The Philadelphia Eagles announced on Tuesday that they have agreed to terms with eight rookie free agents, including defensive tackle Cedric Thornton of Southern Arkansas University.
A two-year starter at Division II SAU, Thornton (6-4, 309) earned first-team All-America honors as a junior after leading the team with 80 tackles and 8.5 sacks. That season, he also led the nation with 23 tackles for a loss while forcing two fumbles and blocking two kicks. As a senior in 2010, he ranked third on the team with 53 tackles, including 13 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks and one forced fumble. The Star City, AR, native attended Star City High School.
Thornton will have to compete for a job with several veterans, including Brodrick Bunkley (6-2, 306, five years, Florida State), Antonio Dixon (6-3, 322, two years, Miami Florida), Trevor Laws (6-1, 304, three years, Notre Dame), and Mike Patterson, 6-1, 300, six years, USC).
The other Philadelphia signees:
Perry Baker (6-0, 168) finished his career at Division II Fairmount State (West Virginia) with 1,552 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns. He led the team as a senior in 2010 with 28 receptions, 501 yards and nine scores. A native of New Smyrna Beach, FL, Baker has NFL bloodlines that include his older brother, Dallas, who played three seasons with the Steelers, and his uncle, Wes Chandler, who played 11 seasons in the NFL and was named to four Pro Bowls.
DeAndre Brown (6-6, 239) amassed 133 receptions for 2,186 yards and 24 touchdowns in his three-year career at Southern Mississippi. He finished his career ranked fifth in school history in receptions, third in receiving yards and second in touchdown catches, and earned Conference USA Freshman of the Year honors in 2008. A native of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, Brown attended Ocean Springs HS where he was a Parade All-America selection.
Graig Cooper (5-10, 205) wrapped up his collegiate career at Miami (FL) ranked third in school history in all-purpose yardage (3,864), and fifth in rushing yards (2,387), leading the team in rushing in three consecutive years from 2007-09. He played in 46 games (21 starts) in his career, notching 17 total touchdowns (13 rushing, 3 receiving, 1 punt return). The Memphis, TN, native attended Melrose HS before transferring to Milford Prep as a senior, where he earned first-team all-state accolades.
A four-year letterman at Florida, Chas Henry (6-3, 220) was the 2010 recipient of the Ray Guy Award, given to the nation's top punter. He was a consensus first-team All-America selection after finishing the year with a 45.1-yard average on 50 punts, while also serving as the team's kicker for part of the season. For his career, Henry punted 165 times for 7,090 yards (43.0 avg.), with a long of 75. A native of Dallas, GA, Henry attended East Paulding High School in Dallas.
Jerrod Johnson (6-5, 251) finished his collegiate career holding 24 Texas A&M school records including total offense (8,888 yards), passing yards (8,011), completions (650) and touchdown passes (67). He also holds two Big 12 and A&M records for passes without an interception in one season (225 in 2009) and an overall streak without an interception (242 from 2008-09). His best season came as a junior in 2009, when he set five school single-season records in passing yards (3,579), completions (296), attempts (497), touchdowns (30), and total offense (4,085 yards). In addition, Johnson ranked second on the team that season with eight rushing touchdowns. The Houston, TX, native attended Humble HS, where he was named the Houston Touchdown Club Offensive Player of the Year as a senior.
Brandon Peguese transferred from South Florida to Hampton following his freshman season and went on to register 179 tackles and 18 sacks in three seasons with the Pirates. He was a second-team All-MEAC performer in 2009 after leading the conference with 7.5 sacks. As a senior in 2010, he posted career highs with 85 tackles and eight sacks. A native of Greensboro, NC, Peguese attended Grimsley High School, where he was an all-state defensive end.
Terrance Turner (6-2, 212) closed out his career at Indiana with 143 receptions for 1,436 yards and four touchdowns. His 67 receptions as a senior are the fourth-best single-season total ever by a Hoosiers receiver. A native of Auburn Hills, Michigan, Turner attended West Bloomfield High School, where he was an all-state receiver.
A four-year letterman at Michigan, Martell Webb (6-3, 276) appeared in 37 career games on special teams and as a reserve tight end, catching nine passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns. The Pontiac, MI, native attended Northern HS, garnering all-state honorable mention accolades as a senior.