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With the 2023 NFL Draft in the books, the Washington Commanders turned their attention to fleshing out some talent that did not get selected over the weekend. They announced the signing of twelve undrafted free agents on Monday.

The burgundy and gold did not sign a single pass catcher in this year’s draft, so perhaps it’s not a surprise that five of those twelve UDFA’s were wide receivers. They also added four defensive backs, a quarterback, an offensive lineman and a defensive end.

Several of the players that were selected, excelled academically at their schools. That is clearly a concerted effort and not a coincidence.

Commanders 2023 undrafted free agents

Here are some quick bios on the players picked up:

The Receivers

Kazmeir Allen caught 49 passes for 403 yards and two touchdowns at UCLA last season. He started nine games at wide receiver for the Bruins in 2022, and one at running back where he rushed for 137 yards on 11 carries. He was originally recruited at running back but moved to slot receiver when it wasn’t panning out. He ranked third in the Pac-12 in kickoff return average (24.6 yards). He also scored a kickoff return touchdown in 2021.

Zion Bowens, who played for Hawaii in 2022, caught 35 passes for 494 yards and four touchdowns. He was expected to be Hawaii’s top receiving threat in 2022, but was hurt in the first game, and then missed the next four games due to an undisclosed leg injury.

Jalen Sample, who played at Minnesota State, was limited to just four games. He had 21 catches for 303 yards, and caught three touchdowns. He was a semi-finalist for the William V. Campbell trophy – which is sometimes referred to as the “Academic Heisman”. It is given to the American college player with the best combination of academics, community service and on-field performance.

Mitchell Tinsley transferred to Penn State last year, after being with Western Kentucky in 2021, where he had 87 receptions for 1402 yards and 14 touchdowns. He made 51 catches for 577 yards with the Nittany Lions, and added five touchdowns. He was named to the Biletnikoff Award and Reese’s Senior Bowl watch lists.

Brycen Tremayne caught 38 passes for 490 yards and three touchdowns at Stanford in 2022. He was a four-time Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll member. He was also a three time Burlsworth Trophy nominee – given to the most outstanding football player who began as a walk-on.

The Others

Tim DeMorat was the quarterback at Fordham. He completed 326 of his 499 passes for 4891 yards and 56 touchdowns – both single season records for both the school and for the Patriot League. He played in both the 2023 Hula Bowl and 2023 Senior Bowl, and was a runner-up for the Walter Payton Award as the most outstanding player in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision.

Mason Brooks played offensive tackle at Ole Miss. He too transferred from Western Kentucky but was mostly on special teams and a reserve at Ole Miss. He does offer some positional flexibility having played right guard, right tackle and left tackle. He was on both the Dean’s Honor Roll and the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll in 2022.

Xavier Henderson was a safety at Michigan State. He was a five year letterman winner, a two-time team captain and started all 40 games that he appeared in over the last four seasons. He finished his college career with 273 tackles, nine pass break-ups, three sacks and three interceptions. He took advantage of an extra year of eligibility to return to MSU, but suffered an injury in the season opener and was sidelined for five games. Despite only playing seven games, he was still an All Big Ten honorable mention.

Joshua Pryor was a defensive end at Bowie State, where he had 32 sacks and 77 tackles as an edge rusher. Nicknamed the “Monster,” the former Bulldog captain was hoping to become the first Bowie State NFL Draft pick. He graduated with a degree in communications.He is a “local boy” of sorts, hailing from Baltimore, MD.

Kendall Smith was a safety at Illinois. He played in 13 games in 2022 and started eight. He had 39 tackles and FIVE interceptions – which was tied for second in the Big Ten (11th in the nation). He was in the same Illini secondary as Commanders second round selection Jartavius Martin. Smith earned a Big Ten honorable mention.

Nick Whiteside was a cornerback at Saginaw State, where he was a two-time All American, First Team All-Conference and a First Team GLIAC defensive back. He was considered a lockdown corner and was a finalist for the Cliff Harris Award – given to the top small college defensive player of the year from either NCAA Division II, III or NAIA universities. He was also on the Dean’s list for four years.

DJ Stirgus was a cornerback at Missouri Western, where he had 26 tackles, one interception, and five deflected passes in his final season. He was eighth all time in school history with 30 pass break-ups. He was named to the All-MIAA First Team, to the Elite 100 First Team and was a Don Hansen All-American honorable mention team selection.


Former Appalachian State QB Chase Brice will also be attending rookie mini-camp but did not sign a contract.

Still no tight ends. Still no linebackers. Both of those stables would seem to need a bit of a boost.

Tweets From Or About The UDFA Signings

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