Houston (April 30, 2012) -- University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football player Nate Menkin has become just the second Cru alum to sign a contract with a National Football League team after inking a free-agent deal with the Houston Texans over the weekend. Menkin joins Jerrell Freeman as the only UMHB players to sign with the NFL. Freeman signed as an undrafted free agent in 2008 and recently signed with the Indianapolis Colts after a standout three-year career with the Saskatchewan Rough Riders of the Canadian Football League. Menkin will report to the Texans for rookie minicamp on May 14th.
“I really think this is God’s will and he has had such a role, because the NFL wasn’t even really a dream of mine when I was younger,” Menkin said. “He brought me to UMHB and really helped me take steps from there. I also remember seeing the All-American plaques on the wall as a freshman and telling my dad and coaches that I would be up there one day. As a senior it became more real and I’ve worked really hard this year and then it was just a matter of meeting the right people and having things fall into place. It has been a fateful journey and this is just such a blessing for me.”
Menkin was a four-year letterman for the Cru as an offensive tackle. He earned AFCA All-American honors as a senior and was also named American Southwest Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year this season. Menkin was one of the highest-grading offensive linemen for the Cru and helped clear the way for a UMHB rushing attack that averaged 291.0 rushing yards per game and 5.5 yards per rushing attempt. The Cru averaged 43.4 points and 451.6 yards of total offense per contest. Menkin also ranked among the team leaders in knockdowns during the season. He was also a First Team ASC All-Conference selection and earned First Team All-South Region honors from D3football.com this season. Menkin was a two-time ASC All-Conference selection during career.
“We are very excited for Nate and he has really taken this opportunity and made the most of it,” Cru head coach Pete Fredenburg said. “He had a burning desire to get to the NFL and worked so hard to transform himself and earn this chance. We wish him the best and are thrilled for him to have the opportunity.”
The Cru posted a 48-6 overall record during Menkin’s four years in the program. UMHB won or shared four ASC Championships and advanced to one National Semifinal and two National Quarterfinal games during his playing days.