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Many Locals Begin Journey To Make NFL Roster

Darwin Thompson #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs rushes in for a touchdown during the third quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Arrowhead Stadium on August 10, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The first week of the NFL preseason gives many players who are just getting started in the NFL or trying to get into the league and make the 53-man roster.

That is the case for many players with ties to the state of Utah.

That list is big right now with 19 Utes, 8 Cougars, 14 Aggies, 2 Wildcats, 5 Thunderbirds and 6 former high school football players.

Here is how the locals did after the first week of NFL preseason action:

Former Utes

Pita Taumoepenu, LB, Arizona Cardinals

Taumoepenu posted two tackles, including one sack and a tackle-for-loss as the Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Chargers 17-13.
Next Up: vs. Oakland Raiders, Thursday at 6 p.m. on ESPN

Sam Tevi, OL, Los Angeles Chargers

Tevi started at right tackle and participated in 40 offensive snaps in the Chargers’ 17-13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
Next Up: vs. New Orleans Saints, Sunday at 2 p.m. on CBS.

Star Lotulelei, DL, Buffalo Bills

Lotulelei had one tackle and a pass deflection in the Bills’ 24-16 win over the Indianapolis Colts.
Next Up: at Carolina Panthers, Friday at 5 p.m.

Nate Orchard, DE, Miami Dolphins

The former Ute had one sack in the Dolphins 34-27 win over the Atlanta Falcons.

Next Up: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Friday at 5:30 p.m.

Corrion Ballard, S, Carolina Panthers

Ballard tied for the team-high with 5 tackles as the Panthers beat the Chicago Bears 23-13.
Next Up: vs. Buffalo Bills, Friday at 5 p.m.

Jared Norris, LB, Carolina Panthers

The former Ute picked up two tackles in the Panthers 23-13 win over the Chicago Bears.
Next Up: vs. Buffalo Bills, Friday at 5 p.m.

Kylie Fitts, DE, Chicago Bears

Fitts had a tackle in the Bears’ 23-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
Next Up: at New York Giants, Friday at 5:30 p.m. on NFL Network.

Devontae Booker, RB, Denver Broncos

Booker had two carries for seven yards, while returning one kickoff for 12 yards in the Broncos’ 22-14 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Next Up: vs. San Francisco 49ers, Monday at 6 p.m. on ESPN.

Tim Patrick, WR, Denver Broncos

Patrick recorded one reception or nine yards as the Broncos lost to the Seattle Seahawks 22-14.
Next Up: vs. San Francisco 49ers, Monday at 6 p.m. on ESPN.

Garett Bolles, OL, Denver Broncos

Bolles started at left tackle and played 17 snaps on offense in the Broncos’ 22-14 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Next Up: vs. San Francisco 49ers, Monday at 6 p.m. on ESPN.

Marquise Blair, S, Seattle Seahawks

Blair made his NFL debut and tied the team-high with 6 tackles, including 3 solo takedowns, one tackle-for-loss and a hit on the quarterback as the Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos 22-14. He was also flagged for a very hard hit on a receiver.

Next Up: at Minnesota Vikings, Sunday at 6 p.m. on FOX.

Cody Barton, LB, Seattle Seahawks

Barton made his NFL debut with 5 tackles in the Seahawks’ 22-14 win over the Denver Broncos.
Next Up: at Minnesota Vikings, Sunday at 6 p.m. on FOX.

Marcus Williams, S, New Orleans Saints

Williams started at free safety and played 12 defensive snaps in the Saints’ 34-25 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
Next Up: at Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday at 2 p.m. on CBS.

Matt Gay, K, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Gay made his NFL debut and connected on his only field goal attempt from 55 yards in the Buccaneers’ 30-28 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Next Up: vs. Miami Dolphins, Friday at 5:30 p.m.

Hunter Dimick, DE, Kansas City Chiefs

Dimick played 16 snaps on the defensive line, but didn’t record any stats in the Chiefs’ 38-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Next Up: at Pittsburgh Steelers, Saturday at 5:30 p.m. on NFL Network.

Dominique Hatfield, CB, Los Angeles Rams

Hatfield had two tackles in the Rams’ 14-3 loss to the Oakland Raiders.
Next Up: vs. New Orleans Saints, Sunday at 2 p.m. on CBS.

Mitch Wishnowsky, P, San Francisco 49ers

Wishnowsky punted the ball six times for 297 yards. One punt was a touchback, three landed inside the 20-yard line and his longest kick was 64 yards in the 49ers 17-9 win over the Dallas Cowboys.

Next Up: at Denver Broncos, Monday at 6 p.m. on ESPN.

Jackson Barton, OL, Indianapolis Colts

Barton played 65 snaps, which was 86 percent of the snaps on offense in his NFL debut. The Colts lost to the Buffalo Bills 24-16.
Next Up: vs. Cleveland Browns, Saturday at 2 p.m. on NFL Network.

Tony Bergstrom, OL, Washington Redskins

Bergstrom played 76 percent of the offensive snaps as a guard on the offensive line in the Redskins’ 30-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns.
Next Up: vs. Cincinnati Bengals, Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

 

Former Cougars

Michael Davis, Los Angeles Chargers

Was a starter at nickel for the Chargers in their loss against the Arizona Cardinals.  Davis recorded three tackles in the game. LA defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said Davis was someone who stood out on the defensive side for the Chargers.  Davis is looking to be the full-time starter at cornerback this season for LA.

Next Up: vs. New Orleans Saints, Sunday at 2 p.m. on CBS.

John Denney, Miami Dolphins

Started at Long Snapper and played the first half for the ‘Phins. Denney is entering his 15th season in Miami.
Next Up: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Friday at 5:30 p.m.

Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints

The former BYU quarterback only played at QB for the Saints in their preseason loss against the Vikings.  Hill played the entire second half and led the Saints in rushing with 45 yards on the ground. His highlight play was a 33-yard touchdown pass to Lil’Jordan Humphrey.

Next Up: at Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday at 2 p.m. on CBS.

Corbin Kaufusi, New Orleans Saints

The rookie undrafted defensive end played in 34-percent of the Saints defensive snaps with a total of 21.  Didn’t record any tackles.
Next Up: at Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday at 2 p.m. on CBS.

Bronson Kaufusi, New York Jets

Kaufusi started at defensive end for the Jets in the preseason opener against the crosstown foe, the New York Giants.  Kaufusi recorded one tackle. He did have a sack that forced a fumble, but the play was overturned. The former BYU star played 25 snaps at defensive end.

Next Up: at Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday at 2 p.m. on CBS.

Daniel Sorensen, Kansas City Chiefs

Started at free safety in the Chiefs 38-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. “Dirty Dan” played 28-percent of the Chiefs defensive snaps.
Next Up: at Pittsburgh Steelers, Saturday at 5:30 p.m. on NFL Network.

Sione Takitaki, Cleveland Browns

Takitaki started at middle linebacker in replace of usual Browns starter Joe Schobert who was away due to personal reasons. In the start, Takitaki had three tackles and played 46 total defensive snaps in the Browns win over the Washington Redskins.

Next Up: at Indianapolis Colts, Saturday at 2 p.m. on NFL Network.

De’Ondre Wesley, Buffalo Bills

Wesley was one of the first offensive linemen off the Bills bench. The five-year NFL veteran played in 44 of Buffalo’s snaps in the 24-16 win over the Indianapolis Colts. Wesley also recorded a tackle on a Colts defender who scooped up a Matt Barkley fumble.
Next Up: at Carolina Panthers, Friday at 5 p.m.

 

Former Aggies

Maurice Alexander, S, Buffalo Bills

The former Aggie had a pass deflection in the Bills’ 24-16 win over the Indianapolis Colts.
Next Up: at Carolina Panthers, Friday at 5 p.m.

Jalen Davis, CB, Miami Dolphins

Davis finished with one pass deflection as the Dolphins beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-27
Next Up: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Friday at 5:30 p.m.

Devantae Mays, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Mays had 8 carries for 20 yards, while also getting one reception for two yards in the Jaguars 29-0 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Next Up: vs. Philadelphia Eagles, Thursday at 5 p.m.

Dax Raymond, TE, Chicago Bears

Raymond finished with one catch for six yards in the Bears’ 23-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
Next Up: at New York Giants, Friday at 5:30 p.m. on NFL Network.

Kyler Fackrell, LB, Green Bay Packers

Fackrell had one tackle in the Packers’ 28-26 win over the Houston Texans.
Next Up: at Baltimore Ravens, Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

Hunter Sharp, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

Sharp had two catches for 22 yards as well as a tackle in the Bengals 38-17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Next Up: at Washington Redskins, Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

Nick Vigil, LB, Cincinnati Bengals

Vigil finished with one tackle as the Bengals lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 38-17.
Next Up: at Washington Redskins, Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

Darwin Thompson, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

Thompson had a great debut with the Chiefs. He had 5 carries for 22 yards, one catch for 29 yards and a touchdown and two tackles as the Chiefs beat the Cincinnati Bengals 38-17.

Next Up: at Pittsburgh Steelers, Saturday at 5:30 p.m. on NFL Network.

JoJo Natson, WR, Los Angeles Rams

Natson had one catch for four yards in the Rams’ 14-3 loss to the Oakland Raiders.
Next Up: vs. Dallas Cowboys, Saturday at 8 p.m. on NFL Network.

Jalen Greene, WR, Los Angeles Rams

Greene made his NFL debut but didn’t get any catches. However, he was targeted twice as the Rams lost to the Oakland Raiders 14-3.
Next Up: vs. Dallas Cowboys, Saturday at 8 p.m. on NFL Network.

Nevin Lawson, CB, Oakland Raiders

Lawson led the Raiders in tackles with six, including four solo tackles and one for loss to go with his pass deflection as the Raiders beat the Los Angeles Rams 14-3.
Next Up: at Arizona Cardinals, Thursday at 6 p.m. on ESPN.

Dallin Leavitt, S, Oakland Raiders

Leavitt recorded two tackles in the Raiders’ 14-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams.
Next Up: at Arizona Cardinals, Thursday at 6 p.m. on ESPN.

Tyler Larsen, OL, Chicago Bears

Larsen started at guard in the Bears’ 23-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers. He played 25 snaps, 42 percent of the offense.
Next Up: at New York Giants, Friday at 5:30 p.m. on NFL Network.

Patrick Scales, LS, Chicago Bears

Scales played seven special teams snaps as the Bears lost to the Carolina Panthers 23-13.
Next Up: at New York Giants, Friday at 5:30 p.m. on NFL Network.

 

Former Wildcats

Andrew Vollert, TE, Los Angeles Chargers

Vollert hauled in one catch for 25 yards in the Chargers 17-13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
Next Up: vs. New Orleans Saints, Sunday at 2 p.m. on CBS.

Iosua Opeta, OL, Philadelphia Eagles

Opeta played 24 snaps at the guard position on the offensive line, participating in 42 percent of the offensive snaps in the Eagles 27-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans.
Next Up: at Jacksonville Jaguars, Thursday at 5 p.m.

 

Former Thunderbirds

Miles Killebrew, S, Detroit Lions

Killebrew tied for the most tackles for the Lions with six, including five solo tackles and one for loss as they lost to the New England Patriots 31-3.
Next Up: at Houston Texans, Saturday at 6 p.m.

LeShaun Sims, CB, Tennessee Titans

Sims picked up three tackles, including one sack and a hit on the quarterback in the Titans 27-10 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Next Up: vs. New England Patriots, Saturday at 5 p.m.

Josh Thornton, CB, Carolina Panthers

Thornton had one tackle and a pass deflection in the Panthers 23-13 win over the Chicago Bears.
Next Up: vs. Buffalo Bills, Friday at 5 p.m.

Brock Miller, P, Los Angeles Rams

Miller punted the ball four times for 195 total yards. His longest punt was 52 yards and two of his four punts landed inside the 20-yard line.
Next Up: vs. Dallas Cowboys, Saturday at 8 p.m. on NFL Network.

James Cowser, DE, Oakland Raiders

Cowser finished with two tackles in the Raiders’ 14-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams.
Next Up: at Arizona Cardinals, Thursday at 6 p.m. on ESPN.

 

Former High School Stars

Luke Falk, QB, New York Jets

Logan High School star went 9-for-11 passing for 69 yards and 1 touchdown, while racking up 10 rushing yards on 2 carries in the Jets 31-22 loss to the New York Giants.
Next Up: at Atlanta Falcons, Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

John Ursua, WR, Seattle Seahawks

The Cedar High School product hauled in one catch for 23 yards in the Seahawks 22-14 win over the Denver Broncos.
Next Up: at Minnesota Vikings, Sunday at 6 p.m. on FOX.

Porter Gustin, LB, New Orleans Saints

The Salem Hills High School star had one tackle in his NFL debut as the Saints lost to the Minnesota Vikings 34-25.
Next Up: at Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday at 2 p.m. on CBS.

Marcus Kemp, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

The Layton High School product had one catch for nine yards in the Chiefs’ 38-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Next Up: at Pittsburgh Steelers, Saturday at 5:30 p.m. on NFL Network.

Dalton Schultz, TE, Dallas Cowboys

The Bingham High School star recorded two catches for 13 yards in the Cowboys’ 17-9 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
Next Up: vs. Los Angeles Rams, Saturday at 8 p.m. on NFL Network.

Xavier Su’a-Filo, OL, Dallas Cowboys

The Timpview High School product started at right guard and played every snap on offense in the Cowboys’ 17-9 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
Next Up: vs. Los Angeles Rams, Saturday at 8 p.m. on NFL Network.