INDIANAPOLIS – A path of traditional success for the Colts has been through the addition of undrafted free agents.
Many prominent players such as Jeff Saturday, Melvin Bullitt, Dominic Rhodes and Gary Brackett have achieved success with the Colts, and Indianapolis has agreed to contract terms with 15 players who were not taken in last week's draft.
Defensive end James Aiono, defensive tackle Chigbo Anunoby, offensive tackle Steven Baker, defensive back Cameron Chism, defensive end Kevin Eagan, defensive back Antonio Fenelus, offensive guard Jason Foster, linebacker Chris Galippo, offensive guard Hayworth Hicks, defensive back Buddy Jackson, safety Matt Merletti, safety Micah Pellerin, wide receiver Jabin Sambrano, punter Brian Stahovich and wide receiver Griff Whalen.
The team also agreed to terms with tight end Dominique Jones and claimed running back Deji Karim off waivers from Jacksonville.
Aiono, 6-3, 305, spent two seasons at Utah following a stint at Snow College. As a defensive end with Utah, he had 12 tackles and 0.5 sacks. At Snow, he was a 2008 first-team junior college All-America choice and was rated the top recruit in the nation by Rivals.com. Aiono also was the Western States Football League 2008 Defensive MVP and first-team all-conference defensive lineman.
Anunoby, 6-4, 324, totaled 49 tackles, 26 solo, a team-leading 14.0 tackles for losses, 3.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovered as a defensive tackle last season at Morehouse College. He was invited to play in the HBCU All-Star game.
Baker, 6-8, 310, is a four-year letterman at offensive tackle from East Carolina. He competed in 42 career contests and started nine of 12 games last season. Baker was part of an offensive line that helped ECU tally 12 rushing touchdowns in the last seven games of the 2011 campaign and provided time for quarterback Dominique Davis to set NCAA records for consecutive completions in a game (26 vs. Navy) and a season (36 vs. Memphis and Navy). Baker also competed on special teams.
Chism, 5-10, 190, was a three-year starter for Maryland at cornerback. He opened 32 of 44 career games and ranked first on the team in career passes defensed (16), tied for first in career interceptions (seven) and ranked third in career tackles (191). In 2011, he had 47 tackles and three interceptions and became one of only three players in school history with two interception returns for touchdowns.
Eagan, 6-4, 276, totaled 104 tackles, 53 solo, 23.0 tackles for losses, 8.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and three fumbles recovered last season as a defensive end at Endicott College. He was named a BSN All-America second-team selection, the NEFC Boyd Division and ECAC DIII North Defensive Player of the Year and was an All-New England pick by the New England Football Writers. Eagan was the school's career leader in tackles (371), tackles for loss (70.0), sacks (23.5), forced fumbles (seven) and fumbles recovered (seven).
Fenelus, 5-9, 190, was a four-year letterman at defensive back at Wisconsin. In starting 32 of 52 games, he had 155 tackles, 113 solo, nine interceptions, 22 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and three fumbles recovered. He was a first-team All-Big Ten selection and was the winner of the Jimmy Demetral Team MVP as a senior last season. Fenelus also earned first-team All-Big Ten honors in 2010.
Foster, 6-5, 305, was a four-year starter for Rhode Island at offensive tackle. He earned second-team All-CAA honors last season and garnered third-team honors in 2010 as the Rams totaled six games with 150-plus rushing yards.
Galippo, 6-2, 250, had 166 tackles, 12.0 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and six interceptions as a linebacker for Southern California. In 2010, he was named an honorable mention All-Pac 10 selection while earning the team's Special Teams Player of the Year Award. In 2009, he was a semi-finalist for the Butkus Award and made the CollegeFootballNews.com Sophomore All-America first-team list.
Hicks, 6-3, 336, started 24 of 36 games at offensive guard for Iowa State and last year was presented with the team's Arthur Floyd Scott Sward Award as the most outstanding offensive lineman. He also earned second-team All-Big 12 honors from league coaches and honorable mention conference honors from the Associated Press.
Jackson, 6-1, 180, totaled 34 tackles, 23 solo, four passes defensed and one fumble recovered last season as a defensive back at Pittsburgh. He competed in every contest during his last two seasons and also participated on special teams.
Merletti, 5-11, 205, totaled 88 tackles, one tackle for loss, two interceptions, one pass defensed, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery as a safety at North Carolina. He had a season-high 36 tackles last season and had both of his career interceptions in 2010.
Pellerin, 6-1, 195, had 51 tackles, 29 solo, four interceptions, 15 passes defensed and one forced fumble as a senior defensive back last season at Hampton. He saw action in every game over his last three seasons (33).
Sambrano, 5-11, 175, started three consecutive seasons at wide receiver at Montana and totaled 1,787 career reception yards. Last season, he earned second-team All-Big Sky Conference honors while leading the team with 632 reception yards and 10 touchdowns. Sambrano also was a Big Sky Conference honorable mention selection in 2010.
Stahovich, 6-0, 190, was one of the nation's top punters at San Diego State, earning first-team All-Mountain West Conference honors in each of his last three seasons. As a senior, he averaged 43.4 yards per punt with more than a quarter of his attempts going for more than 50 yards.
Whalen, 6-1, 185, was a teammate of Indianapolis draft selections Andrew Luck and Coby Fleener at Stanford. Whalen totaled 1,058 reception yards (13.2 avg.) and five touchdowns for his career. In 2011, he led the Cardinal with 749 reception yards (749) and had four touchdowns.
Jones, 6-3, 255, joins Indianapolis from the Reading Express of the Indoor Football League. Through seven games this season, he led the team with 39 receptions for 349 yards and seven touchdowns. As a senior at Shepherd, Jones had 34 receptions for 403 yards and nine touchdowns. He helped lead his team to the Division II National semi-finals and a school-record 12 wins. For his performance, Jones earned third-team All-America honors and second-team all-conference honors. Prior to joining Reading, Jones played tight end for the UFL's Sacramento Mountain Lions.
Karim, 5-8, 209, spent the last two seasons with Jacksonville. In 23 games, he totaled 98 rushes for 290 yards and added 17 catches for 130 yards. Karim served as a kickoff return specialist, averaging 24.7 yards on 77 efforts.
Undrafted free agent will join those taken in the draft in a rookie camp this week in Indianapolis. The camp will have five practices, with two on Friday and Saturday and a final one on Sunday.