Two essential components of Northwestern’s 10-win season will continue their pursuit of professional careers.
Brian Arnfelt (Pittsburgh Steelers) and Patrick Ward (Miami Dolphins) were both signed as undrafted free agents on Saturday, though neither was selected in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Arnfelt emerged as an excellent defensive lineman late in his NU career. He started for only one season, but made that memorable. The Lake Elmo, Minn. native had three sacks in 2012. He contributed to the standout D-line effort that frustrated Mississippi State quarterback Tyler Russell in the Gator Bowl victory. And at Northwestern Pro Day, he turned heads with his bench press effort—showcasing the impressive strength Wildcats fans witnessed throughout this past season.
Ward, despite his notable on-field accomplishments, was best known as one of the smartest players in college football. The mechanical engineering major was named as one of 15 finalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy, commonly known as the “Academic Heisman.” Last season, he helped to lead an offensive line that lost starters Ben Burkett and Al Netter. Thanks in part to his otherworldly leadership, the unit hardly missed a step.
Congratulations to Ward and Arnfelt, as the two fan favorites aren’t finished with their football careers just yet.