Tuesday, September 08, 2020

10 D-III players on NFL rosters



Although some of the faces of Division III football in the NFL are changing, D-III retains its numbers in the league as seven players start the season on 53-man rosters, two on practice squads and one on the reserve/injured list as the 2020 NFL season gets underway.

Two players from the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and seven members of West Region teams are among the 10, and two of them are on the Las Vegas Raiders: tight end Derek Carrier, an eight-year pro out of Beloit, and linebacker Nicholas Morrow, a fourth-year pro from Greenville. Morrow re-signed with the Raiders for $3.26 million this past offseason after a year in which he started eight games and was on the field for 70 percent of the team's snaps.

UW-Platteville alumnus Dan Arnold returns to the Arizona Cardinals after he caught six passes from his tight end spot over the team's final three games last season. He has been proclaimed as a potential breakout candidate in 2020. 

Former St. John's lineman Ben Bartch, who was Division III football's only draftee this past offseason, joins the Jaguars, while standout Hobart alumnus Ali Marpet will remain in a starting role for the Buccaneers and Matt Gono, a Wesley alumnus who got into five games with the Falcons last year, returns to Atlanta.

Brandon Zylstra had a great training camp and enters his third year in the league. It's the second season for the Concordia-Moorhead alumnus at wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers after he caught eight passes in 2019, five of them for first downs.

The Chicago Bears placed former Dubuque cornerback Michael Joseph on injured reserve last week. Former UW-Whitewater receiver Jake Kumerow will start the season on the practice squad of the Buffalo Bills after he was cut by the Packers, and Berry wide receiver Mason Kinsey will start his first NFL season on the Patriots' practice squad.

The Bills cut veteran kicker Stephen Hauschka in August, but the Middlebury graduate could still catch on somewhere this season. Former Monmouth quarterback Alex Tanney, who has stuck around the league for several years but has only had the chance to throw 15 passes, was cut by the New York Giants.

The full list:

Arizona Cardinals -- Dan Arnold, TE, UW-Platteville

Atlanta Falcons -- Matt Gono, T, Wesley

Carolina Panthers -- Brandon Zylstra, WR, Concordia-Moorhead

Jacksonville Jaguars -- Ben Bartch, OL, St. John's

Las Vegas Raiders -- Derek Carrier, TE, Beloit

Las Vegas Raiders -- Nicholas Morrow, LB, Greenville

Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Ali Marpet, G, Hobart

Chicago Bears -- Michael Joseph, CB, Dubuque (reserve/injured)

Practice squad
Buffalo Bills -- Jake Kumerow, WR, UW-Whitewater

New England Patriots -- Mason Kinsey, WR, Berry

Over 60 D-II Alums on NFL Rosters

 Over 60 Alums on NFL Rosters


Over 60 Alums on NFL Rosters

The following D-II players were on active NFL rosters the first week of the 2020 season. It is updated from time to time based upon NFL transactions but is not guaranteed to be accurate to the minute.

Albany State, Grover Stewart, DT, Dolphins
Ashland, Adam Shaheen, TE, Bears
Assumption, Deonte Harris, WR, Saints
Assumption, Zach Triner, LS, Buccaneers
Augustana, C.J. Hamm, RB, Vikings
Bemidji State, Gunner Olszewski, WR, Patriots
Bloomsburg, Matt Feiler, T, Steelers
California (PA), Erik Harris, S, Raiders
Carson-Newman, Chris Jones, P, Cowboys
Charleston, John Cominskey, DE, Falcons
CSU-Pueblo, Morgan Fox, DE, Rams
CSU-Pueblo, Ryan Jensen, C, Buccaneers
CSU-Pueblo, Mike Pennel, DT, Chiefs
East Central, Trinity Benson, WR, Broncos
East Central, David Moore, WR, Seahawks
Ferris State, Austin Edwards, DE, Falcons
Ferris State, Zack Sieler, DT, Dolphins
Ferris State, Malik Taylor, WR, Packers
Ferris State, Tavierre Thomas, DB, Browns
Ferris State, Jason Vander Laan, TE, Saints
Ferris State, Justin Zimmer, DL, Bills
Fort Hays, Nathan Shepherd, DL, Jets
Grand Valley, Brandon Carr, CB, Cowboys
Grand Valley, Matt Judon, LB, Ravens
Grand Valley, Nick Keizer, TE, Chiefs
Humboldt State, Alex Cappa, G, Buccaneers
Kentucky Wesleyan, Keelan Cole, WR,Jaguars
Limestone, Vyncint Smith, WR, Jets
Lenoir-Rhyne, Kyle Dugger, DB, Patriots
Lindenwood, Pierre Desir, CB, Jets
Lindenwood, Jonathan Harris, DL, Broncos
Malone, Ashton Dulin, WR, Colts
Mars Hill, Denzelle Good, OL, Raiders
Midwestern State, Marqui Christian, S, Bears
Minnesota State, Adam Theilen, WR, Panthers
Missouri Southern, Brandon Williams, DT, Ravens
Missouri Western, Greg Zuerlein, K, Cowboys
Newberry, Edmond Robinson, LB, Falcons
North Alabama, Janoris Jenkins, CB, Saints
Pittsburg State, DeVante Bausby, CB, Broncos
Pittsburg State, John Brown. WR, Ravens
Saginaw Valley, Jeff Heath, S, Raiders
Simon Fraser, Rysen John, WR, Giants
Sioux Falls, Dennis Gardeck, LB, Cardinals
Sioux Falls, Trey Pipkins, T, Chargers
Southern Arkansas, Tanner Hudson, TE, Buccaneers
Tarleton State, EJ Speed, LB, Colts
Valdosta State, Stephen Denmark, DB,Bears
Valdosta State, Jody Fortson, WR, Chiefs
Valdosta State, Kenny Moore II, CB, Colts
Virginia State, Trenton Cannon, RB, Panthers
Washburn, Corey Ballentine, CB, Giants
Washburn, Kyle Hinton, G, Vikings
Wayne State (Mich.), Anthony Pittman, LB, Lions
West Alabama, Malcolm Butler, CB, Titans
West Alabama, Tyreek Hill, WR, Chiefs
West Alabama, Seth Roberts, WR, Ravens
West Alabama, Dee Virgin, CB, Lions
West Georgia, Tyrell Adams, LB, Texans
West Georgia, Alex Armah, RB, Panthers
West Georgia, John Hurst, WR, Buccaneers
Western Oregon, Tyrell Williams, WR, Raiders
Western State, Austin Ekeler, RB, Chargers

Monday, May 18, 2020

It’s Time to Add Small School Sunday to the NFL Draft

By Craig Forrestal
NFL Draft Diamonds

NFL Draft Diamonds (@DraftDiamonds) | Twitter

The NFL Draft used to be made up of double-digit rounds before being shortened to the current seven-round format. But aside from being shortened the draft has evolved into its own beast. There was a point where not a single soul put any interest into this event but now it has 365-day coverage culminating in a phenomenal three-day television special in late April.

The draft has evolved and added twists and wrinkles. There was once a time, in the 1930s, where only the five worst teams were allowed to make selections in the second and fourth rounds.

And now I think it’s time for a new twist:

Small School Sunday.

This would add three rounds and a fourth day to the NFL Draft. Rounds 8, 9 and 10 would take place on Sunday and all selections would be from prospects from the FCS, Division 2, Division 3, or NAIA levels along with International and Canadian prospects. This wrinkle would not forbid the Patriots from taking Kyle Dugger at 37 overall or prevent the Panthers from taking Jeremy Chinn with the 64th selection or any other small schoolers from being selected during the seven-round process, but would rather allow for players that dominated lower levels of competition to get a more extensive look with the addition of Small School Sunday.
The NFL had announced plans to host a combine at the Miami Dolphins Practice Facility for HBCU draft-eligible athletes but that event did not transpire as initially planned due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

This Small School Sunday promotes the underdog and everyone loves to root for an underdog. Imagine if Kurt Warner or Tony Romo were selected on Small School Sunday? There are countless other small schoolers that have found NFL success despite facing the undrafted odds. 

Who could have been the next Tony Romo selected in the draft this year on Small School Sunday? Could it have been Roland Rivers III of Slippery Rock? Maybe it could have been Nick Tiano of UT-Chattanooga? There are tons of other QBs that could have gone in those spots as well.

But the Non-FBS levels offer talent all over the field. That’s why the importance of the regional combines and the HBCU combine are so important to the future of the draft.

These additional three rounds would allow scouting departments to flourish. The hunt for under the radar talent and being the team known for finding the small school talent would be a fun thing to see unfold. I think a team like the Baltimore Ravens could dominate this part of the draft. They immediately come to mind as they’ve had an undrafted player make their roster every year for more than a decade and it seems like they draft well every year. Maybe an unexpected team like the Houston Texans finds their niche in these rounds?

This adds to the intrigue of the world’s best real-life soap opera known as the NFL. However the NFL can add intrigue to the brand they examine and consider it. I feel given the YouTube era where players like Tarik Cohen show off crazy skills to get noticed at these lower levels the potential Small School Sunday creates additional opportunities at a roster spot in the NFL.

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

Tuesday, May 05, 2020



Deangelo Wilson

Austin Peay
Samori Toure Montana
Cade Johnson South Dakota St.
Ben Ratzlaff Houston Baptist
Ra'Shaun Henry Saint Francis (PA)
Zabrian Moore Alabama A&M
Isaiah Weston UNI
Donnie Corley Texas Southern
Lonnie Moore IV Monmouth
Tyshaun James Central Conn. St.
Stacy Chukwumezie Northern Ariz.
Cyron Sutton McNeese
Harry Ballard Ark.-Pine Bluff
De'Mo Burroughs South Carolina St.
Pierre Williams Sacramento St.
Terrance Greene Jr. Monmouth
Austin Mitchell Southeastern La.
Talolo Limu-Jones Eastern Wash.
Raleigh Webb The Citadel
Lecharles Pringle Alcorn


Henry Litwin

Slippery Rock
Jermaine Wynn Jr. Slippery Rock
Tariq Bitson Adams St.
Reggie Colson III Western N.M.
Ruben Flowers III Findlay
Brian Saunds Valdosta St.
Jalik Jaggwe William Jewell
Javon Hayes Fairmont St.
Tyson Hill Cal U (PA)
Winston Eubanks Shippensburg
Keke Chism Angelo St.
Chad Gailliard Saginaw Valley
Konnor Maloney Hillsdale
JF Thomas Tarleton St.
Devanaire Conliffe Ohio Dominican
Cinque Sweeting Slippery Rock
Isaiah Robinson West Liberty
Cole Thurness Chadron St.
Logan Bolin Ashland
Dominic Pegley Alderson Broaddus


Andrew Kamienski

North Central (IL)
Cody Gustafson Grove City
Manni Romero Norwich
Colt Morgan CWRU
Eric Pacheco Buena Vista
Erik Knaack Central (IA)
Steven Fedorchak Western New England
Andrew Vito

Noah Thomas Rose-Hulman
Tyler Halls Husson
Adam Terrini Wheaton (IL)
Cameron Drake Grove City
Henry Wilson Adrian
Jermaine Russell Guilford
Peyton Vining Denison
Win Hunter Pomona-Pitzer
Maceo Matthews Heidelberg
Hakim Williams Jr. Whittier
Aaron Nelson Delaware Valley
Maceo Matthews Heidelberg


Williams, Stevie

Kansas Wesleyan
Jurgensmeier, Reid Morningside (Iowa)
Huckabee, Sam Baker (Kan.)
Solberg, Shane Northwestern (Iowa)
Turner, Anthony Grand View (Iowa)
Hoffman, Trevor Montana Tech
William, Johnny Marian (Ind.)
Sipes, Shane Carroll (Mont.)
Satterfield, Randy Lyon (Ark.)
Witherspoon, Eugene Southeastern (Fla.)
Frye, Tyger Dickinson State (N.D.)
Overton, Lucas Rocky Mountain (Mont.)
Thomas, Caleb Graceland (Iowa)
Smith, Brayden Indiana Wesleyan
Hopkins, Christian Avila (Mo.)
Trotman Jr., Jermaine St. Andrews (N.C.)
Johnson, Mateen Culver-Stockton (Mo.)
Harper, Derrick Tabor (Kan.)
Foos, Dylan Ottawa (Kan.)
Richardson, Taz Graceland (Iowa)