Georgia State alumnus Sullivan records key interception, South Alabama product Baker makes NFL debut in week 16

Published 12:50 pm Tuesday, December 28, 2021

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An interception by Georgia State alum Chandon Sullivan on the Green Bay Packers nine-yard line headlined a defense-dominated Week 16 of the National Football League (NFL) season for Sun Belt alumni.

Sullivan also recorded a tackle, as a part of a 40-tackle outburst on the defensive side of the ball. Fresh off a career-high 12 tackle effort in Week 15, Washington Football Team defensive back Jeremy Reaves out of South Alabama made it back-to-back double-digit tackle performances with 10 tackles. Defensive lineman Ronald Blair of the New York Jets via App State registered the second fumble recovery of his NFL career, while defensive lineman Steve McLendon of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers via Troy forced his first fumble of the season.

Defensive lineman Forrest Merrill (Arkansas State, Los Angeles Chargers), defensive lineman Tarron Jackson (Coastal Carolina, Philadelphia Eagles), defensive back Josh Norman (Coastal Carolina, San Francisco 49ers), defensive lineman Raymond Johnson III (Georgia Southern, New York Giants), defensive back Kindle Vildor (Georgia Southern, Chicago Bears), wide receiver Penny Hart (Georgia State, Seattle Seahawks), safety Tracy Walker III (Louisiana, Detroit Lions), wide receiver Kawaan Baker (South Alabama, New Orleans Saints), linebacker David Mayo (Texas State, Washington Football Team) and defensive lineman Mario Addison (Troy, Buffalo Bills) also added to the Sun Belt tackle total on defense and special teams. Baker’s tackle came on special teams in his NFL debut.

Offensively, Seattle Seahawks tight end and South Alabama product Gerald Everett found the end zone for the fourth time this season—a new career-high—as part of a four-catch, 68-yard day. ULM alumnus Derrick Gore, a running back for the Kansas City Chiefs, registered 104 yards of total offense (43 rushing, 61 receiving).

On special teams, former App State punter Sam Martin accumulated 223 yards on five punts for the Denver Broncos. Former Georgia Southern kickers Tyler Bass of the Buffalo Bills and Younghoe Koo of the Atlanta Falcons went a perfect 4-for-4 on field goal attempts and 5-for-5 on extra points.

Colby Gossett (App State, Atlanta Falcons), Anthony Chesley (Coastal Carolina, Indianapolis Colts), Robert Hunt (Louisiana, Miami Dolphins), Aaron Brewer (Texas State, Tennessee Titans) and Ty Nsekhe (Texas State, Dallas Cowboys) also appeared in Week 16.

Forty-nine Sun Belt alumni—representing all 10 football programs—earned NFL roster spots entering the 2021 season, with 27 on active rosters, 8 on 16-man practice squads and 11 on injured reserve lists during Week 16. Twenty-four Sun Belt alumni saw game action in Week 16.

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

App State
Ronald Blair – DL, New York Jets (1 G, 1 GS, 2 Tackles, 1 QB Hit, 1 Fumble Recovery)
^ Akeem Davis-Gaither – LB, Cincinnati Bengals
^ Darrynton Evans – RB, Tennessee Titans
Colby Gossett – OL, Atlanta Falcons (1 G)
^ Shemar Jean-Charles – DB, Green Bay Packers
^ Kendall Lamm – OL, Tennessee Titans
Sam Martin – P, Denver Broncos (1 G, 1 GS, 5 Punts, 223 Yards)
* Ryan Neuzil – OL, Atlanta Falcons
* Josh Thomas – S, Buffalo Bills

Arkansas State
^ Demario Davis – LB, New Orleans Saints
* Aaron Donkor – LB, Seattle Seahawks
^ J.D. McKissic – RB, Washington Football Team
Forrest Merrill – DL, Los Angeles Chargers (1 G, 1 Tackle)
* Kirk Merritt – WR, Miami Dolphins

Coastal Carolina 
Anthony Chesley – DB, Indianapolis Colts (1 G)
Tarron Jackson – DL, Philadelphia Eagles (1 G, 1 Tackle)
Josh Norman – DB, San Francisco 49ers (1 G, 1 GS, 4 Tackles)

Georgia Southern
Tyler Bass – K, Buffalo Bills (1 G, 1 GS, 2-for-2 FG, 3-for-3 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-2 FG, 2-for-2 XP)
^ Jerick McKinnon – RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Kindle Vildor – DB, Chicago Bears (1 G, 1 GS, 3 Tackles)

Georgia State 
Penny Hart – WR, Seattle Seahawks (1 G, 3 Tackles)
^ Wil Lutz – K, New Orleans Saints
Chandon Sullivan – DB, Green Bay Packers (1 G, 1 GS, 1 Tackle, 1 Interception, 1 Pass Defended)
^ Albert Wilson – WR, Miami Dolphins

Ja’Marcus Bradley – WR, Cleveland Browns (N/A)
^ Kevin Dotson – OL, Pittsburgh Steelers
Robert Hunt – OL, Miami Dolphins (1 G, 1 GS)
* Michael Jacquet – DB, Jacksonville Jaguars
* Elijah McGuire – RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Elijah Mitchell – RB, San Francisco 49ers (N/A)
* Trey Ragas – RB, Las Vegas Raiders
^ Christian Ringo – DL, New Orleans Saints
Tracy Walker III – S, Detroit Lions (1 G, 1 GS, 4 Tackles)

Derrick Gore – RB, Kansas City Chiefs (1 G, 12 Rushes, 43 Yards, 3 Receptions, 61 Yards)
* Josh Johnson – RB, Seattle Seahawks

South Alabama
Kawaan Baker – WR, New Orleans Saints (1 G, 1 Tackle)
Gerald Everett – TE, Seattle Seahawks (1 G, 1 GS, 4 Receptions, 68 Yards, 1 Touchdown)
Jeremy Reaves – DB, Washington Football Team (1 G, 1 GS, 10 Tackles, 1 TFL)

Texas State
Aaron Brewer – OL, Tennessee Titans (1 G, 1 GS)
David Mayo – LB, Washington Football Team (1 G, 1 GS, 7 Tackles)
Ty Nsekhe – OL, Dallas Cowboys (1 G)

Mario Addison – DL, Buffalo Bills (1 G, 1 Tackle)
Steve McLendon – DL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1 G, 1 Tackle, 1 QB Hit, 0.5 Sacks, 1 Forced Fumble)

* Practice Squad
^ Injured Reserve

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