Former Mountaineers Populate Many NFL Rosters
NFL training camps have recently opened, or soon will, and there are 26 West Virginia University alums currently working to make the final NFL rosters.
Last year 17 former Mountaineers made active NFL rosters for the regular season. Another five (offensive lineman Yodny Cajuste with New England, quarterback Will Grier with Carolina, wide receiver Gary Jennings with Seattle, linebacker David Long with Tennessee and tight end Trevon Wesco with the N.Y. Jets) were drafted this past spring by various NFL clubs, and four others signed as undrafted free agents (defensive back Dravon Askew-Henry with Pittsburgh, defensive lineman Kenny Bigelow with New Orleans, wide receiver David Sills with Buffalo and wide receiver Marcus Simms with Jacksonville). In addition, fullback Elijah Wellman, who was in preseason camp with Washington last year but was cut before the regular season began, is back in camp with Washington again this year.
A number of WVU alums have moved to new teams this year: offensive lineman Donnie Barclay is in Denver, linebacker Najee Goode is in Jacksonville, linebacker Bruce Irvin is in Carolina, quarterback Geno Smith is in Seattle, offensive lineman Quinton Spain is in Buffalo and wide receiver Kevin White is in Arizona.
Irvin, Goode and Barclay have the most NFL experience of any of the former Mountaineers still in the league, as each is looking to make a team for the eighth season since coming out of WVU after 2011. Irvin was a first round pick at that time, but Goode and Barclay both earned their roster spots as undrafted players.
Two other one-time West Virginians, Keith Tandy and Pacman Jones, had lengthy NFL careers that apparently have come to an end. Jones, who was with Denver last season, has spent 12 seasons in the NFL, while Tandy played at Tampa Bay for seven seasons (2012-17) before moving to Atlanta last year. Jones announced his retirement at the end of last season, and Tandy is not currently on a roster.
NFL teams have to cut their active rosters to 53 players by 4 p.m. (ET) on Aug. 31. Practice squads, featuring up to 10 players, can be signed starting at 1 p.m. on Sept. 1.
Here are the 26 former Mountaineers currently in NFL camps:
Dravon Askew-Henry, Pittsburgh Steelers, Safety
Tavon Austin, Dallas Cowboys, Wide Receiver
Don Barclay, Denver Broncos, Guard
Kenny Bigelow Jr., New Orleans Saints, Defensive Tackle
Yodny Cajuste, New England Patriots, Offensive Tackle
Rasul Douglas, Philadelphia Eagles, Cornerback
Shelton Gibson, Philadelphia Eagles, Wide Receiver
Mark Glowinski, Indianapolis Colts, Guard
Najee Goode, Jacksonville Jaguars, Linebacker
Will Grier, Carolina Panthers, Quarterback
Bruce Irvin, Carolina Panthers, Defensive End
Gary Jennings Jr., Seattle Seahawks, Wide Receiver
Karl Joseph, Oakland Raiders, Safety
Nick Kwiatkoski, Chicago Bears, Linebacker
David Long Jr., Tennessee Titans, Linebacker
Adam Pankey, Green Bay Packers, Guard
David Sills V, Buffalo Bills, Wide Receiver
Marcus Simms, Jacksonville Jaguars, Wide Receiver
Wendell Smallwood, Philadelphia Eagles, Running Back
Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks, Quarterback
Quinton Spain, Buffalo Bills, Guard
Elijah Wellman, Washington Redskins, Fullback
Trevon Wesco, New York Jets, Tight End
Kevin White, Arizona Cardinals, Wide Receiver
Kyzir White, Los Angeles Chargers, Linebacker
Daryl Worley, Oakland Raiders, Cornerback