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Packers Sign 9 Undrafted Free Agents


Green Bay's roster grew Friday with the signings of nine non-drafted free agents, GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman announced.

The signings include six offensive players and three defenders.

On offense, the Packers signed tight end Keith Willis (6-5, 264) of Virginia Tech, fullback Vonta Leach (6-0, 253) of East Carolina, tackle Jason Hilliard (6-6, 340) of Louisville and guards Joseph Hayes (6-5, 310) of San Jose State, Atlas Herrion (6-4, 304) of Alabama and Forest Vance (6-5, 302) of Cal-Davis.

On defense, the Packers signed end Junior Glymph (6-3, 260) of Carson-Newman and linebackers Kevin Jackson (6-5, 229) of Hawaii and Maurice Jones (6-3, 245) of South Florida.

73 Junior Glymph, 6-3, 260, Carson-Newman

Glymph, 23, is the second Carson-Newman free agent in as many years signed by Green Bay. The Packers drafted linebacker Steve Josue in the seventh round (257th overall) last year. Glymph finished with 27 career sacks, including 11 in 2003. Last season, Glymph also posted 44 tackles (24 solo), 131/2 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and one blocked kick.

77 Joe Hayes, 6-5, 310, San Jose State

Hayes, 22, was a three-year starter at San Jose State. He earned a scholarship after walking on in 1999. The tackle initially lost more than 30 pounds in college, before bulking up in the weight room. He entered 2003 on the Outland Trophy Watch List and earned scholar athlete honors in both 1999 and 2002.

57 Atlas Herrion, 6-4, 304, Alabama

Herrion, 23, played offense and defense at Alabama (2001-03) and Dodge City (Kan.) Community College (1999-2000). In fact, he redshirted in 2002, after his 2001 junior season, to work on both sides, and closed the year as a defensive tackle. He returned to the offensive line in 2003 spring drills and started six games last season (two at let guard, four at left tackle). A two-time All-American at Dodge City, he played guard and tackle on offense, as well as defensive tackle and defensive end.

79 Jason Hilliard, 6-6, 340, Louisville

Hilliard started his senior season at strong-side tackle and lettered four years at Louisville. The 6-foot-6, 340-pound player wears size 18 shoes and benches 440 pounds.

46 Kevin Jackson, 6-5, 229, Hawaii

Jackson, 22, played defensive end in college. He played in every game as a senior, recording 18 tackles (12 solo), five tackles for loss and one sack. Jackson could become just the second Green Bay player from the University of Hawaii to participate in a regular-season game (C Kani Kauahi, 1988).

57 Maurice Jones, 6-3, 245, South Florida

Jones, 23, played all three linebacker positions at South Florida, but thrived his senior year at middle linebacker. He started 33 of 43 games during his career, making 285 tackles (173 solo), with 40 tackles for loss, 121/2 sacks, three forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. He also returned a fumble 52 yards for a touchdown. Jones graduated from the same high school as Packers defensive back Michael Hawthorne, Sarasota Booker in Bradenton, Fla.

49 Vonta Leach, 6-0, 253, East Carolina

Leach, 23, ended his East Carolina career having played in 43 consecutive games. Like Herrion, Leach played on both sides in college, his junior and senior years as the starting fullback and his freshman and sophomore seasons at linebacker. Primarily a blocking fullback his junior year (11 carries, 30 yards), Leach benefited from a new offensive scheme in 2003 (83 carries, 290 yards, five touchdowns). The MVP of the 2003 Blue-Gray game, his first name is pronounced von-TAY.

72 Forest Vance, 6-5, 302, Cal-Davis

Vance, 23, started all 48 games in college at Cal-Davis, anchoring the Aggies' offensive line. He started at right tackle his freshman and sophomore seasons, then flipped to left tackle for his junior year, and closed his career starting at right guard as a senior. He plays guitar, bass and keyboard, and once sang the National Anthem at a track meet.

81 Keith Willis, 6-5, 264, Virginia Tech

Willis, 23, started two years and lettered four times at Virginia Tech. The tall tight end, who owns solid blocking skills and above-average hands, started 20 games for the Hokies, and caught 18 career passes for 356 yards and four touchdowns. Against Syracuse in 2002, he caught an 87-yard pass, the longest reception ever by a Virginia Tech tight end. A versatile athlete, Willis appeared briefly in three Virginia Tech basketball games during the 1999-2000 season. For two seasons at Norview High School in Norfolk, Va., he played with current Packers David Martin and James Whitley. Willis also hails from the same area in eastern Virginia that produced Michael Vick, Allen Iverson and former Packers quarterback Aaron Brooks.

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