CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern offensive lineman Erik Austell came to an agreement with the Denver Broncos following the conclusion of the 2017 NFL Draft on Saturday evening. Austell made the announcement via his Twitter account shortly after the final pick of the draft was announced on stage on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Austell is aiming to become just the second CSU player to make an active NFL roster and will look to be the fourth Buccaneer to be invited to an NFL Camp joining former teammates Malcolm Jackson (2016) and Charles James (2013), as well as former wide receiver standout Maurice Price (2006).
The free agent signing continues a career of one of the most decorated athletes in CSU football history. Austell became the first Buccaneer to receive an invitation to the NFL Combine and finished in the top half of his position group in all on-field drills at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 3.
He was also selected to play in the prestigious East-West Shrine Game on January 21. Austell lined up on the West roster in the game and worked with coaches from nine different NFL organizations throughout the week leading up to competition.
Austell, primarily a left tackle at CSU, earned All-American honors from the Associated Press, STATS FCS and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) in 2016. The Warner Robins, Ga. native lined up at multiple positions along the offensive line in his senior season, showcasing his versatility while leading a unit that was saddled with injuries throughout the year.
He was voted a team captain prior to the season and bounced back from an injury to return to his normal dominant self in his senior year. Austell started 10 games and graded out at 91.4 percent while recording 84 knockdown blocks.
Austell earned a place on the All-Big South first-team after powering the nation's sixth best rushing attack. CSU scored 30+ points six times and tallied 500+ yards of offense four times. He finished his career with 39 starts and was an integral part of the winningest senior class in program history.