Carolina Panthers

Some familiar names dot the list of Carolina Panthers tryout players

East Carolina linebacker Zeek Bigger (44), a 2011 Ashbrook High graduate, will get a tryout with the Carolina Panthers.
East Carolina linebacker Zeek Bigger (44), a 2011 Ashbrook High graduate, will get a tryout with the Carolina Panthers. AP

The Carolina Panthers will give 35 tryout players a shot at making the roster during the team’s rookie minicamp, which begins Friday.

Among the tryout players – the Panthers released the list late Thursday night on its website – are a few with names that Panthers fans might find familiar and at least two that haven’t played in an official game in years.

Former East Carolina linebacker Zeek Bigger went to Gastonia’s Ashbrook High. A 46-yard interception return against North Carolina is among his career highlights with the Pirates.

Undrafted last April, he spent time working out at Charlotte’s Velocity Sports Performance and played in the NFL spring developmental league in Sulphur Springs, W.Va. He said he took part in workouts that included former NFL players including former Panthers Greg Hardy.

“If it’d be up to me, I’d have picked the Panthers,” Bigger told the Gaston Gazette. “Now I want to show the hometown team I can play.”

▪ Former Texas quarterback David Ash quit playing football in 2014 after multiple concussions. The Panthers list Ash as a quarterback but he also was an all-state punter. A medical clearance from a neurosurgeon has opened the door for Ash to return to the game.

▪ Former American International defensive end Omani Manhertz has an older brother on the Panthers, tight end Chris Manhertz.

▪ Former Cal linebacker Kyle Kragen is the son of Greg Kragen, who played defensive lineman for the Panthers from 1995-97.

▪ Former Florida tight end Jake McGee was one of Carolina’s undrafted free agent signings last season.

▪ Former Florida State wide receiver Marvin Bracy brings speed – he reportedly ran a 4.30 at FSU’s pro day – but hasn’t played in an official game since the Under Armor All-American game in 2012. He left FSU after one redshirt season in 2013 to compete as a sprinter in pro track. Bracy ran the 100-meter dash in the 2016 Olympics, but didn’t make the finals.

▪ There are three tryout players who list a city in the Carolinas as their hometown. And three players went to a school in the Carolinas. Among them is long snapper Daniel Dillon, who played for former Panthers safety Mike Minter at Campbell.

The tryout players will joining the Panthers’ draft picks, undrafted additions and a handful of returning players and offseason signings for the two-day minicamp at Bank of America Stadium. Last season, the Panthers signed six invited tryouts to the roster.


Listed by name, position, height, weight, years of experience in the NFL, college and hometown.

David Ash, QB, 6-3, 225, 24, 1, Texas, Belton, Texas

Alex Bazzie, LB, 6-2, 240, 26, 1, Marshall, Silver Spring, Md.

Mitchell Bell, OT, 6-4, 330, 24, 1, Louisiana Tech, Houston, Texas

Zeek Bigger, LB, 6-2, 215, 24, 1, East Carolina, Gastonia, N.C.

Chris Boles, G, 6-4, 320, 24, 1, Illinois, Toledo, Ohio

Marvin Bracy, WR, 5-9, 170, 23, R, Florida State, Orlando, Fla.

Travis Britz, DT, 6-4, 295, 23, 1, Kansas State, Harrisonville, Mo.

Henry Coley,LB, 6-2, 240, 25, R, Virginia, Virginia Beach, Va.

Dylan Colucci, G, 6-6, 315, 23, R, Youngstown State, Latrobe, Pa.

Daniel Dillon, LS, 6-3, 235, 24, 1, Campbell, Sanford, N.C.

Mandel Dixon, FB, 6-2, 240, 24, 1, Tulsa, Oakland, Ca.

Montell Garner,CB, 6-1, 185, 24, 1, South Alabama, Dallas, Texas

Ryne Giddins, DE, 6-3, 255, 26, 1, South Florida, Seffner, Fla.

Eddie Gordon, C, 6-1, 320, 22, R, Louisiana Lafayette, Boiling Springs, S.C.

Hayden Hunt, P, 6-0, 220, 23, R, Colorado State, Long Beach, Calif.

Drew Iddings, DT, 6-6, 265, 24, 1, South Dakota, Rapid City, S.D.

Raphael Kirby, LB, 6-0, 235, 23, 1, Miami (Fla.), Stone Mountain, Ga.

Kyle Kragen, LB, 6-3, 255, 24, 1, California, Danville, Calif.

Jordan Lomax, S, 5-10, 195, 23, 1, Iowa, Fairfax, Va.

B.J. Lowery, CB, 5-11, 195, 25, 1, Iowa, Cincinnati, Ohio

Miguel Machado, OT, 6-5, 305, 25, R, Michigan State, Miami, Fla.

Omari Manhertz, DE, 6-3, 265, 23, R, American International, New York, N.Y.

Gabriel Mass, DT, 6-4, 295, 26, 1, Lane College, Jackson, Ala.

Jake McGee, TE, 6-5, 250, 25, 1, Florida, Richmond, Va.

Damian Parms, S, 6-2, 210, 24, 1, Florida, Atlantic Miami, Fla.

Cameron Posey, WR, 6-1, 185, 23, R, Purdue, Boca Raton, Fla.

Jordan Powell, TE, 6-3, 245, 22, R, New Hampshire, Forked River, N.J.

Darnell Sankey, LB, 6-3, 250, 22, 1, Sacramento, State, San Jose, Calif.

Jake Schunke, G, 6-5, 300, 23, 1, Towson, Hackensack, N.J.

Gannon Sinclair, TE, 6-6, 270, 24, 1, Missouri State, Eden Prarie, Minn.

Desean Smith, TE, 6-5, 245, 22, R, LSU, Lake Charles, La.

Austin Stephens, C, 6-3, 290, 23, R, Utah State, West Des Moines, Iowa

Brandon Williams, DE, 6-3, 255, 23, 1, Southern Illinois, DuQuoin, Ill.

Dominique Williams, RB, 5-9, 205, 26, 1, Wagner, Bridgeton, N.J.

Terry Williams, DT, 6-1, 320, 25, 1, East Carolina, Atlanta, Ga.

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