Sam Viebrock: Inside D3 Chief Editor
After former Saint John’s offensive lineman Ben Bartch was drafted the fourth round by the Jacksonville Jaguars, three former Division III football players inked undrafted Free Agent contracts. North Central quarterback Broc Rutter, Barry tight end Mason Kinsey, and Redlands defensive back Jeff Hector all signed contracts.
As the Stagg Bowl Champion quarterback in his senior season, Rutter signed with the San Francisco 49ers. As a D3football.com All-North Region First Team, Offensive Player of the Year, and First Team All-American, Rutter set North Central College single-season records with 4,591 yards and 56 touchdowns. Additionally, Rutter established a new Division III record with 14,265 career passing yards, and with the most career 200-yard games with 44. Rutter was also awarded Associated Press (AP) First Team All-American status along with the CCIW First Team nod and the recipient of the Art Keller Award and Gagliardi Trophy, which is awarded as the premier individual award in Division Three.
Becoming the first Berry University player to sign with an NFL team, Kinsey signed his undrafted free-agent contract with the Tennessee Titans. The Viking tight end is the University’s all-time a leader with 3,343 yards and 50 receiving touchdowns. During Kinsey’s tenure as a Viking, Berry has won four consecutive Southern Athletic Association championships and three straight First Team All-SAA nods. Kinsey was also named as a D3Football.com Third Team All-American and was invited to participate in the East-West Shrine Bowl.
A native of Palos Verdes Peninsula, California, Jeff Hector signed with the Baltimore Ravens. In 11 games in the defensive backfield for the University of the Redlands, Hector accumulated 35 tackles, 8 interceptions, three of which for a touchdown, and a lone sack. Hector led the Bulldogs to their ninth NCAA Division III football championship and contributed to the program’s seventh consecutive Smudge Pot Trophy, defeating long-time rival California Lutheran. Hector assisted the Bulldogs in finishing eleventh nationally for total defense, third in rushing defense and second in turnover margin. As a senior, Hector took home D3Football.com All-American Honorable Mention and All-West Region First team, AP D3 First- Team All-American, AFCA All-American, and All-SCIAC First Team.