Louisiana alum Mitchell paces all rushers in NFL playoffs, 5 Sun Belt alumni advance to conference championships

Published 2:35 pm Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Louisiana alumnus and San Francisco 49ers rookie running back Elijah Mitchell paces all rushers through two weeks of the NFL playoffs with 149 yards in the ground game.

Mitchell, a 12-game starter this season, registered 53 yards on 17 carries on the ground and added 18 yards on three receptions through the air in the 49ers 13-10 victory over the Green Bay Packers in the NFL Divisional Round.

Coastal Carolina product defensive back Josh Norman had a tackle for the 49ers defense, while Packers defensive backs Shemar Jean-Charles out of App State and Chandon Sullivan out of Georgia State combined for three tackles—including one tackle for loss—in the losing effort.

The running back tandem of Georgia Southern alumnus Jerick McKinnon and ULM product Derrick Gore compiled 78 yards of total offense—54 through the air and 24 on the ground—as the Kansas City Chiefs bested the Buffalo Bills, 42-36 in overtime.

Kicker Tyler Bass out of Georgia Southern was a perfect 4-for-4 on extra point attempts in the Bills loss, while teammate defensive lineman Mario Addison out of Troy appeared on 37 snaps.

Two Sun Belt alums—Kendall Lamm out of App State and Aaron Brewer out of Texas State— appeared on the Tennessee Titans offensive line in the team’s 19-16 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Steve McLendon, a Troy alumnus and Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive lineman, also saw his season conclude in the Divisional Round. McLendon registered a pass defended in the Buccaneers 30-27 defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Rams.

Forty-nine Sun Belt alumni—representing all 10 football programs—earned NFL roster spots entering the 2021 season. Twenty advanced to the NFL playoffs, with 15 moving on to the Divisional Round and five set for Conference Championship weekend.

Sun Belt football alumni dotted 24-of-32 NFL rosters during the 2021 season and were represented on 11-of-14 playoff clubs, 7-of-8 teams that advanced to the Divisional Round and 3-of-4 teams bound for Conference Championship weekend.

App State
^ Akeem Davis-Gaither – LB, Cincinnati Bengals
^ Darrynton Evans – RB, Tennessee Titans
Shemar Jean-Charles – DB, Green Bay Packers (1 G)
Kendall Lamm – OL, Tennessee Titans (1 G)
* Josh Thomas – S, Buffalo Bills

Coastal Carolina 
Josh Norman – DB, San Francisco 49ers (1 G, 1 Tackle)

Georgia Southern
Tyler Bass – K, Buffalo Bills (1 G, 1 GS, 4-for-4 XP)
Matt Breida – RB, Buffalo Bills (N/A)
Jerick McKinnon – RB, Kansas City Chiefs (1 G, 1 GS, 5 Receptions, 54 Yards, 10 Rushes, 24 Yards)

Georgia State 
Chandon Sullivan – DB, Green Bay Packers (1 G, 3 Tackles, 1 TFL)

Louisiana 
Elijah Mitchell – RB, San Francisco 49ers (1 G, 1 GS, 17 Rushes, 53 Yards, 3 Receptions, 18 Yards)

ULM
Derrick Gore – RB, Kansas City Chiefs (1 G)

Texas State
Aaron Brewer – OL, Tennessee Titans (1 G)

Troy
Mario Addison – DL, Buffalo Bills (1 G)
Steve McLendon – DL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1 G, 1 Pass Defended)

* Practice Squad
^ Injured Reserve

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