Former UB defensive end Malcolm Koonce was selected with the No. 79 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft Saturday night, snapping a three-year drought of Bulls being shut out of the draft.
While Koonce was the only UB player drafted, three Bulls have secured spots on NFL rosters as undrafted free agents thus far.
Here are the UB players who signed as undrafted free agents after the draft:
Jaret Patterson, Running back
Washington Football Team
Despite not being drafted, former UB star running back Jaret Patterson heads to his hometown team in Washington.
Patterson grew up in nearby Glendale, MD, a factor that might have played a role in his decision to sign with Washington.
The UB standout found himself in the national spotlight following his record-breaking 409-yard, eight touchdown performance against Kent State last November. Patterson tied the FBS record for rushing touchdowns in a game and came 18 yards short of the highest single-game rushing total in FBS history against the Golden Flashes.
In six games last season, Patterson rushed for 1,072 yards and led the nation with 178.7 yards per game. The 2020 Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Year found the end zone 19 times, averaging more than three touchdowns per game.
In 2018, Patterson became the first freshman in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. As a sophomore, he broke the UB single-season rushing record with 1,799 yards, leading the MAC and finishing fifth in the nation that year in 2019.
Patterson didn’t catch a single pass during the 2020 season, something that likely contributed to his failure to be drafted and subsequent signing as a free agent.
Regardless of Patterson’s lack of pass-catching prowess, he’ll be competing for a roster spot with the 2020 NFC East Champions.
The 2020 first-team All-MAC and second-team All-America selection looks to contribute to a backfield that includes 2020 third round pick Antonio Gibson and veterans J.D. McKissic and Peyton Barber.
Antonio Nunn, Wide receiver
Viewed as a relatively unpolished receiving prospect coming out of UB’s run-heavy offense, wide receiver Antonio Nunn will get an NFL shot with the Atlanta Falcons.
Nunn started all seven games for the Bulls in 2020, leading the team with 37 catches for 584 yards and two touchdowns.
The senior tied a school-record with 13 catches and tallied a career-high 182 yards against Ball State in UB’s MAC Championship Game loss to the Cardinals.
In his junior season, the Tampa native started 12 games and caught 49 passes for 687 yards and six touchdowns, earning third-team All-MAC honors.
The 2020 second-team All-MAC selection has been described by draft analysts as a solid run blocker with an explosive burst that has a knack to make big plays down the field.
As UB’s go-to deep threat, Nunn’s run blocking and explosive playmaking may earn him a spot on Atlanta’s roster.
Kayode Awosika, Offensive tackle
Anchoring one of the best offensive line units in the country, 6-foot-3, 315 lb. offensive tackle Kayode Awosika will head to the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted free agent.
Awosika was a three-year starter for the Bulls who was named first-team All-MAC and second-team All-America by the Football Writers Association of America in 2020.
The Maple Grove, MN native blocked for an offense that averaged 287.4 yards per game last season, good for second in the nation.
Awosika and the offensive line gave up only one sack in 2020 and were semifinalists for the Joe Moore Award, given annually to the best offensive line unit in the country.
In 2019, Awosika blocked for Patterson and Kevin Marks, who together set a school-record with 3,256 rushing yards.
With minor technique issues and difficulty with explosive pass rushers, many scouts project Awosika to play as a guard in the NFL.
One of the most consistent players in UB’s program over the last four years, Awosika gets his first NFL opportunity in Philadelphia.
Anthony DeCicco is the senior sports editor for The Spectrum. In his free time, he can be found playing video games, watching ‘90s Knicks games and arguing with people on NBA Twitter at 3 a.m.