OT Austin Holtz (Ball State) - UDFA
The Detroit Lions signed three undrafted offensive linemen this year. One of them is Ball State offensive tackle Austin Holtz, who was a multi-year starter in college for the Cardinals.
In Holtz's freshman season (2008), which he spent redshirting, Ball State's coach was Brady Hoke, who is now the head coach at Michigan.
What the experts are saying
Holtz, a 2012 All-Mid-American Conference First Team selection, started all 13 games for the Cardinals this season and 33 contests in his career. He anchored an offensive line that helped quarterback Keith Wenning throw for 3,003 yards and become only the second quarterback in Ball State history to throw for over 7,000 career yards.
In addition, the offensive line blocked for Jahwan Edwards, who rushed for 1,410 yards, which was the third best single-season total in Ball State history. Ball State's offensive line ranks eighth in the nation for fewest sacks allowed in the latest NCAA statistics. The Cardinals' offensive line allowed only 0.83 sacks per game in 2012. - Ball State football
Outlook for 2013
Given that Riley Reiff, Corey Hilliard and Jason Fox are the only returning offensive tackles on the roster, Holtz could make the team as the final backup at the position. His chances of making the team will greatly go down if the Lions sign a veteran tackle, but he could still stick around as a member of the practice squad if that does happen.