Kyle Negrete has gone from a USC transfer and walk-on who earned an athletic scholarship to the newest member of the Chicago Bears. He signed a free agent deal with Chicago on Monday, and will compete for a job with the team this coming season.
In 2011, Negrete earned a bit of fame when he brilliantly executed a fake put that kept the Trojans’ drive alive against the Washington Huskies. The Trojans had made little advancement on their previous drive, and facing a three-and-out, Negrete and the special teams unit took the field. When the ball was snapped, he tucked the ball under his right arm and sprinted for daylight, ultimately being brought down 35 yards later. The Coliseum crowd erupted; USC scored at the end of the drive, and the fake punt catalyzed the 40-17 shellacking the Trojans gave the Huskies.
As a junior, his punts averaged 40.1 yards and that number increased to 44.86 during his senior year, before he was hampered a bit with a knee injury. He maintained a strong presence off the field too, known for his regular involvement in organizations like Best Buddies in the local community as well as his frequent mission trips to Nigeria and Haiti.
With Negrete signing a deal with the Bears, nine of USC’s 12 Trojans that entered the NFL Draft currently have pro jobs. Cornerback Tony Burnett, defensive lineman Zach Kusnir, and safety Drew McCallister are still awaiting their shot at the NFL. No word on Kusnir or Burnett yet, but McCallister tweeted on Sunday that he has tryouts with the Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints.