Boise State's Tjong-A-Tjoe, Boldewijn sign as free agents

Burks also receives a deal, while former QB Southwick gets tryout.

ccripe@idahostatesman.comMay 11, 2014 

From Amsterdam to Boise to the NFL - times two.

Former Boise State defensive tackle Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe and wide receiver Geraldo Boldewijn agreed to free-agent contracts Saturday evening after the NFL Draft.

Tjong-A-Tjoe will compete for a job with the San Diego Chargers. Boldewijn will do the same with the Atlanta Falcons.

Wide receiver Aaron Burks also agreed to terms, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And quarterback Joe Southwick was invited to participate in the Oakland Raiders' rookie minicamp later this week on a tryout basis, agent Adam Snyder said.

Tjong-A-Tjoe (Boise High) and Boldewijn (Capital) left their home country to play high school football in Boise as seniors. Five years later, they were senior starters at Boise State.

"It's been a crazy ride," Tjong-A-Tjoe said. "I'm glad it worked out. I'm just really blessed. There are a lot of people that helped me get to the place where I'm at right now. It was worth it."

Said Boldewijn: "It's crazy. You think about all the stuff we've done to get to where we're at today. I started off just in Amsterdam playing flag football and some other football and having fun and ended up coming here for high school and ended up getting offered by Boise State. And now all of a sudden I get a chance to play for an NFL team. … It's too cool."

The Chargers were the only team Tjong-A-Tjoe visited before the draft. He received other interest Saturday, he said, but he liked the fit in San Diego.

"They didn't have a lot of D-tackles," Tjong-A-Tjoe said. "That's a good situation for me to make a roster. If I come in and work hard, it's a good opportunity for me."

Boldewijn also received interest from multiple teams, he said, but he decided the Falcons offered the best situation.

The free-agent offers came at the end of a long day with the draft lasting more than 7 hours.

"It was a regular day until you get that call," Boldewijn said. "Now I'm already packing my clothes."

Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat

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