Sterling Weatherford is the latest Mid-American Conference prospect to be signed to an NFL roster as an undrafted free agent, signing with the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday evening.
Weatherford, a native of nearby Cicero, Indiana, will start his professional career just 45 minutes away from home.
The signing was first reported by Zach Hicks of Horseshoe Huddle via Twitter and later confirmed independently by multiple sources.
The hybrid defensive back/linebacker was an important part of the Miami RedHawks defense, which dominated the MAC in his four years at the helm of the center. Weatherford was at the center of Miami’s domination, finishing with 209 tackles, 10.5 tackles-for-loss, three sacks, four interceptions, 19 passes defensed, two fumbles forced and three fumble recoveries over his four seasons in Red and White.
2019 was his breakout season, with 98 tackles, 5.5 tackles-for-loss, two sacks, an interception and 10 passes defensed during the RedHawks’ MAC title campaign. Weatherford did not make it onto the all-MAC team in 2019, but it was a superb effort which propelled Miami to the top of the league.
At the professional level, Weatherford is a bit of a tweener, as his size dictates his playing at safety (six-foot-four, 215 lbs.), but his football IQ and run-gap discipline shows good potential at the linebacker role, something which he occupied with aplomb during the Senior Bowl.
Indianapolis will have to make a decision early, as Weatherford’s ceiling will be dictated by what the team decides to do with him moving forward. Indy could take advantage of his Swiss Army knife tendencies and play Weatherford at four different spots as he did in college, or have him specialize in one position and form him up.
Regardless of the choice, Weatherford will need some seasoning before he sees a full-time role on the roster, and will likely begin his career as a special teams contributor or reserve piece.
In selecting Weatherford, the Colts will get an intelligent player who has immediate athletic upside, and projects as an eventual starting-level prospect at whichever position he ultimately falls into.