By Mike Pryson | Jackson Citizen Patriot
April 25, 2010, 11:40PM
Drew Berube and A.J. Kegg of the Hillsdale College football team will be getting a chance to follow their football dreams, after all.
Bypassed in last week’s NFL Draft, the two players have signed free-agent contracts.
Berube, a defensive end and 2005 Citizen Patriot Dream Team pick from Hillsdale High School, signed with the Green Bay Packers, while Kegg, a wide receiver from Gurner, Ill., has signed with the Cleveland Browns.
The two players join teammate Jared Veldheer as NFL hopefuls. Veldheer, an offensive tackle, was drafted in the third round, 69th overall, by the Oakland Raiders.
Hillsdale High School football coach Marc Lemerand said that getting a shot at professional football has long been Berube’s goal.
“I asked him if he would ever consider signing with a team even if it meant that he might just be on the practice squad,” Lemerand said. “And he said, ‘I’d still be playing football for a living.’
Berube is getting his chance at the NFL one month after the passing of his mother, Deborah, from cancer.
“Getting this football opportunity now is just great for him,” Lemerand said. “He’s gone through a tough time, and he’s an outstanding young man.”
Berube was a four-year player for Hillsdale and a second-team All-American selection by the American Football Coaches Association. He led the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Association in sacks and tackles for losses each of the past two years.
Kegg holds the school record for career receptions with 195. He was a first-team all-conference selection in 2009, and he led Hillsdale in receptions each of the last two years.
Kegg is the latest Hillsdale connection to the Browns. The team’s new general manager, Tom Heckert, is a Hillsdale College graduate.