May 11, 2014
By Tom Weber
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois University linebacker Bryan Presume became the third Saluki player to sign a pro contract this weekend when he signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
The Kennesaw, Ga.-native, who racked up 205 tackles in three seasons at SIU, will have a chance to make his hometown team beginning on Thursday at minicamp.
"I had some interest from a few teams, but Atlanta seemed like the best opportunity," Presume said. "They recently switched to a 3-4 defense, so I'm going to be playing the same inside linebacker position I played at Southern."
For the Salukis, Presume made his mark as a big-play performer, best evidenced by his school-record 100-yard fumble return for a touchdown in 2012 that helped SIU rally to beat Northern Iowa. At 5-foot-11 and 229 pounds, he ran a 4.68 40-yard dash for scouts during his Pro Day.
"I tested out up there with the top guys," he said. "That's what got me noticed."
For Presume to stick, he knows he'll also have to perform well on kicking units.
"Special teams are going to be really big for me," Presume explained. "As an undrafted free agent, that's a way to make the team, and I'm looking forward to competing."
"SIU really helped me grow as a man on and off the field, and I couldn't think of a better place to spend my college career," Presume said.