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NFL Fans Should Be Thankful To See Locals Performing Well This Season

Taysom Hill #7 of the New Orleans Saints bites into a turkey leg after their 26-18 win over the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on November 28, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Fans of college and professional football have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season in watching locals in the NFL performing well this season.

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

Dozens of players from these schools now play at the “next level” and proudly represent the state and their alma mater.

Here are the locals in the NFL to be most thankful for this Thanksgiving:

BYU – Taysom Hill (New Orleans Saints)

After starring at BYU and battling through injuries, Taysom Hill found an NFL home with the New Orleans Saints.

In his fourth season, Hill was finally given his first NFL start this season. The former BYU quarterback lead the Saints to a victory 24-9.

This season, the former Cougar standout has gone 22/28 passing for 319 yards.

On the ground, Hill has 44 carries for 237 yards and three touchdowns.

He also has six catches for 74 yards and a touchdown.

Taysom Hill is a success story for not only BYU fans but all football fans.

Utah – Alex Smith (Washington Football Team)

Former Utah quarterback Alex Smith went from being the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft to a player that was traded multiple times.

None of that mattered when he suffered a brutal season-ending leg injury in 2018.

This season, Smith battled his way onto Washington’s active roster and ultimately became the team’s starting quarterback.

To go from nearly losing his life to playing the game of football at the highest level is simply remarkable.

Alex Smith should win the league’s Comeback Player of the Year award. End of story.

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.

Last season, the former Aggie became Seattle’s franchise all-time leading tackler.

Like clockwork, Wagner and the Seahawks are 7-3 and fighting for first place in the NFC West.

Utah State fans should be thankful for the success story that is Bobby Wagner.

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.

This season, Johnson has helped the Bills to a division lead in the AFC East.

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

Southern Utah – LeShaun Sims (Cincinnati Bengals)

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

In his first year with the Bengals, Sims has 29 total tackles, 22 solo tackles, and an interception.

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

Kyle IrelandΒ is a Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com and host of theΒ Yards After College Podcast. Follow him on Twitter (@kyleireland) and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).

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