CARBONDALE -- A day after Jeremy Chinn was drafted in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, one more Southern Illinois player joined an NFL franchise, as cornerback Madre Harper signed a free-agent contract with the Las Vegas Raiders.
A two-year starter who transferred to SIU from Oklahoma State, Harper ranked 17th in the nation with 12 pass breakups in 2019, was sixth on the team in tackles (42) and added two interceptions. An honorable mention All-MVFC selection, his stock shot up after he posted a sub-4.5 40-yard dash time at his pro day.
Despite playing only two years, he finished his Saluki career ranked No. 12 all-time in pass breakups with 18 and his 12 PBUs last season were the second-most in school history.
SIU currently has five players on NFL rosters. The two incoming rookies join SIU alums Tennessee Titans tight end MyCole Pruitt, Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Craig James, and Seattle Seahawks safety Ryan Neal.