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Former Buckeyes sign their way to the NFL

Andy Gottesman / Multimedia editor

Dane Sanzenbacher and six other former Ohio State football players have signed rookie free agent contracts with NFL teams, according to multiple reports.

After being pursued by 25 teams, Sanzenbacher ultimately signed with the Chicago Bears, The Chicago Tribune reported.

Sanzenbacher had 55 receptions for 948 yards and 11 touchdowns last season, finishing his OSU career with 115 receptions for 1,811 yards and 18 touchdowns. He was named a team captain his senior season and was voted team MVP for the 2010 season.

Mike Martz, offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears, told The Lantern that Sanzenbacher had a legitimate chance to make the team.

“Dane’s a guy that we identified early in the draft and, had we drafted a receiver, I feel certain he’s a guy we would have strongly considered,” Martz said in an email. “That being said, we’re thrilled to get him. He fits what we do. We have a role for him if he is what we think he is. He has a terrific chance to make this team.”

Former running back Brandon Saine signed with the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers, according to The Dayton Daily News.

Jonathan Butnick, assistant director of media relations for the Packers, declined to confirm Saine’s signing in an email to The Lantern

Saine finished his OSU career with 1,408 yards and nine touchdowns on 301 rushing attempts. Saine also hauled in 55 passes for 616 yard and eight touchdowns during his time at the university.

On Monday evening, Devon Torrence tweeted “Looks like I’m a Viking,” from his Twitter account, @DeVonTorrence. This would reunite Torrence with former OSU linebacker Ross Homan, who was drafted in the sixth round of April’s NFL Draft, Minnesota. Torrence finished his career at Ohio St with 99 tackles and four interceptions. 

The New Orleans Saints confirmed the signing of former OSU defensive lineman Dexter Larimore to The Lantern. Larimore finished his OSU career with 91 tackles and 8.0 sacks. 

Agent Andy Simms tweeted Monday evening on his Twitter account @andysimms, “Ohio State DT Dexter Larimore set to join the New Orleans.”

Big Ten blogger for ESPN.com Adam Rittenberg also reported the signings of guards Justin Boren and Bryant Browning with the Baltimore Ravens and St. Louis Rams, respectively. Browning will join safety Jermale Hines who was selected by the team in the fifth round of the draft.

In an email to The Lantern, Ravens public relations vice president Kevin Byrne declined to confirm Boren’s signing. 

Long snapper Jake McQuaide also signed with the Rams. On his Twitter account, @JakeMcQuaide, he said, “Officially a Ram. I leave today. Now the real work begins! #gobucks.”

All NFL training camps will be opening this week and the regular season is set to kickoff on Sept. 8.

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