Season-high 29 Sun Belt alumni compete in NFL Week 8, Louisiana’s Mitchell records 3rd 100-yard outing

Published 12:48 pm Tuesday, November 2, 2021

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A season-high 29 Sun Belt alumni competed in Week 8 of the National Football League (NFL) season, including 13 starters.

San Francisco 49ers rookie running back Elijah Mitchell out of Louisiana posted the third 100-yard outing of his young career, accumulating a career-high 137 rushing yards and a touchdown on 18 carries.

Fellow running backs J.D. McKissic of the Washington Football Team and Derrick Gore of the Kansas City Chiefs also contributed offensively. Arkansas State alum McKissic had 10 yards on three carries and 83 yards on eight receptions, while ULM product Gore rushed for 48 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.

With a seven-yard catch, South Alabama alumnus tight end Gerald Everett of the Seattle Seahawks maintained his streak of six-straight appearances with a reception this season.

Defensively, 11 Sun Belt alumni combined for 32 tackles, four quarterback hits, two tackles for loss, two sacks, two forced fumbles, a pass defended, an interception and a fumble recovery. Coastal Carolina alumnus and San Francisco 49ers defensive back Josh Norman led the way with seven tackles, a pass defended, an interception and a forced fumble. Fellow Chanticleer product defensive lineman Tarron Jackson of the Philadelphia Eagles also registered a quarterback hit, a sack and a forced fumble.

App State alum and Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither, Arkansas State product and New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis, Georgia Southern alumnus and New York Giants defensive lineman Raymond Johnson III, Georgia Southern alum and Chicago Bears defensive back Kindle Vildor, Georgia State product and Green Bay Packers defensive back Chandon Sullivan, Louisiana alumnus and Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Justin Hamilton, Louisiana alum and Detroit Lions safety Tracy Walker III, Texas State product and Washington Football Team linebacker David Mayo and Troy alumnus and Buffalo Bills defensive lineman Mario Addison also contributed to the defensive stat sheet.

Former Georgia Southern kicker Tyler Bass went 2-for-2 on field goals and 2-for-2 on extra points for the Buffalo Bills, converting from 57 and 39 yards out. Atlanta Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo, also out of Georgia Southern, was 2-for-3 on field goals and 1-for-1 on extra points, connecting on a 46-yarder and a 53-yarder. Denver Broncos punter Sam Martin out of App State accumulated 135 yards on three punts.

Colby Gossett (App State, Atlanta Falcons), Shemar Jean-Charles (App State, Green Bay Packers), Kirk Merritt (Arkansas State, Miami Dolphins), Anthony Chesley (Coastal Carolina, Indianapolis Colts), Jerick McKinnon (Georgia Southern, Kansas City Chiefs), Penny Hart (Georgia State, Seattle Seahawks), Albert Wilson (Georgia State, Miami Dolphins), Kevin Dotson (Louisiana, Pittsburgh Steelers), Robert Hunt (Louisiana, Miami Dolphins), Christian Ringo (Louisiana, New Orleans Saints) and Ty Nsekhe (Texas State, Dallas Cowboys) also saw game action in Week 8.

Through eight games, Louisiana alumnus offensive lineman Robert Hunt has appeared on every offensive snap for the Miami Dolphins.

Forty-nine Sun Belt alumni—representing all 10 football programs—earned NFL roster spots entering the 2021 season, with 32 on active rosters, 11 on 16-man practice squads and three on injured reserve lists during Week 8.

Sun Belt football alumni dot 24-of-32 NFL rosters.

App State
* Ronald Blair – DL, New York Jets
Akeem Davis-Gaither – LB, Cincinnati Bengals (1 G, 3 Tackles)
^ Darrynton Evans – RB, Tennessee Titans
Colby Gossett – OL, Atlanta Falcons (1 G)
Shemar Jean-Charles – DB, Green Bay Packers (1 G)
Kendall Lamm – OL, Tennessee Titans (N/A)
Sam Martin – P, Denver Broncos (1 G, 1 GS, 3 Punts, 135 Yards)
* Ryan Neuzil – OL, Atlanta Falcons
* Josh Thomas – S, Buffalo Bills

Arkansas State
Demario Davis – LB, New Orleans Saints (1 G, 1 GS, 5 Tackles, 1.0 TFLs, 1 QB Hit)
* Aaron Donkor – LB, Seattle Seahawks
J.D. McKissic – RB, Washington Football Team (1 G, 1 GS, 3 Rushes, 10 Yards, 8 Receptions, 83 Yards, 1 Tackle)
Kirk Merritt – WR, Miami Dolphins (1 G)

Coastal Carolina 
Anthony Chesley – DB, Indianapolis Colts (1 G)
Tarron Jackson – DL, Philadelphia Eagles (1 G, 1 Tackle, 1.0 Sacks, 1 QB Hit, 1 Forced Fumble)
Josh Norman – DB, San Francisco 49ers (1 G, 1 GS, 7 Tackles, 1 Interception, 33 Interception Return Yards, 1 Pass Defended, 1 Forced Fumble)

Georgia Southern
Tyler Bass – K, Buffalo Bills (1 G, 1 GS, 2-for-2 FG, 2-for-2 XP)
Matt Breida – RB, Buffalo Bills (N/A)
Raymond Johnson III – DL, New York Giants (1 G, 1 Tackle)
Younghoe Koo – K, Atlanta Falcons (1 G, 1 GS, 2-for-3 FG, 1-for-1 XP)
Jerick McKinnon – RB, Kansas City Chiefs (1 G)
Kindle Vildor – DB, Chicago Bears (1 G, 1 GS, 2 Tackles)

Georgia State 
Penny Hart – WR, Seattle Seahawks (1 G)
^ Wil Lutz – K, New Orleans Saints
Chandon Sullivan – DB, Green Bay Packers (1 G, 1 GS, 1 Tackle)
Albert Wilson – WR, Miami Dolphins (1 G)

* Ja’Marcus Bradley – WR, Cleveland Browns
Kevin Dotson – OL, Pittsburgh Steelers (1 G, 1 GS)
Justin Hamilton – DL, Dallas Cowboys (1 G, 3 Tackles, 1 QB Hit)
Robert Hunt – OL, Miami Dolphins (1 G, 1 GS, 1 Fumble Recovery)
* Elijah McGuire – RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Elijah Mitchell – RB, San Francisco 49ers (1 G, 1 GS, 18 Rushes, 137 Yards, 1 Touchdown)
* Trey Ragas – RB, Las Vegas Raiders
Christian Ringo – DL, New Orleans Saints (1 G)
Tracy Walker III – S, Detroit Lions (1 G, 1 GS, 6 Tackles)

Derrick Gore – RB, Kansas City Chiefs (1 G, 11 Rushes, 48 Yards, 1 Touchdown, 1 Tackle)
* Josh Johnson – RB, Seattle Seahawks

South Alabama
* Kawaan Baker – WR, New Orleans Saints
Gerald Everett – TE, Seattle Seahawks (1 G, 1 GS, 1 Reception, 7 Yards)
* Jeremy Reaves – DB, Washington Football Team

Texas State
^ Aaron Brewer – OL, Tennessee Titans
David Mayo – LB, Washington Football Team (1 G, 1 Fumble Recovery)
Ty Nsekhe – OL, Dallas Cowboys (1 G)

Mario Addison – DL, Buffalo Bills (1 G, 3 Tackles, 1.0 TFLs, 1.0 Sacks, 1 QB Hit)
Steve McLendon – DL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (N/A)
* Damion Willis – WR, Washington Football Team

* Practice Squad
^ Injured Reserve

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