Following the Kansas City Chiefs' third-round selection of Khalen Saunders in last weekend's NFL Draft, seven former Illinois FCS players signed either as undrafted free agents or mini camp tryout candidates.
While Western Illinois celebrated Saunders as its first NFL Draft choice in 10 years, three other Leatherneck standouts landed in camps. Quarterback Sean McGuire (Minnesota), running back Steve McShane (Pittsburgh) and linebacker Quentin Moon (Chicago) will get their shot at pro ball.
While Southern Illinois receiver Raphael Leonard signed as an undrafted free agent with Jacksonville, quarterback Sam Straub was invited to tryout camp in Buffalo.
Like Leonard, Eastern Illinois receiver Alexander Hollins signed as an undrafted free agent. Hollins is with Minnesota.
Illinois State receiver Spencer Schnell received invitations for tryouts with both Chicago and Tampa Bay.
Former Illinois State wideout Christian Gibbs has signed with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League.
According to a recent Calgary Sun report, Gibbs "is considered by scouts to be a real CFL catch". The Waubonsie Valley High School graduate had 104 career catches for 1,535 yards and 12 touchdowns at ISU.
Both the Missouri Valley Football Conference and the Ohio Valley Conference will play nine games against FBS opponents in the fall.
Those games include MVFC members Illinois State, Western Illinois and Southern Illinois. ISU opens the season at Northern Illinois, WIU travels to Colorado State and SIU plays at both UMass and Arkansas State.
Eastern, a member of the OVC since 1996 after 11 years sharing the Gateway Conference with the other three state FCS schools, takes on the Indiana Hoosiers of the Big 10 in early September.
Cameron Lee, former Illinois State offensive lineman who played briefly in the NFL, has moved on from football. Now a real estate agent in his hometown of Oakwood, Ill., he also hosts a podcast titled "Everything Else with Cameron Lee".
Lee, who saw camp time with New Orleans and Baltimore, suited up for two Chicago Bears games in 2017. Most recently, he spent time in camp with two different Alliance of American Football teams before deciding to retire and move into his business career.
Lee's entertaining podcast has already featured interviews with former pro teammates Jacob Judd, Scott Orndoff, Jordan Morgan and Pat Richard along with current Bears Charles Leno, Jr. and Kyle Long.