We're tracking all of the Kansas City Chiefs UDFAs here.
While researching information about Yale LB Bobby Abare for this post, I came across a lot of adjectives used to describe undrafted free agents in the NFL.
Hard worker. Intelligent. Excellent preparation. Good instincts.
All of these describe the 131st captain of the Yale football team.
Bobby Abare (that's A-bear) is a 6'2", 220 pound linebacker who came to Yale with his twin brother, Larry. Both Abare's played defense, with Bobby rounding out his Yale career as a linebacker and Larry as a defensive back.
Abare figures linebacker to still be his best shot in the NFL. He had this to say immediately following the NFL draft and his signing by the Chiefs:
“They play a 3-4 defense. Maybe I’ll be a weak-side outside linebacker, but I’ll probably have a chance on special teams or something. I’m a little undersized (6 feet, 2 inches, 220 pounds).”
Undrafted linebackers often make up a good portion of NFL teams' special teams rosters, which Abare would fit in nicely at. Him and his brother Larry were co-special teams players of the year when they were freshman in 2005.
In addition to that award during his freshman year, Abare's career continued the Ivy League tradition of giving out a ridiculous number of awards each season. Including Abare's "serious" awards, here is a list:
First-team All-Ivy; All-New England selection; New Haven Gridiron Club's Yale Defensive Player of the Year; Columbia and Brown game Walter Camp Yale Player of the Game; FB Gazette Defensive Player of Week
First-team All-Ivy and All-New England selection; Yale Defensive Back of the Week award against Dartmouth; Yale Defensive Line award against Brown; Ryan LoProto Award as Yale's Defensive Back of the Year
Buck Buchanan Award Finalist (Top Defensive Player in FCS); AFCA FCS and Walter Camp FCS First-team All-America; Sporting Network Second-team All-American; Bulger Lowe Award (Outstanding Player in New England); First-team All-Ivy and All-New England selection; Ted Blair Award as Yale's Most Valuable Player of the Year
Sheesh that's a lot of awards. They really try to pump up those Yale bios, do they not?
Even though winning Ivy League awards is akin to being a top Dungeons & Dragons player, Abare was a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, which is no joke. You may remember the 2003 Buck Buchanan Award winner...Jared Allen.
Going back to those UDFA qualities, a solid football instinct appears to be Abare's sharpest attribute he honed at Yale.
His best quality, teammates and rivals attest, is his football instinct, his ability to sense what's likely to happen as soon as (if not before) the ball is snapped.
"Someone once asked me what the play call was," Abare says. "I said, 'I don't know. Just go play.' "
While Abare will actually need to know the plays if he ever makes it in the NFL, this is what finding undrafted college free agents is all about - finding marginally talented guys who want to work their butts off to even sniff a training camp roster. Special teams play is purely hustle and that's why you want guys like Abare on your side.
If Abare does somehow beat the odds and make the Kansas City Chiefs 53-man roster this September, he would join a limited number of Yale players to make it in the NFL. Those include most famously former 49ers tight end Eric Johnson and current Buffalo Bills head coach Dick Jauron.
Click over for a recent interview of Abare right before the draft.
And I know we have some Yale grads around here somewhere so chime in with your Bobby Abare knowledge.