Former Austin star signs deal with Chicago Bears

Apr. 30—A former Austin football player will get the chance to prove he belongs at the highest level.

Following the 2024 NFL draft this past weekend, Reddy Steward, who played for the Black Bears from 2015-18 and most recently at Troy University, has signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Chicago Bears.

"It's very exciting. As a coach you always want to see your guys be able to continue your career for as long as they possibly can," Austin head coach Jeremy Perkins said. ""This is not only great for him and his family, but also for Austin football."

Having signed as an undrafted free agent, Steward will face a bigger challenge than draftees as he will work to prove he belongs on the Bears' roster this summer and fall. However, Perkins said he knows his former player is up to the challenge.

"Reddy has always been a hard worker and has the right mindset needed to succeed," Perkins said. "This is a great opportunity, and I know he's going to make the most of it."

In five seasons at Troy where he played cornerback, Steward had 181 tackles, 2 1/2 sacks, nine interceptions and 42 pass deflections. He was also a two-time All-Sun Belt First-Team honoree. This past season, he had 50 tackles and picked off four passes.

Perkins said he believes Steward will prove that he not only belongs in the NFL, but that he can be a valuable player.

"He's smart, athletic and has tremendous instinct as a cornerback," Perkins said. "He's a competitor, and he does things the right way." or 256-340-2395. Twitter @CalebSuggs2