mike Abrams - VIRGINIA - 6-3, 236
Abrams was Virginia's punter over the last two sesons, averaging 42.6 yards as a junior with a net of 39.6, and a 42.2-yard average (37.4 net) as a senior. Abrams finished 16th in the nation in gross punting average and fifth in net average as a junior.

LS Andy Hogan - GEORGIA - 6-0, 213
Hogan, who was Georgia's long snapper for two years, was the Bulldogs' 2001 special teams MVP. Hogan will battle seventh-round pick TE Tracey Wistrom for the rights to long snap for the Bucs. Long snapper Elmer Bench was released last week.

Click here to sound off on this topic on BucMag.com's message boards.

Become an insider today with a subscription to Buccaneer Magazine or by becoming a Club Insider. You can also become a subscriber to Buccaneer Magazine by calling 1-800-881-BUCS(2827).

Looking for the largest selection of Bucs merchandise on the internet? Check out BucGear.com.

Bucs Blitz Top Stories