(ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO-WQRF)–Freeport native Ezekiel Vandenburgh didn’t get selected in the NFL Draft this weekend, but that hardly matters now. He is still going to get his NFL shot. He has agreed to a deal with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted free agent.

Vandenburgh is a linebacker. He had a heck of a final season with the Illinois State Redbirds last fall. He was named the Buck Buchanan Award winner as the most outstanding defensive player in the nation at the NCAA FCS level. He led the nation with 14 sacks. He had 21 tackles-for-loss and 100 total tackles.

I asked Vandenburgh last month about his skills that he believes will translate to the NFL level.

“I think I play with great effort. Explosive off the ball, play physical football, and I think I’ve got a great knack for where the ball is going to be and a great football IQ where I can decipher offenses and know what’s coming before it comes.”

“I’ve always had this dream and I’ve always believed in myself and there are a lot of people around me that believe in me, so I knew with my consistency that eventually it would pay off.”
Vandenburgh will soon be reporting to the Dolphins’ rookie camp where he will begin getting acclimated to the organization and begin trying to make a positive impression on the coaching staff.

He will become the second player from the Rockford area on the Dolphins. Rockford East graduate Robert Jones is entering his third season at a guard for the Dolphins.