I'm only slightly embarrassed to admit there were plenty of names on the field for the St. Louis Rams last night that I did not recognize. That was especially true in the secondary, but one previously anonymous name that stood out was that of DT Jermelle Cudjo who had two tackles for a loss, part of the Rams solid play against the run, and a sack. So who is this guy?
An undrafted free agent, obviously, Cudjo was a standout in the Lone Star Conference playing for Central Oklahoma. His pro day, overshadowed by the previous day's pro day at Oklahoma, put him on the map for Gil Brandt of the NFL network. In college, he consistently put up impressive numbers, from his red shirt freshman year in 2006 right up to his play in the Cactus Bowl. Through his last two seasons in college he had 28 tackles for a loss and 8 sacks, according to a short profile piece on Cudjo at the Rams official site.
That same profile spends some time on Cudjo's Horatio Alger approach since signing with the Rams, working his his way into the hearts of the coaches, no doubt, with his dedication and work ethic.
There's always a surprise among the undrafted players in the preseason, a guy who nobody knows that puts his name into the conversation. Yes, it's very early, but the Rams need players on the interior line who can get penetration. Cudjo showed that ability in college, albeit against DII competition, and again last night against the Vikings second and third team players. He'd definitely a good story and a guy to keep your eyes on over the next four weeks.