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Kentrell Brice signs UDFA deal with Packers

September 22, 2016

Kentrell Brice didn't have the East-West Shrine game or Senior Bowl or even the NFL Combine to show what NFL scouts were missing out on.

What he did have was just about every NFL team at Louisiana Tech's Pro Day.He made sure he made the most of it.

The Bulldogs' safety did, running a sub 4.4 40-yard dash with a 42-inch vertical jump and parlayed those numbers into an undrafted free agent deal with the Green Bay Packers on Saturday following the conclusion of the 2016 NFL Draft.

"It was a surreal feeling," Brice told The News-Star on Saturday. "It was a long process sitting around waiting and not seeing your name called but knowing you had a team that really liked you and they came in and worked you at and didn't have the opportunity to get you but they still liked you. It shows they really cared. They showed the most love for me and I felt it was the best place for me."

Brice's teammate, cornerback Adairius Barnes, signed with the Detroit Lions. Defensive end Vontarrius Dora will sign with the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos.

Grambling wide receiver Chester Rogers agreed to sign with the Indianapolis Colts. Tight end Chris Brazile has tryouts set up with the New Orleans Saints and New York Jets.

NFL teams flocked to Ruston in March to watch Vernon Butler, an eventual first-round pick, Kenneth Dixon and Jeff Driskel work out. But Brice, who prepped at Ruston High School, had the most impressive numbers, running a 4.38 40-yard dash, posting a vertical of 42, a broad jump of 11-1 and 21 reps on the bench press.

Known as Tech's hardest hitter, Brice finished with 60 tackles, a sack and an interception for the Bulldogs in 2015. As a junior, he had 86 tackles with four sacks, team-high four forced fumbles, five quarterback hurries and two interceptions. 

"After the pro day, I felt my dreams, my goals were attainable. Teams started pulling me to the side and talking to me," he said. "I didn't get invited to any senior days so I couldn't really display like I wanted to. I had to do the best that I could with what I was given. That's how I've always been. Whatever I'm given I do the best I can.

"I was really under the radar a lot. I had put up decent film, but I really wasn't nationally recognized like my fellow teammates. With them bringing the audience they did, it really helped me better myself."

The Packers were immediately interested and worked Brice out privately the following week. Team personnel informed Brice on Saturday they were interested, but gave no promises.

Once they ran out of picks, they made it known they wanted Brice, a 5-foot-10, 200-pound safety, to sign a undrafted free agent deal.

"I looked at their depth situation and know that I can make the team," he said. "I decided to go with Green Bay instead of the other teams."

Brice said Washington contacted him during the draft, and Tampa Bay and Jacksonville both offered free agent deals.

The Packers were interested in Brice's versatility with his ability to play free safety, strong safety and move down into the slot in nickel situations.

"I know I can do that. I've done it in college and I'll do it again in the NFL," he said.

Brice will try and become the next UDFA to stick with the Packers. Former Bulldog Tramon Williams went undrated in 2006 before sticking with the Packers in camp. He became an important piece of Green Bay's defense and won a Super Bowl with the Packers in 2010.

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