LOCALS IN THE NFL

Local Universities Have Alumni Balling Out In NFL To Be Thankful For

Nov 28, 2019, 6:00 AM | Updated: 9:44 am
Jamaal Williams - Green Bay Packers v Los Angeles Chargers...
Jamaal Williams #30 of the Green Bay Packers plays with the crowd during the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Dignity Health Sports Park on November 03, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – BYU, Southern Utah, Utah, Utah State, and Weber State each have former players currently balling out while playing in the NFL and that’s something each of those universities can be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

More than 35 players from these schools now play at the “next level” and proudly represent the state of Utah and their old stomping grounds.

Here are the alums each university should be most thankful for this Thanksgiving.

BYU – Jamaal Williams (Green Bay Packers)

Jamaal Williams is a great representative of Brigham Young University. He’s not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ 0f Latter-day Saints which owns and operates BYU. He came to Provo, Utah from Rialto, California as a teenager with no real ties to the Cougars. He had his ups and downs during his time at BYU but ended up leaving as the school’s all-time leading rusher.

After getting drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the former Cougar struggled to find his place on the depth chart. Fellow 2017 Packer draftee, Aaron Jones solidified himself as the team’s starting running back while Williams battled injuries. A coaching change took place in Wisconsin this past offseason and Williams is flourishing under a new system in his third NFL season.

Williams is currently having the best season of his young career with the Packers. Through 10 games, the BYU great has over 530 yards of total offense and six touchdowns. Green Bay currently sits atop the NFC North division with an 8-3 record.

BYU can be proud of Williams’ success on the field as well as his love for the school off the field. While traveling to games this season, Williams has been photographed reppin’ the Cougs.

The BYU great spent his bye week this season back in Provo and attended the Cougar’s game against Idaho State.

The Cougars should be thankful for Jamaal Williams this Thanksgiving.

Southern Utah – LeShaun Sims (Tennessee Titans)

LeShaun Sims came to Cedar City from Las Vegas, Nevada and turned himself into an NFL cornerback. He’s now in his fourth season with the Tennessee Titans after getting drafted in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

The former Thunderbird has played in 11 games this season including one start. He’s recorded 24 tackles and 16 solo tackles this season. He also posted a pass breakup in a win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Sims and the Titans are currently in second place in the AFC South division and in the hunt for a playoff spot.

LeShaun Sims is an alum that the T-Birds should be grateful for this Thanksgiving.

Utah – Marcus Williams (New Orleans Saints)

Marcus Williams has been a beast for the Saints this season. The former Ontario, California native came to Salt Lake City and played in 13 games as a freshman including six starts. During his time with the Utes, Williams honed his skills and became a second draft selection by the New Orleans Saints in 2017.

Unfortunately for Williams his rookie season didn’t end on the highest of notes. The Saints finished atop the NFC South division in 2017 and were a favorite to advance in the postseason and even make the Super Bowl. During the divisional round of the NFC playoffs, Williams and the Saints faced the Minnesota Vikings. Williams played well recording 5 tackles, two pass breakups, and an interception. However, on the final play of the game, with the Saints up a point, Williams missed a tackle on Vikings wideout Stefon Diggs who ran the ball 61-yards for the game-winning touchdown.

Since then, Williams has rebounded and played great each of the past two seasons. Over the past 27 games, the former Utah defensive back has recorded 80 solo tackles, 15 pass breakups, and 6 interceptions. Earlier this season, Williams ran an interception back for his first NFL touchdown.

The Saints currently lead the division with a 9-2 record.

Williams is a great representative of the school and another great defensive product from the Utes.

Marcus Williams is a former Ute that Utah should be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Utah State – Bobby Wagner (Seattle Seahawks)

Bobby Wagner has been a monster throughout his NFL career. The former Aggie was a four-year starter during his time in Logan. He won the Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year award as a senior in 2011.

Wagner turned himself from an under-recruited player to a second-round selection during his time in Cache Valley. The Aggie linebacker was chosen by the Seattle Seahawks with the 47th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Earlier this season, the former Aggie became Seattle’s franchise all-time leading tackler. In his eight seasons, Wagner has posted 613 total tackles and 406 solo tackles.

In 2019, the Seahawks’ linebacker has played and started 11 games. He’s recorded 103 total tackles, 2.0 sacks, 3 pass breakups, and a forced fumble.

The Seahawks currently sit in second place in the NFC West with a 9-2 record.

Utah State should be thankful for the success story that is the Seattle linebacker, Bobby Wagner, this Thanksgiving.

Weber State – Taron Johnson (Buffalo Bills)

Taron Johnson came to Ogden, Utah from Sacramento, California after Weber State was the only college to offer him a scholarship. After his senior season in 2017, he was named the Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

Johnson was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. The former Wildcat’s rookie season was cut short due to injury but he’s responded nicely in 2019.

The Bills cornerback has played in seven games this season including four starts. He’s recorded 17 solo tackles, 3 pass breakups, and a forced fumble.

Buffalo is currently second in the AFC East standings with an 8-3 record.

Taron Johnson is a former Wildcat that Weber State should be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Locals In the NFL

JAMAAL-WILLIAMS-PENEI-SEWELL-DETROIT-LIONS-GUESS-WHO...
Kyle Ireland

Instant Replay: Jamaal Williams, Penei Sewell Play Lions ‘Guess Who?’ Game

Local players and NFL teammates Jamaal Williams and Penei Sewell had fun playing against each other in a game of Detroit Lions "Guess Who?"
1 day ago
NFL-Pro-Bowl-Football-Logo...
Kyle Ireland

Tyler Huntley Helps AFC Take Early Lead Over Fred Warner, NFC At Pro Bowl Games

Former Utah QB Tyler Huntley helped the AFC take an early lead over former BYU LB Fred Warner and the NFC at the Pro Bowl Games.
2 days ago
quarterback signs autographs at NFL Pro Bowl...
Jeremy Mauss

Putting Draft Picks On The Line Would Make Pro Bowl More Meaningful

Unrivaled has an idea to make the Pro Bowl a whole lot better.
3 days ago
Mohamoud-Diabate-Pac12-Championship-Game...
Michelle Bodkin

Updated: Utes Making Positive Impressions Early At The East-West Shrine Bowl

Tavion Thomas and Mohamoud Diabate are representing the Utes this week at the East-West Shrine Bowl and making some positive impressions.
3 days ago
Tyler-Huntley-Baltimore-Ravens-NFL...
Chandler Holt

Ravens QB Tyler Huntley Named To AFC Pro Bowl Roster

Former Utah Ute Tyler Huntley will participate in the Pro Bowl on Sunday. He was named to the team as an injury alternate.
4 days ago
Marcus-Kemp-Kansas-City-Chiefs-NFL...
Kyle Ireland

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes Praises Marcus Kemp For AFC Championship Performance

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes praised former Layton Lancers standout Marcus Kemp for his play during the AFC Championship against the Bengals.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.
Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...
KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.
Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.
ksl sports logos...
KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.
jimmy-buffett-tour-art...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.
Iron Maiden tour...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden returns to Utah in 2022 with The Legacy of the Beast tour.
Local Universities Have Alumni Balling Out In NFL To Be Thankful For