LOGAN — Former Utah State football player Tarren Lloyd signed a free-agent deal with the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League Monday.

"I'm very excited and grateful for the opportunity that has been given to me," Lloyd said. "I've worked really hard to get to where I'm at, but I'm definitely blessed. The Carolina Panthers were gracious enough to give me a chance to go up there and work my way onto their roster."

A native of Bountiful, Utah (Viewmont HS), Lloyd earned second-team all-Western Athletic Conference honors in 2011. He had 12 catches for 99 yards (8.2 ypc) with two TDs, and was also an integral blocker for the school-record Aggie rushing attack, and nationally ranked total offense.

“Tarren Lloyd is very deserving of this opportunity that he has been given, and I think he will represent Utah State very well,” USU head coach Gary Andersen said. “He is a big, strong, physical tight end, and I know he is going to continue the hard work that he put in throughout his career as an Aggie. He’s going to do well with the Carolina Panthers.”

He had a season-best three catches in two games. The first came on a season-long 25 yards in the season opener against Auburn, and added three catches for 24 yards in the BYU game, boosted by a season-long 12-yard catch. He also had two catches for 21 yards in the San Jose State game.

Lloyd caught his first TD of the season in the win against Wyoming, and snared his second scoring reception of the season in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. He also had a blocked field attempt against San Jose State as time expired to preserve the Aggies’ win Nov. 12.

For his career, Lloyd had 25 catches for 280 yards (11.2 ypc) with four TDs in playing 39 career games, with 16 career starts.

Off the field, Lloyd graduated in December with an interdisciplinary studies degree.

"I'm grateful. I'm excited. It's great for me, and my family and my friends. It's been a long, hard journey, and it's definitely very exciting," he said. "It doesn't happen to everybody, so I'm trying to be grateful and humble as I can about it."

Lloyd is one of two players from the state of Utah and one of two WAC players signed by Carolina. In addition to Lloyd, the Panthers signed BYU offensive lineman Matt Reynolds and Idaho running back Princeton McCarty as part of their 12 undrafted free-agent signings Monday.

The undrafted rookies along with the team's seven draft picks will take part in a rookie mini-camp May 11-13.

Lloyd becomes the fourth member of the 2011 Aggie squad to move on the NFL joining linebacker Bobby Wagner and running back Robert Turbin, who were drafted by the Seattle Seahawks and running back Michael Smith, who was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.