LAKE FOREST – A few natives of the Chicago area are going to get their chance to show the Bears what they can do this weekend at Halas Hall.
Three players who played their high school football in the Chicago are are among those who’ve been brought in for the team’s rookie mini-camp that’s set to take place Friday through Sunday in Lake Forest.
These are players who’ve either signed a deal with the Bears as an undrafted free agent or have received an invite from the team to the mini-camp.
Andre Szmyt, a native of Lake Forest and former kicker for Syracuse, has signed with the Bears as an undrafted free agent, the school announced on Saturday. A placekicker and punter for Vernon Hills High School, he had a quick start to his career with the Orange as he won the Lou Groza Award for the nation’s best kicker in his redshirt freshman year of 2018.
This past season, Szmyt connected on 20-of-26 field goals for Syracuse and was a perfect 40-for-40 on point-after attempts.
Donny Navarro III, a native of Naperville and wide receiver, has been given an invite to the Bears’ rookie minicamp, per Northwestern, where he played the last collegiate season.
The former standout at Neuqua Valley High School had a lengthy college career that began at Valparaiso in 2017. He then transferred to Illinois, where he sat out the 2018 season due to transfer rules, then played for the Illini the next three seasons.
As a graduate student, he transferred to Northwestern, where he made 31 catches for 247 yards and two touchdowns in 12 games.
Chris Toth, a Lockport native and offensive tackle for Aurora University, has received an invite to the Bears’ rookie mini-camp.
A former Sandburg High School standout, the lineman was an American Football Coaches Association Division III All-American in 2022 and received an invite to the Hula Bowl in January in Orlando.