Four former UWA football players sign NFL deals

Published 4:26 pm Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Four former University of West Alabama football players have signed free agent deals with National Football League teams. Three of those completed their Tiger careers in 2013 and one in 2012.

All-Gulf South Conference defensive backs Malcolm Butler and Demetruce McNeal, along with wide receiver Seth Roberts, have inked deals to report to NFL camps. UWA’s all-time leading rusher, Matt Willis, who finished his career in 2012, has also agreed to a deal.

Butler has signed with the New England Patriots, McNeal the Green Bay Packers, Roberts the Oakland Raiders and Willis the Cleveland Browns.

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Butler led the GSC in passes defended with 18. He recorded 45 tackles and intercepted two passes, one of which he returned for a touchdown. The Vicksburg, Miss., native also blocked a kick. Butler also averaged 27.9 yards on 13 kickoff returns.

McNeal tied for the team lead with 63 tackles in 2013 after transferring from Auburn. He also recorded a tackle for loss and three interceptions while being credited with 10 passes defended. McNeal also spend limited time as a kickoff and punt return man for the Tigers.

A Tallahassee, Fla., product, Roberts caught 40 passes for a team-leading 857 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2013. He was fourth in the GSC in scoring.

Willis finished his career in 2012 as the leading rusher and scorer in West Alabama history with 2,171 yards and 22 touchdowns in less than two seasons.

He ran for a school record 1,606 yards in 2011 before a knee injury cut his senior season short by several games.