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Texans sign seven rookies


Wide receiver Ryan Grice-Mullen had a standout senior season at the University of Hawaii.

The Texans signed seven undrafted free agents on Thursday: Auburn tight end Cole Bennett, Hawaii wide receiver Ryan Grice-Mullen, Miami (Fla.) wide receiver Darnell Jenkins, Utah defensive tackle Gabe Long, South Florida linebacker Ben Moffitt, Colorado State defensive end Jesse Nading and Troy linebacker Marcus Richardson.

Bennett (6-4, 258) is a native of Dalton, Ga., and finished his senior season with 11 catches for 108 yards. He was granted a fifth year of eligibility in 2007 after injuring his ankle in 2006.

Grice-Mullen (5-11, 180) is a native of Rialto, Calif. He compiled 237 receptions for 3,370 yards and 36 receiving touchdowns in three seasons at Hawaii, finishing his senior season with 106 catches for 1,372 yards and 13 touchdowns to earn All-WAC honors. Grice-Mullen looks forward to learning the Texans' attack after playing in the Rainbow Warriors' pass-happy offense.

"Basically, I'll get in where I fit in," he said. "I'm just looking to come some place where I can contribute. It's not about myself. It's just about winning. That's what I did in Hawaii.

"Whatever is asked of me, that's what I'm here to do."

{QUOTE}Jenkins(5-10, 188), from Miami, finished his senior season with 31 receptions for 619 yards and two touchdowns for the Hurricanes. He tallied three 100-yard receiving games as well in 2007.

Long (6-3, 290), a native of Anaheim, Calif., had four sacks for a loss of 24 yards as well as 40 total tackles in 2007. He also had 6.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble.

Moffitt (6-2, 245), from Bushnell, Fla., was an All-Big East first-team selection in 2007 after finishing second on his team with 104 tackles, not to mention 12 tackles for loss. He was a semifinalist for the Butkus award and a quarterfinalist for the Lott Trophy, which caught the attention of Texans linebackers coach Johnny Holland.

"Soon after the draft, coach Holland called me and let me know that they were very interested, so they got with my agent and made it happen really quickly," Moffitt said. "So I had no idea where I was going, but I'm really excited about being here.

"I'm a hard worker and I just want to get after it."

Nading (6-5, 258) grew up in Highlands Ranch, Colo. before attending Colorado State, where he started all 12 games at defensive end in his final season, collecting 56 tackles (19 solo), 3.5 sacks and one interception. He garnered second-team all-conference honors and was voted team captain before each of CSU's 12 games.

He's joined in Houston by other former Colorado State players, such as wide receiver David Anderson, tight end Joel Dreessen and guard Mike Brisiel.

"They're excited to get me out (here) and I'm sure I'll be able to talk to them soon enough and get their insights on things," Nading said.

Richardson (6-0, 235), a native of Pensacola, Fla., finished his senior season with 60 total tackles, two sacks and one interception while starting all 12 games. His speed is his biggest asset as he once ran the 100-meter dash in a personal-best 10.8 seconds in high school.

Name Pos. Ht. Wt. College
Cole Bennett TE 6-4 258 Auburn
Ryan Grice-Mullen WR 5-11 180 Hawaii
Darnell Jenkins WR 5-10 188 Miami (Fla.)
Gabe Long DT 6-3 290 Utah
Ben Moffitt LB 6-2 245 South Florida
Jesse Nading DE 6-5 258 Colorado St.
Marcus Richardson LB 6-0 235 Troy

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