The Eagles added to their roster Monday, signing nine rookie free agents.
The players include defensive end Josh Gaines (Penn State); safety Reshard Langford (Vanderbilt); fullback Marcus Mailei (Weber State); running back Walter Mendenhall (Illinois State); guard Dallas Reynolds (Brigham Young); receiver Brandon Robinson (Boston College); cornerback Courtney Robinson (UMass); kicker Sam Swank (Wake Forest); and running back Marcus Thigpen (Indiana).
Josh Gaines Defensive End, 6-1, 274 Penn State
A defensive co-captain for the Nittany Lions, finished his career with 105 tackles, 8.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries. Became a starter during his sophomore season then rarely came off the field, playing 589 snaps during his junior season and 696 snaps during his red shirt senior campaign. One of 11 children (four brothers and six sisters). Attended Northrop HS in Fort Wayne, IN. Born 9/27/85 in Fort Wayne.
Reshard Langford Safety, 6-1, 213 Vanderbilt
A four-year starting safety at Vanderbilt, posted 247 tackles (16 for a loss) and eight interceptions. Was a two-year captain at Tanner HS in Tanner, AL, as a running back and safety, earning first-team All-State honors in his senior season. Born 2/6/86.
Marcus Mailei Fullback, 6-0, 255 Weber State
A two-time, All-Big Sky selection from 2007-08, recorded 58 receptions for 563 yards and five TDs in his four-year career. Also amassed 161 rushing yards and three TDs. Attended the same high school (Highland) as Eagles LB Stewart Bradley and garnered first-team all-state honors as a senior after rushing for 1,206 yards and 16 TDs. Born on 10/30/86 in Salt Lake City, UT.
Walter Mendenhall Running Back, 6-0, 225 Illinois State
Transferred from Illinois after spending four years with the Illini. In his one season at Illinois State, rushed for 796 yards and 11 touchdowns on 126 carries (6.3 avg in 2008). Earned academic All-Conference honors with a 3.2 GPA at Niles West high school in Skokie, Ill., where he finished his career with over 3,600 all-purpose yards. His younger brother, Rashard, played collegiately at Illinois and was a first round draft pick of the Steelers in 2008. Born 1/22/86.
Dallas Reynolds Guard, 6-4, 314 Brigham Young
Played all five offensive line positions at BYU and twice garnered first-team All-Mountain West honors – as a left tackle his junior year and as a center his senior year. Attended Timpview HS in Provo, Utah, where he was a team captain and a two-time all-state performer. His father, Lance, is the associate head football coach and running backs coach at BYU, and his older brother, Lance, also played center for the Cougars. His two younger brothers, Matt and Houston, have also signed letters of intent to play there after serving their church missions. A former Eagle Scout, Reynolds served a church mission in Seattle and is married to Suzanne Steele. Born 4/23/84.
Brandon Robinson Wide Receiver, 5-10, 198 Boston College
Posted 141 receptions, 2,023 yards and 10 touchdowns in his four-year career at Boston College, earning All-ACC honorable mention honors in his junior season. Attended Breck School in Minneapolis, MN, where he earned All-America and Minnesota Prep Player of the Year honors in 2003. He recorded three touchdown catches, a punt return touchdown and a 32-yard field goal in his final high school game. Also starred in soccer, basketball, tennis and track. Born 8/2/85.
Courtney Robinson Cornerback, 5-11, 200 UMass
A two-time All-CAA selection at cornerback from 2007-08, tallied 101 tackles, five interceptions, 2.5 sacks and 22 knockdowns in his three-year career at UMass. Additionally, is the school's all-time leader in kickoff return yards (1,388) and garnered all-conference accolades as a returner in his sophomore and junior seasons. Appeared in 11 games as a reserve cornerback at UConn in 2005 before transferring to UMass the following year. As the team captain in both football and track at Atlantic high school in Delray Beach, FL, earned first-team all-county honors as a senior defensive back and was the conference champion in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash. Born 12/7/86 in Boynton Beach, FL.
Sam Swank Kicker, 6-2, 201 Wake Forest
Finished as the all-time leading scorer at Wake Forest with 337 points. Set school records with 71 field goals and 124 career PATs. Concluded his career ranked 16th in NCAA history in career scoring. Excelled on the football and soccer teams at Fletcher HS in Neptune Beach, FL. Born 10/5/85 in Lakeland, FL.
Marcus Thigpen Running Back, 5-9, 193 Indiana
Finished second in school history with 2,009 career kick return yards, third with 4,658 career all-purpose yards and tied for eighth with 21 career touchdowns. Became the first player in school history to record 1,000 yards rushing (1,621), receiving (1,028) and by kick return (2,009). Amassed eight career rushes of 70 yards or more. Earned first team All-America honors as a sophomore after leading the nation with a 30.1 yard kick return average and three touchdowns on 24 returns. Captured the Michigan 100-meter crown as a senior track athlete at Mumford HS in Detroit, MI. Also clocked a 10.67 100-meter dash to take sixth at the 2007 Big Ten Championship. Born 5/15/86.