September 1, 2014

2014 NFL season opens with nine D-III alumni on rosters

Derek Carrier was with the Eagles and Raiders before he got a shot with the San Francisco 49ers. He made the active roster late in the 2013 season.
Beloit athletics photo

As Division III enters the post-London Fletcher era, nine Division III alumni start the season on NFL 53-man rosters. Fletcher, a John Carroll alumnus, played 16 years in the NFL, the last seven with the Washington Redskins.

Two new faces to make opening day rosters are players who were in NFL camps for the first time last year. Tight end Derek Carrier is already with his third NFL organization in his second season after graduating from Beloit, while punter Jordan Gay was signed by the Buffalo Bills recently after being cut by the Carolina Panthers in camp.

The full list:

Buffalo: Jordan Gay, P, Centre; Fred Jackson, RB, Coe.
Indianapolis: Jerrell Freeman, LB, Mary Hardin-Baylor; Andy Studebaker, LB, Wheaton
Jacksonville: Cecil Shorts III, WR, Mount Union
Miami: Jason Trusnik, LB, Ohio Northern
San Francisco: Derek Carrier, TE, Beloit
Seattle: Steven Hauschka, K, Middlebury (by way of N.C. State)
Washington: Pierre Garcon, WR, Mount Union

Former Mount Union tight end Kyle Miller is on the Falcons' practice squad, while the Vikings signed Albion cornerback Chris Greenwood to their practice squad. Matt Blanchard, the former UW-Whitewater quarterback, is on the injured list with the Panthers. More D-III alumni could sign on with practice squads, as former Heidelberg receiver Mike Preston was among the last cuts in camp.

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