Louisiana alum Mitchell snaps 50-year old San Francisco 49ers franchise record in week 17

Published 12:43 pm Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Louisiana alum and San Francisco 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell rushed for 119 yards on 21 carries, snapping a 50-year-old franchise record for rookie rushing yards in the process.

Mitchell’s fifth 100-yard output pushed his season total to 878 rushing yards with a week remaining on the regular-season slate, surpassing Vic Washington’s 811 yards as a rookie in 1971. Mitchell also picked up his sixth touchdown of his rookie campaign as part of a two-reception, 11-yard effort in the passing game.

Three other Sun Belt alumni contributed on the offensive side of the ball—Georgia State product and Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Penny Hart (1 Reception, 6 Yards), ULM alumnus and Kansas City Chiefs running back Derrick Gore (3 Rushes, 37 Yards, 1 Reception, 8 Yards) and South Alabama alum and Seattle Seahawks tight end Gerald Everett (3 Receptions, 36 Yards).

Former Georgia Southern kickers Tyler Bass of the Buffalo Bills and Younghoe Koo of the Atlanta Falcons went head-to-head this weekend, going a combined 2-for-2 on field goal attempts and 4-for-4 on extra points. App State alumnus Sam Martin tallied 137 yards on three punts for the Denver Broncos.

Defensively, 11 Sun Belt alumni combined for 42 tackles, five tackles for loss, three quarterback hits, two passes defended and a sack. Detroit Lions safety Tracy Walker III out of Louisiana led the way with a season-best 12-tackle performance.

Defensive lineman Ronald Blair (App State, New York Jets), defensive back Shemar Jean-Charles (App State, Green Bay Packers), linebacker Demario Davis (Arkansas State, New Orleans Saints), defensive back Kindle Vildor (Georgia Southern, Chicago Bears), defensive back Chandon Sullivan (Georgia State, Green Bay Packers), defensive lineman Christian Ringo (Louisiana, New Orleans Saints), defensive back Jeremy Reaves (South Alabama, Washington Football Team), linebacker David Mayo (Texas State, Washington Football Team), defensive lineman Mario Addison (Troy, Buffalo Bills) and defensive lineman Steve McLendon (Troy, Tampa Bay Buccaneers) also added to the Sun Belt stat sheet.

Colby Gossett (App State, Atlanta Falcons), Kirk Merritt (Arkansas State, Miami Dolphins), Tarron Jackson (Coastal Carolina, Philadelphia Eagles), Josh Norman (Coastal Carolina, San Francisco 49ers), Raymond Johnson III (Georgia Southern, New York Giants), Jerick McKinnon (Georgia Southern, Kansas City Chiefs), Ja’Marcus Bradley (Louisiana, Cleveland Browns), Robert Hunt (Louisiana, Miami Dolphins), Michael Jacquet (Louisiana, Jacksonville Jaguars), Kawaan Baker (South Alabama, New Orleans Saints), Aaron Brewer (Texas State, Tennessee Titans) and Ty Nsekhe (Texas State, Dallas Cowboys) also saw game action in Week 17.

Forty-nine Sun Belt alumni—representing all 10 football programs—earned NFL roster spots entering the 2021 season, with 33 on active rosters, 9 on 16-man practice squads and 6 on injured reserve lists during Week 17. Twenty-eight Sun Belt alumni competed in Week 17.

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

App State
Ronald Blair – DL, New York Jets (1 G, 1 GS, 3 Tackles, 1 QB Hit)
^ 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 (1 G, 1 Tackle)
^ Kendall Lamm – OL, Tennessee Titans
Sam Martin – P, Denver Broncos (1 G, 1 GS, 3 Punts, 137 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 Pass Defended)
* Aaron Donkor – LB, Seattle Seahawks
^ J.D. McKissic – RB, Washington Football Team
* Forrest Merrill – DL, Los Angeles Chargers
Kirk Merritt – WR, Miami Dolphins (1 G)

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

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

Georgia State 
Penny Hart – WR, Seattle Seahawks (1 G, 1 Reception, 6 Yards)
^ Wil Lutz – K, New Orleans Saints
Chandon Sullivan – DB, Green Bay Packers (1 G, 4 Tackles, 1 TFL)
Albert Wilson – WR, Miami Dolphins (N/A)

Louisiana 
Ja’Marcus Bradley – WR, Cleveland Browns (1 G)
^ Kevin Dotson – OL, Pittsburgh Steelers
Justin Hamilton – DL, Denver Broncos (N/A)
Robert Hunt – OL, Miami Dolphins (1 G, 1 GS)
Michael Jacquet – DB, Jacksonville Jaguars (1 G)
* Elijah McGuire – RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Elijah Mitchell – RB, San Francisco 49ers (1 G, 1 GS, 21 Rushes, 119 Yards, 2 Receptions, 11 Yards, 1 Touchdown)
* Trey Ragas – RB, Las Vegas Raiders
Christian Ringo – DL, New Orleans Saints (1 G, 6 Tackles, 1 TFL)
Tracy Walker III – S, Detroit Lions (1 G, 1 GS, 12 Tackles)

ULM
Derrick Gore – RB, Kansas City Chiefs (1 G, 3 Rushes, 37 Yards, 1 Reception, 8 Yards)
* Josh Johnson – RB, Seattle Seahawks

South Alabama
Kawaan Baker – WR, New Orleans Saints (1 G)
Gerald Everett – TE, Seattle Seahawks (1 G, 1 GS, 3 Receptions, 36 Yards)
Jeremy Reaves – DB, Washington Football Team (1 G, 2 Tackles, 1 Pass Defended)

Texas State
Aaron Brewer – OL, Tennessee Titans (1 G)
David Mayo – LB, Washington Football Team (1 G, 1 GS, 6 Tackles, 1 TFL, 1 QB Hit)
Ty Nsekhe – OL, Dallas Cowboys (1 G)

Troy
Mario Addison – DL, Buffalo Bills (1 G, 1 Tackle, 1 TFL, 1.0 Sacks, 1 QB Hit)
Steve McLendon – DL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1 G, 1 Tackle, 1 TFL)
* Damion Willis – WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

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