Unless you’re a diehard football fan, the NFL Preseason isn’t a big thing to get excited about. Most of the star players only play for a few minutes and the outcomes of the games don’t matter at all.
But if you follow individual players and the hard work they put in to keep their jobs as professional football players, there is definitely more intrigue involved.
These aren’t the elite players that have long-term contracts that I’m talking about. No, these are the “fringe” guys who are fighting for a roster spot.
Some of these guys used to play at H.A. Chapman stadium on Saturdays, and are proving that they belong in the NFL.
Defensive Tackle Tyrunn Walker, now playing for the Detroit Lions, is making his presence known in his first year with the team. As a reserve lineman for the New Orleans Saints, Walker only made one start in three seasons. Already with the Lions, he is believed to be a key part of the D-Line corps, which has been highlighted by a strip sack of Robert Griffin III.
In St. Louis, former star running back Trey Watts is having a little bit tougher time with the Rams. He is competing with fourth year running back, Isaiah Pead from University of Cincinnati, for running back depth. The two split carries and playing time during the preseason with Watts leading all Rams running backs with 24 carries and 98 yards.
While he made the team, Watts still faces an uphill battle because he is suspended for the first four games of the regular season due to violating the NFL’s Policy and Program of Substance of Abuse. After his suspension ends, he will be reevaluated by the Rams who will have to decide to keep or drop him.
Meanwhile, two former Golden Hurricane players, Damaris Johnson and Charles Clay, have solidified their roster spots on new teams with their impressive play. Tight End Clay has moved to Buffalo and impressed with a long touchdown in preseason play. Return specialist and wide receiver Johnson has found a new spot with the Houston Texans and has earned praise from the head coach.
Just because these players played at a small school like Tulsa, didn’t stop them from being able to introduce themselves as some of the top athletes in the game on the world’s biggest stage.