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Former Lions gain NFL attention, offers

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As the 2014 National Football League draft came to a close, seven rounds proved inadequate as five former Lion football players were recognized signing contracts as free agents and receiving invitations to tryout at various upcoming mini-camps.  
Gasten Gabriel was invited to attend mini camps hosted by the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets. The Jackson, Louisiana native was a member of the 2013 Southland Conference Championship team, receiving All-Southland Conference recognition two consecutive years in 2011 and 2012 for his performance on the offensive line.
He shares his excitement for the opportunity and plans to move forward and take advantage of the experience and showcase his skills.
"I'm going to the Jets mini camp to try out as an offensive tackle," said Gabriel. "It was a frustrating process because I watched the draft and the draft was over. I was waiting on a phone call; finally I got a phone call. It was a sigh of relief; going through the whole process is stressful watching name after name called and waiting for your name to be called. I am most looking forward to just the experience itself; it's a blessing just to be in this position. What I'm looking forward to is getting to camp, getting back on the field and just showing them what I have and being able to represent myself, my family and also my university."
Todd Washington, a native of Lutcher, Louisiana was signed as a free agent by the Arizona Cardinals. Washington received honorable mention recognition by the Southland Conference for his performance during the 2012 season finishing with 23 solo tackles of a career total of 27,  9 pass break-ups- a team high for the Lions and four tackles in the season closing victory against conference rivals, Nichols State. Washington contributed defensively throughout the season with a minimum of a single tackle in each game.
The Houston Texans also welcomed Theo Alexander as a free agent. Alexander came to Southeastern a junior college transfer who was converted to a free safety after playing as a wide receiver for Gateway Technical High School in his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri.
Cqulin Hubert, 2014 Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year was invited to complete a three-day rookie tryout by the New Orleans Saints. The 250-pound defensive end was the first to receive the Southland Conference honor at Southeastern.
Devan Walker was also invited to attend mini camp of the Kansas City Chiefs. Walker started on the Lion's defensive line during the 2011 season and ended 2nd on the team and fifth in Southland Conference standings with 13 tackles for loss.
Players recognize the influence of the Lion football program and coaching staff on their preparation and opportunity to perform at the national level.
"Southeastern has been a great community and a great experience especially this past year, my senior year winning the championship and being a part of that," said Gabriel. "Being a major part of that was very rewarding and just  the preparation that it took to win a championship that year is going to carry over into the NFL because that whole experience of getting prepared just taught me the things I need and the tools I need to be my best at the next level. When I get there I'll hit the ground running."
As mini camps commence, the former Lions pay tribute to the coaching staff and look forward to giving their all to earn a solid position on the respective teams.
"Southeastern taught me a lot, and I can never repay the coaches," said Gabriel. "They were the main reasons I got this experience so I can't thank them enough."


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