LB Jarrett Grace's comeback adds another page, signs with Bears

ND Insider Staff Report
ND Insider

Ten days after completing a tryout with the Chicago Bears, former Notre Dame linebacker Jarrett Grace was added to the roster.

The 6-foot-2, 253-pounder signed with the NFL team Wednesday as a rookie free agent, while linebacker Danny Mason was released by the team to clear space on the roster.

Grace’s signing means each of the 14 former Notre Dame players in the 2016 draft class who pursued a career in pro football have found their way onto an NFL 90-man training camp roster.

Seven players were drafted April 28-30, while five signed right after the draft as undrafted free agents. Defensive end Ishaq Williams (Giants) and Grace had the longest odds, having to go through the tryout process to try to secure a contract. And both did.

Grace was ND’s starting middle linebacker in 2013, when on Oct. 5 of that season he suffered career-threatening leg injuries in a win over Arizona State. He did not see his next game action until the 2015 opener with Texas.

Grace’s most productive game post-injury was his last one. He recorded nine tackles, while filling in for an injured Jaylon Smith, In ND’s 44-28 Fiesta Bowl loss to Ohio State on Jan. 1.

A recap of Notre Dame football’s rookies in the pros:

• Ronnie Stanley, OT, Baltimore Ravens, Round 1 draft pick.

• Will Fuller, WR, Houston Texans, Round 1 draft pick.

• Jaylon Smith, LB, Dallas Cowboys, Round 2 draft pick.

• Nick Martin, C, Houston Texans, Round 2 draft pick.

• KeiVarae Russell, CB, Kansas City Chiefs, Round 3 draft pick.

• C.J. Prosise, RB, Seattle Seahawks, Round 3 draft pick.

• Sheldon Day, DT, Jacksonville Jaguars, Round 5 draft pick.

• Chris Brown, WR, Dallas Cowboys, undrafted free agent.

• Amir Carlisle, WR, Arizona Cardinals, undrafted free agent.

• Matthias Farley, S, Arizona Cardinals, undrafted free agent.

• Romeo Okwara, DE, New York Giants, undrafted free agent.

• Elijah Shumate, S, Tampa bay Buccaneers, undrafted free agent.

• Jarrett Grace, LB, Chicago Bears, signed after rookie tryout.

• Ishaq Williams, DE, New York Giants, signed after rookie tryout.

Notre Dame's Jarrett Grace had a strong Pro Day back in March at ND, and on Wednesday signed with the Chicago Bears as a rookie free agent. (AP Photo/MICHAEL CONROY)