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FORMER FERRIS FOOTBALL PLAYERS TAKE PART IN NFL TRYOUT

Bill Bourdlais & Patrick Wells Invited To Cleveland Browns Rookie Minicamp

Two former Ferris State University football players, offensive guard Bill Bourdlais (Newberry) and safety Patrick Wells (Miamisburg, Ohio), received invitations from the National Football League's (NFL) Cleveland Browns and participated in last weekend's (May 2-4) rookie minicamp hosted by the team at club headquarters in Berea, Ohio.

NFL TRYOUT INVITEES
Bill Bourdlais
Patrick Wells
Ferris' Bill Bourdlais (top) and Patrick Wells (bottom) were invited to last week's Cleveland Browns Rookie Minicamp
Bourdlais and Wells were among 54 tryout players who joined the club's initial rookie camp in addition to the Browns' five NFL Draft picks and 15 post-draft signees. Both players completed their Bulldog eligibility last fall. Although neither player was signed immediately following the tryout, both are hoping to make a professional roster this summer after not being selected in the recent NFL Draft (April 26-27) held in New York City.

Prior to the NFL Draft, Bourdlais garnered possible draft or free agent consideration from several sources. The two-time All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) First Team offensive guard was picked as Football.com's fourth overall small school prospect at his position and was ranked 42nd out of 175 potential offensive guard draftees in the country by NFL Draft Scout (nfldraftscout.com).

Both players also received potential consideration last fall. The Division II Pro Hopefuls List, which was put together by D2football.com Pro Prospects correspondant Josh Buchanan, listed Bourdlais as the 35th-best D2 prospect coming out this year. Buchanan also posted a 53-man team roster of Division II prospective players and the list included both Bourdlais and Wells prior to the start of last fall's gridiron campaign.

A converted defensive tackle, Bourdlais claimed D2football.com Honorable Mention All-America accolades in addition to 2007 Don Hansen's Football Gazette All-Northwest Region First Team recognition last fall. He started 10 contests as a junior in 2006 and served as a team captain while earning both All-GLIAC First Team and Daktronics All-Northwest Region Second Team laurels. The right guard was a major contributor in helping the Ferris State offense average 212.5 yards rushing per game (2,338 yds.) and 391.9 yards in total offense (4,311 yds.) for the 2007 season. The rushing yards total represented the third-most rushing yards ever gained in a single-season by the Bulldogs while the rushing average per game figure is second on FSU's single-season leaders list. Bourdlais, who was the lone returning starter on FSU's offensive line, led a young unit that included four new starters this past fall. He was a member of the 2007 Don Hansen's Football Gazette NCAA-II Preseason All-America Team and participated in the Valero Cactus Bowl (Jan. 11) in Kingsville, Texas.

Wells picked up team Most Valuable Defensive Skill Player honors and was an honorable mention All-GLIAC choice for the Bulldogs as a senior in 2007. The 6-1 Wells started all 11 games for the Bulldogs last fall and posted 53 total tackles, including 32 solo stops. He also had three pass breakups and totaled a team-high tying two fumble recoveries while ranking sixth on the squad in tackles. In addition, he averaged 18.4 yards on 10 kickoff returns. Wells concluded his two-year Bulldog career with 78 tackles (45 solo) overall in 22 games after transferring from Glendale Community College where he helped lead the Gauchos to a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Championship.

The Bulldogs posted a 6-5 overall record on the field during the 2007 campaign, which represented the program's eighth winning campaign in 13 years under head coach Jeff Pierce and marks the 13th time in the last 19 years the Bulldogs have finished above .500 for the year. However, the record was recently changed to 7-4 overall in the GLIAC standings, reflecting Saginaw Valley State's decision to forfeit four games this campaign. FSU placed tied for fourth in the conference as the school's final league record was 6-4 following the earned forfeit.

Visit this link for a complete list of the Browns' rookie tryout invitees:
Cleveland Browns Release

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