NFL: Lincoln-Way East grad Dan Giordano signed by Arizona Cardinals
By Pat Disabato email@example.com April 30, 2013 9:36PM
Updated: June 2, 2013 6:26AM
Ever since he strapped on a helmet as a 6-year-old for the Frankfort Falcons youth football organization, Dan Giordano has dreamed of playing in the NFL.
After outstanding careers at Lincoln-Way East and the University of Cincinnati, Giordano will get a chance to fulfill that dream.
The 6-foot-3, 260-pound defensive end/linebacker agreed Sunday to a free-agent contract with the Arizona Cardinals.
“I’m excited,” said Giordano, a Frankfort resident. “The whole process has been a little crazy.”
Arizona called Giordano during the fifth round of Saturday’s NFL draft, informing him that he was one of two players they were going to select with their next pick.
The Cardinals, however, passed.
Similar situations occurred in the sixth round with the Denver Broncos and seventh round with the Oakland Raiders, according to Giordano.
“I knew the possibility of not being drafted was there,” he said. “I was a little disappointed. But only 254 players got drafted.”
When the draft was over, as many as 14 teams contacted Giordano in hopes of signing him to an undrafted collegiate free-agent contract.
He sifted through all of the offers before settling on Arizona.
“Out of all the teams, Arizona offered me the most money and the best future,” said Giordano, a 2008 Lincoln-Way East graduate. “I’m a realistic person. I’m going to work hard and do everything I can to make the 53-man roster.”
Giordano earned All-Big East Conference First-Team honors as a senior, racking up 40 tackles, six tackles for loss and five sacks. During his Bearcats career, he totaled 121 tackles, 30 tackles for loss and 161/2 sacks.
He was a three-year varsity starter at Lincoln-Way East, earning All-Area and SouthWest Suburban Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2007.
Another former Southland football standout, 2009 Homewood-Flossmoor grad Michael Buchanan, was drafted in the seventh round by the New England Patriots.
Buchanan, a 6-foot-5, 255-pound defensive end/linebacker, starred at Illinois, where he was an All-Big Ten Second Team selection his junior and senior seasons.
He had 57 tackles and 41/2 sacks as a senior and was named the Fighting Illini’s Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year. A Homewood resident, Buchanan played youth football for the Blue Island Untouchables.