Louisiana alum Walker III makes game-sealing interception in NFL Week 18, Sun Belt represented on 11-of-14 playoff clubs

Published 3:02 pm Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Detroit Lions safety Tracy Walker III sealed a 37-30 victory over the Green Bay Packers with his first interception of the season with 28 seconds remaining in the regular-season finale.

The Louisiana product also tallied a season-high 14 tackles in the upset to lead a 47-tackle week for Sun Belt football alumni. Buffalo Bills defensive lineman Mario Addison out of Troy also saved his best for last, with a four-tackle effort that included a pair of sacks, a quarterback hit and a forced fumble.

Defensive lineman Ronald Blair (App State, New York Jets), linebacker Demario Davis (Arkansas State, New Orleans Saints), defensive back Anthony Chesley (Coastal Carolina, Indianapolis Colts), defensive lineman Tarron Jackson (Coastal Carolina, Philadelphia Eagles), 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), running back Josh Johnson (ULM, Seattle Seahawks), defensive back Jeremy Reaves (South Alabama, Washington Football Team), linebacker David Mayo (Texas State, Washington Football Team) and defensive lineman Steve McLendon (Troy, Tampa Bay Buccaneers) also contributed to the Sun Belt tackle tally.

Three running backs—Jerick McKinnon of the Kansas City Chiefs via Georgia Southern, Elijah Mitchell of the San Francisco 49ers via Louisiana and Derrick Gore of the Kansas City Chiefs via ULM—combined for 165 yards of total offense. McKinnnon had a season-high 50 yards (26 receiving, 24 rushing) and a touchdown, while Mitchell rushed for 85 yards and Gore tacked on 30 yards in the ground game.

South Alabama alum and Seattle Seahawks tight end Gerald Everett had a 20-yard reception and App State alumnus and Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman Colby Gossett made a fumble recovery to round out the Sun Belt offensive output.

On special teams, Louisiana alumnus and Cleveland Browns wide receiver Ja’Marcus Bradley registered 49 kickoff return yards and a tackle. Former Georgia Southern kickers Tyler Bass of the Buffalo Bills and Younghoe Koo of the Atlanta Falcons went a combined 4-for-4 on field goal attempts and 5-for-5 on extra points. App State alum Sam Martin accumulated 145 yards on three punts for the Denver Broncos.

Shemar Jean-Charles (App State, Green Bay Packers), Josh Norman (Coastal Carolina, San Francisco 49ers), Matt Breida (Georgia Southern, Buffalo Bills), Raymond Johnson III (Georgia Southern, New York Giants), Penny Hart (Georgia State, Seattle Seahawks), Albert Wilson (Georgia State, Miami Dolphins), Robert Hunt (Louisiana, Miami Dolphins), Aaron Brewer (Texas State, Tennessee Titans) and Ty Nsekhe (Texas State, Dallas Cowboys) also appeared in Week 18.

Offensive lineman Hunt played every offensive snap for the Miami Dolphins during the 2021-22 season.

Forty-nine Sun Belt alumni—representing all 10 football programs—earned NFL roster spots entering the 2021 season, with 35 on active rosters, 8 on 16-man practice squads and 5 on injured reserve lists during Week 18. A season-high 31 Sun Belt alumni saw game action in Week 18.

Sun Belt football alumni dot 24-of-32 NFL rosters and are represented on 11-of-14 playoff clubs.

App State
Ronald Blair – DL, New York Jets (1 G, 1 GS, 4 Tackles, 1 TFL)
^ Akeem Davis-Gaither – LB, Cincinnati Bengals
^ Darrynton Evans – RB, Tennessee Titans
Colby Gossett – OL, Atlanta Falcons (1 G,  1 GS, 1 Fumble Recovery)
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, 145 Yards)
Ryan Neuzil – OL, Atlanta Falcons (N/A)
* Josh Thomas – S, Buffalo Bills

Arkansas State
Demario Davis – LB, New Orleans Saints (1 G, 1 GS, 5 Tackles, 1 QB Hit)
* Aaron Donkor – LB, Seattle Seahawks
^ J.D. McKissic – RB, Washington Football Team
* Forrest Merrill – DL, Los Angeles Chargers
* Kirk Merritt – WR, Miami Dolphins

Coastal Carolina 
Anthony Chesley – DB, Indianapolis Colts (1 G, 3 Tackles)
Tarron Jackson – DL, Philadelphia Eagles (1 G, 4 Tackles)
Josh Norman – DB, San Francisco 49ers (1 G)

Georgia Southern
Tyler Bass – K, Buffalo Bills (1 G, 1 GS, 2-for-2 FG, 3-for-3 XP)
Matt Breida – RB, Buffalo Bills (1 G)
Raymond Johnson III – DL, New York Giants (1 G)
Younghoe Koo – K, Atlanta Falcons (1 G, 1 GS, 2-for-2 FG, 2-for-2 XP)
Jerick McKinnon – RB, Kansas City Chiefs (1 G, 3 Receptions, 26 Yards, 1 Touchdown, 5 Rushes, 24 Yards)
Kindle Vildor – DB, Chicago Bears (1 G, 1 Tackle)

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 (1 G, 2 Kick Returns, 49 Yards, 1 Tackle)
^ 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
* Elijah McGuire – RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Elijah Mitchell – RB, San Francisco 49ers (1 G, 1 GS, 21 Rushes, 85 Yards)
* Trey Ragas – RB, Las Vegas Raiders
Christian Ringo – DL, New Orleans Saints (1 G, 1 Tackle)
Tracy Walker III – S, Detroit Lions (1 G, 1 GS, 14 Tackles, 1 Pass Defended, 1 Interception)

Derrick Gore – RB, Kansas City Chiefs (1 G, 7 Rushes, 30 Yards)
Josh Johnson – RB, Seattle Seahawks (1 G, 1 Tackle)

South Alabama
* Kawaan Baker – WR, New Orleans Saints
Gerald Everett – TE, Seattle Seahawks (1 G, 1 GS, 1 Reception, 20 Yards)
Jeremy Reaves – DB, Washington Football Team (1 G, 3 Tackles)
Corliss Waitman – P, Pittsburgh Steelers (N/A)

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

Mario Addison – DL, Buffalo Bills (1 G, 4 Tackles, 1 TFL, 2.0 Sacks, 1 QB Hit, 1 Forced Fumble)
Steve McLendon – DL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1 G, 4 Tackles, 2 QB Hits)

* Practice Squad
^ Injured Reserve

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