Agreeing to terms were third-round draft choice QB Matt Schaub (No. 90 overall), fifth-round draft choice DT Chad Lavalais (No. 142 overall) and seventh-round draft choice RB Quincy Wilson (219th overall). The team also announced that it signed free agent DT Daniel Benetka. Terms of the contracts were not announced by the team.
Today’s signings leave first round draft picks CB DeAngelo Hall (No. 8 overall) and WR Michael Jenkins (No. 29 overall) as the only Falcons draft picks who have yet to agree to contract terms. Fourth-round draft choice LB Demorrio Williams and sixth-round draft choice S Etric Pruitt signed on July 13.
Schaub, 6-5, 237 pounds, led Virginia to its second-straight Continental Tire Bowl victory in 2003 after starting the season as a Heisman Trophy candidate. The Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year in 2002, Schaub completed 66.98 percent of his passes during his career, the second-best mark in NCAA Division 1-A history, topped only by Tim Couch of Kentucky (67.15%, 1996-98).
Lavalais, 6-1, 293 pounds, saw his first action for LSU in 2000 after originally signing with the Tigers in 1998 and then again in 1999 (spent 1998-99 working as a prison guard at a correctional facility near his hometown of Marksville while trying to improve his ACT score to be eligible). In 47 games, he registered 202 tackles (128 solos) with 12 sacks for minus-77 yards, 32.5 stops for losses of 152 yards, 50 quarterback pressures, a fumble recovery, ten pass deflections, an interception and a blocked kick.
Wilson, 5-9, 225 pounds, played in 44 games, starting 13 contests for West Virginia. His career statistics include 474 carries for 2,608 yards (5.5 avg) and 20 touchdowns, adding 25 catches for 147 yards (5.9 avg) and one touchdown.
Benetka, 6-4, 295, has played the last four seasons (2001-04) for the Frankfurt Galaxy of NFL Europe. He has also spent time in the training camps of Kansas City (2003), New England (2002), Indianapolis (2001) and San Francisco (2000). In 2003, Benetka saw action in 11 games (four starts) for the NFL Europe World Bowl Champion Frankfurt Galaxy. He recorded 20 tackles (17 solo), 3.0 sacks, one forced fumble and three passes defensed. The German native is a product of the University of Idaho where he was a member of the track and field team. Benetka prepped at Gerhart Hauptman High School in Zwickau, Germany.