Three Former Jayhawks Sign NFL Deals

July 29, 2011


Three members of last year’s Kansas football team have signed free agent contracts with teams in the National Football League this week and will be competing for roster spots in August. Defensive back Chris Harris (Denver), defensive end Jake Laptad (Chicago) and offensive lineman Brad Thorson (Arizona) have all signed contracts with their respective teams over the past few days.

Harris, a 5-foot-10 defensive back from Bixby, Okla., has said he will play both corner and safety with the Denver Broncos. Harris was a four-year starter at KU, making 42-consecutive starts from 2007-10. He was third on the Jayhawks with 82 tackles last season, including 5 ½ for a loss and two sacks. His 288 career tackles were the third-most by a defensive back in Kansas history. Harris served a team captain in 2010.

Laptad, a 6-foot-4 defensive end from Tulsa, Okla., signed with the Chicago Bears Thursday afternoon. Laptad was a three-year starter at defensive end for the Jayhawks and recorded 21 sacks in his career, which ranks as the second-most in KU history. Laptad finished the 2010 season with 38 tackles and 4 ½ sacks, with all of them coming in conference play. He was a three-time All-Big 12 Honorable Mention in his career at KU and was named to the Conference’s All-Freshman team in 2007.

Thorson, a 6-foot-5 offensive tackle from Mequon, Wis., signed with the Arizona Cardinals on Tuesday. Thorson played two years at Wisconsin before transferring to KU prior to the 2008 season. He started 24 consecutive games for the Jayhawks from 2009-10, including all 12 contests last year. He was named the team’s Offensive Lineman of the Year in both 2009 and 2010 and was a two-time Academic All-Big 12 selection. Thorson also was a member of the Big 12 Good Works team, which honors student-athletes for work within the community.

Harris, Laptad and Thorson will be three of 11 former Jayhawks who will be involved in NFL training camps this summer.

All three players have reported to their teams and started camp. They will likely be fighting for roster spots throughout the preseason. NFL teams will trim their rosters down to 75 players on Aug. 31 and to 53 players on Sept. 4.