Plenty Of Former Beehive State College Stars Make NFL Cut
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – In the time between the final week of the preseason and the first week of the regular season, NFL rosters are trimmed from 90 to 53 players. Those in the league who are connected to the Beehive State weren’t exempt from the transaction frenzy.
As of Tuesday morning, 22 different NFL clubs have at least one former player from either Utah, BYU, Utah State, SUU and Weber State.
According to ESPN’s database of players from Utah colleges in the NFL, there are 39 such players on NFL rosters. That number is technically 40 since controversial Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon is counted as a former Ute, even though he never played a down for the University of Utah while sitting out the 2011 season after transferring from Baylor.
Of those 39, Utah is the most represented school in the state with 17 former players in the NFL including stars such as Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith, Baltimore Ravens safety Eric Weddle and Denver Broncos offensive tackle Garett Bolles.
Utah State just edges BYU with 10 Aggies in the league, to 9 Cougars. Detroit Lions safety Miles Killebrew and Tennessee Titans cornerback LeShaun Sims are the two former SUU alums in the league, while cornerback Taron Johnson of the Buffalo Bills is the lone Weber State Wildcat.
The Broncos have the most former Utah college stars on their roster with four, all from the University of Utah including Bolles, Devontae Booker, J.J. Dielman and Tim Patrick.
The NFL season will kick off this week as the Philadelphia Eagles, who don’t have a single player from the state of Utah on their roster, look to defend their Super Bowl title. They take on the Atlanta Falcons, and former Utah defensive end Derrick Shelby.
The game will be broadcast locally on KSL, with a 6:20 p.m. kickoff at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.