You can be excused if you have never heard of the Wichita Falls Nighthawks before. Apparently the Green Bay Packers are scouring all levels of football for possibilities at linebacker in light of the releases of Brad Jones and A.J. Hawk, and they have found someone worth looking at on the roster of the Indoor Football League team.
The Nighthawks, who play in the same league as the Green Bay Blizzard, announced on their Facebook page that linebacker Josh Francis signed a contract with the Packers late on Wednesday. The transaction will likely be posted to the NFL's transaction wire on Thursday afternoon. Check out the post here:
Francis played his college football at West Virginia, and completed his college eligibility after the 2012 season. During the 2013 draft process, he worked out at the Mountaineers' Pro Day, where he measured in at 5' 11-3/4" and 228 pounds, ran a 4.65-second forty-yard dash, and put up 25 reps on the bench press. Though he played outside linebacker in Morgantown, his size makes him a clear candidate to play inside linebacker in the Packers' 3-4 system.
A junior college transfer, Francis' best season was his senior year when he posted 57 total tackles, 15 tackles for loss, and 4.5 sacks, adding a forced fumble as well.
As far as highlights, the Nighthawks posted this video on Wednesday as well, which puts Francis' athleticism on display:
UPDATE: Francis' signing was made official by the NFL's official transaction list on Thursday, March 5th.
(Editor's note: this post was originally published on February 26th.)