Three D-III grads score Sunday TDs
|Jerrell Freeman, wearing No. 50, and his Colts teammates celebrate Freeman's pick-six Sunday against the Chicago Bears.|
Cecil Shorts, the 2009 D3football.com Offensive Player of the Year out of Mount Union, fellow former Mount Union wide receiver Pierre Garcon and Jerrell Freeman, the 2007 D3football.com Defensive Player of the Year, each scored touchdowns in the NFL in Sunday's Week 1 games.
- D-III players in the NFL, full list
- Watch Freeman's touchdown
- Watch Shorts' touchdown (1:02 mark)
- Watch Garcon's touchdown
Freeman, getting the start at inside linebacker for the Indianapolis Colts, in his first-ever NFL regular-season game, got into the end zone right away, picking off a Jay Cutler pass and returning it 4 yards for a touchdown. Freeman spent time in the Tennessee Titans' camp immediately out of college but played for several years in the CFL before getting the call to return.
Freeman had five tackles, all of them solo, in a game the Bears eventually won 41-21.
In his first game with the Washington Redskins, Garcon made Robert Griffin III's debut a memorable one, making a great grab on a Griffin pass over the middle and outsprinting the Saints' Patrick Robinson for an 88-yard touchdown. Garcon finished with four catches for a tema-high 109 yards and the touchdown as the Redskins won 40-32.
Shorts, a fifth-round draft pick of the Jaguars in 2011, led his team as well with 74 receiving yards on four catches, including making an adjustment on a ball in the air to pull in his touchdown in Jacksonville's 26-23 overtime loss at Minnesota. Shorts' 39-yard touchdown grab with 20 seconds left seemed to give Jacksonville the win, until Minnesota answered with a 55-yard field goal to tie and another kick to win in overtime. It was Shorts' second catch on the drive.
Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson, a D3football.com All-America selection at Coe, got 15 yards on six carries before leaving with an injury.
Also on Sunday, former John Carroll linebacker London Fletcher had three tackles, two solo for the Redskins, while former Wheaton (Ill.) defensive lineman had two tackles at linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs. Jason Trusnik, from Ohio Northern, had a tackle on special teams for the Miami Dolphins.