Sun Belt alumni record 2 interceptions, 2 touchdowns in NFL Wildcard round

Published 5:30 am Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...
 Sun Belt alumni dotted all 12 teams that competed on NFL Wild Card weekend—and all 14 playoff rosters following the 2022-23 National Football League (NFL) season.

A pair of Sun Belt alumni—linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither of the Cincinnati Bengals via App State and safety Dean Marlowe of the Buffalo Bills via James Madison—made interceptions to help their respective teams advance to the Divisional Round. Each also added four tackles on the defensive side of the ball.

San Francisco 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell out of Louisiana scored a touchdown on a seven-yard reception, as part of a 27-yard day to help his team move on. Los Angeles Chargers tight end Gerald Everett out of South Alabama also had a touchdown grab, as part of a six-catch, 109-yard outing in defeat.

Georgia Southern alumnus and New York Giants running back Matt Breida posted eight yards on three carries to help propel the club to the Divisional Round. Offensive linemen Robert Hunt of the Miami Dolphins via Louisiana and Josh Ball of the Dallas Cowboys out of Marshall also saw game action.

Defensive back Chandon Sullivan (Georgia State, Minnesota Vikings), defensive back Tarvarius Moore (Southern Miss, San Francisco 49ers), defensive lineman Rakeem Nunez-Roches (Southern Miss, Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and wide receiver Tim Jones (Southern Miss, Jacksonville Jaguars) also added tackles for their respective clubs.

Sun Belt alumni led the Buffalo Bills special teams unit with punter Sam Martin out of App State accumulating 239 yards on five punts and kicker Tyler Bass out of Georgia Southern going a perfect 2-for-2 on field goal attempts and 4-for-4 on extra points.

Seventy-six Sun Belt alumni earned NFL roster spots entering the 2022 season, with 39 advancing to the NFL playoffs.

Seven earned byes to the Divisional Round as members of the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles. Thirteen additional Sun Belt alumni helped propel their teams to Wild Card Round wins, giving the conference 20 representatives in next weekend’s Divisional Round.

App State  
Akeem Davis-Gaither – LB, Cincinnati Bengals (1 G, 4 Tackles, 1 Interception, 1 Pass Defended)
^ Thomas Hennigan – WR, Minnesota Vikings
Kendall Lamm – OL, Miami Dolphins (DNP)
Sam Martin – P, Buffalo Bills (1 G, 1 GS, 5 Punts, 239 Yards, 1 Tackle)

Arkansas State
* Aaron Donkor – LB, Seattle Seahawks
^ Forrest Merrill – DL, Los Angeles Chargers

Coastal Carolina 
^ Anthony Chesley – DB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jeff Gunter – DE, Cincinnati Bengals (DNP)
* Tarron Jackson – DE, Philadelphia Eagles (Bye Week)
Isaiah Likely – TE, Baltimore Ravens (1 G)

Georgia Southern 
Tyler Bass – K, Buffalo Bills (1 G, 1 GS, 2-for-2 FG, 4-for-4 XP)
Matt Breida – RB, New York Giants (1 G, 3 Rushes, 8 Yards)
* Raymond Johnson III – DE, Cincinnati Bengals
Jerick McKinnon – RB, Kansas City Chiefs (Bye Week)

Georgia State  
Penny Hart – WR, Seattle Seahawks (DNP)
Chandon Sullivan – DB, Minnesota Vikings (1 G, 1 GS, 4 Tackles, 1 Pass Defended

James Madison 
* Mike Greene – DL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Dean Marlowe – S, Buffalo Bills (1 G, 1 GS, 4 Tackles, 1 Interception, 10 Return Yards, 1 Pass Defended)
^ Aaron Stinnie – OL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
^ Josh Wells – OL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Robert Hunt – OL, Miami Dolphins (1 G, 1 GS)
* Michael Jacquet – DB, Los Angeles Chargers
Elijah Mitchell – RB, San Francisco 49ers (1 G, 9 Rushes, 2 Yards, 2 Receptions, 25 Yards, 1 Touchdown)

Josh Ball – OL, Dallas Cowboys (1 G)
Nazeeh Johnson – S, Kansas City Chiefs (Bye Week)

Old Dominion 
Rick Lovato – LS, Philadelphia Eagles (Bye Week)
Zach Pascal – WR, Philadelphia Eagles (Bye Week)
Stone Smartt – TE, Los Angeles Chargers (DNP)
^ Isaac Weaver – OL, Los Angeles Chargers
Oshane Ximines – LB, New York Giants (DNP)

South Alabama 
Gerald Everett – TE, Los Angeles Chargers (1 G, 1 GS, 6 Receptions, 109 Yards, 1 Touchdown)
Jalen Tolbert – WR, Dallas Cowboys (DNP)

Southern Miss 
Tim Jones – WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (1 G, 1 Tackle)
Tarvarius Moore – DB, San Francisco 49ers (1 G, 2 Tackles)
Nick Mullens – QB, Minnesota Vikings (DNP)
Rakeem Nunez-Roches – DL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1 G, 2 Tackles, 2 QB Hits)
* Cameron Tom – OL, Philadelphia Eagles (Bye Week)
Quez Watkins – WR, Philadelphia Eagles (Bye Week)

* Practice Squad
^ Injured & Other Reserve

For exclusive Sun Belt football content on game days and throughout the year, follow @SunBeltFB on Twitter.

Follow the Sun Belt on social media via TwitterFacebook and Instagram.