White, Iyiegbuniwe get drafted, other Hilltoppers agree to free agent deals

Senior quarterback Mike White (14) passes the ball down the field during the rival game against Middle Tennessee State University Friday, Nov. 17. 2017 in Houchens-Smith Stadium

Alec Jessie

Two former Hilltoppers heard their names called during the third and final day of the NFL Draft, as linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe and quarterback Mike White were selected.

The Chicago Bears took Iyiegbuniwe with the 115th overall pick in the fourth round. Seen by experts as a long shot to get drafted, Iyiegbuniwe was selected earlier than expected on Saturday afternoon.

As a four-year player and two-year starter, Iyiegbuniwe racked up 200 tackles and 22.5 tackles for loss. He also registered 6.5 sacks and forced three fumbles. He led the Hilltoppers in tackles a season ago.

ESPN projected Iyiegbuniwe to contribute to special teams early on and had him ranked as the 27th-best linebacker in the draft.

The Dallas Cowboys selected Mike White with the 171st pick in the fifth round. NFL.com projected that White would go in the third or fourth round, potentially coming off the board on day two. But he had to wait deep into the third day to hear his name called.

White began his college career at South Florida before transferring to WKU for his final two seasons of college football. In his two season at WKU, he amassed 8,540 passing yards and threw 63 touchdowns while averaging 316 passing yards per game. He went 17-10 as a starter at WKU.

White garnered many honors during his time on the Hill, including being the 2016 C-USA Newcomer of the Year and being named to the Davey O’Brien watch list and the Maxwell Award watch list.

ESPN ranked White as the ninth-best quarterback in the class and projected him as a likely NFL backup with upside due to his prototypical size and big arm.

In addition to White and Iyiegbuniwe being drafted, former WKU tight end Deon Yelder has agreed to a free agent offer with the New Orleans Saints, and former Hilltopper wide receiver Cam Echols-Luper will be signing with the Indianapolis Colts, according to their respective Twitter accounts. 

{{tncms-inline account=”CAM ECHOLS-LUPER” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Blessed with the opportunity of a life time, Thank you <a href="https://twitter.com/Colts?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Colts</a> ! <a href="https://t.co/og7Vw90wpx">pic.twitter.com/og7Vw90wpx</a></p>— CAM ECHOLS-LUPER (@txsmde11) <a href="https://twitter.com/txsmde11/status/990395841851613184?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 29, 2018</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/txsmde11/status/990395841851613184″ type=”twitter”}}

{{tncms-inline account=”Deon “THUMP” Yelder ♛” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Headed to the Saints!! Thank you <a href="https://twitter.com/WKUFootball?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WKUFootball</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/Saints?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Saints</a> for the opportunity to represent you! All apart of God’s plan! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Whodat?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Whodat</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/M?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#M</a>.O.B</p>— Deon “THUMP” Yelder ♛ (@DeonYelder) <a href="https://twitter.com/DeonYelder/status/990394531358134277?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 29, 2018</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/DeonYelder/status/990394531358134277″ type=”twitter”}}

Reporter Alec Jessie can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @Alec_Jessie.