VU’s Jamie Byrum Signs Free Agent Deal with Chicago 4/28/03

Nashville, Tenn. - Vanderbilt center and two-time captain Jamie Byrum signed a free agent contract with the Chicago Bears Monday morning.

Byrum, a native of Grove City, Ohio, becomes the third Commodore to sign a free agent deal since the NFL draft concluded Sunday. Previous Vanderbilt players to ink contracts were cornerback Rushen Jones with the Minnesota Vikings and wide receiver Dan Stricker with the New England Patriots.

Commodore middle linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer was the only Vanderbilt athlete selected in the NFL draft, taken by the Green Bay Packers in the fifth round.

Byrum was a four-year offensive line letterwinner for the Commodores and earned 34 consecutive starts since the 2000 season. The durable player participated in all but 15 offensive plays for Vanderbilt last year and received a “winning” blocking grade of 80 percent or higher in 11 of the team’s 12 games. He shared or won VU’s “Offensive Lineman of the Week” honors 11 times during the 2002 season.

Byrum is scheduled to participate in Chicago’s rookie camp starting this Friday and will attempt to compete for the Bears’ backup center role behind six-year veteran and former Pro Bowler Olin Kreutz. The Bears roster currently does not include a second center and the team did not select a player at the position in the recent draft.



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