Jayhawks in the Pros (Camp Update)
Throughout the course of the season, KUAthletics.com will update the status of the 12 former Jayhawks who are involved with the National Football League. During the dog days of August, all 12 are participating in preseason camps and looking to make the final roster. The NFL holds its first cut-down day on Sept. 1.
Former Kansas wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe, who played at KU from 2007-09, is participating in his first preseason camp with the Cincinnati Bengals. Briscoe participated in his second preseason game Sunday – a 33-24 victory over Denver – but did not record a catch. He did have one catch for 11 yards in the Hall of Fame preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys on Aug. 8. Briscoe was selected by Cincinnati in sixth round of this year’s draft.
Former Jayhawk offensive lineman Anthony Collins, who played at KU from 2005-07, is in camp with the Cincinnati Bengals and has participated in both exhibition games, most recently in Sunday’s 33-24 victory over the Denver Broncos at Paul Brown Stadium. Collins is listed second on the depth chart at left tackle for the Bengals, behind incumbent starter Andrew Whitworth. Collins has played in 23 games in two years with Cincinnati, making 13 starts.
Former Jayhawk tight end Derek Fine, who played at KU from 2004-07, is in camp this season with the Houston Texans after being released by the Buffalo Bills in February. Fine played in Houston’s first preseason game – a 19-16 loss at Arizona – on Saturday. He did not record a catch. He was signed by the Texans before mini-camp in June and is listed as the fourth tight end on the depth chart.
Former Kansas linebacker James Holt, who played at KU from 2005-08, is in his second year with the San Diego Chargers. He played in the Chargers’ 25-10 preseason victory over the Chicago Bears Saturday at Qualcomm Stadium, recovering a fumble on special teams. Holt was an undrafted free agent signee by the Chargers in 2009, and played in nine games recording 10 tackles.
Former Kansas offensive lineman Justin Hartwig, who played at KU from 1999-2001, is in his ninth season in the NFL and his third with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Hartwig started at center for the Steelers in their 23-7 preseason win over the Detroit Lions at Heinz Field on Saturday. Hartwig is listed as the starter on Pittsburgh’s depth chart, and has started every game for the Steelers since signing with the team as a free agent in March of 2008.
Former KU wide receiver Marcus Henry, who played at KU from 2004-07, is in camp with the New York Jets for the third-straight year. Henry will likely participate in his first preseason game of the year this evening when the Jets take on the Giants on Monday Night Football. Henry was on the Jets’ practice squad last season, and did not participate in any games. He was drafted by New York in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft.
Former KU wide receiver Kerry Meier, who played at KU from 2006-09, is a rookie in camp with the Atlanta Falcons. Meier recorded two catches for 27 yards, including a 16-yard reception on a third-and-11 play in the third quarter, in Atlanta’s 20-10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs at the Georgia Dome Friday night. Meier was a fifth-round selection by the Falcons in this year’s NFL Draft.
Former Jayhawk fullback Moran Norris, who played at KU from 1996-2000, is in his 10th season in the NFL, and fourth total with the San Francisco 49ers. Norris started at fullback Saturday in San Francisco’s 37-17 preseason win over the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. He played in all 16 games last season for the 49ers, recording seven starts. Norris carried the ball 14 times in 2009 for 41 yards and a touchdown; he also collected seven catches out of the backfield for 31 yards.
Former Jayhawk linebacker Mike Rivera, who played at KU from 2005-08, is looking to make the final roster for the Tennessee Titans this season. Rivera made two tackles in the Titans’ first preseason game – a 20-18 loss to the Seattle Seahawks Saturday at Qwest Field. Rivera is currently listed as the team’s third-string middle linebacker on the depth chart behind veterans Stephen Tulloch and Colin Allred. He was picked up by the Titans last season after being signed as a free agent and then released by the Chicago Bears.
Former Kansas safety Darrell Stuckey, who played at KU from 2006-09, is a rookie in camp with the San Diego Chargers this year. Stuckey did not dress for Saturday’s 25-10 win over the Chicago Bears at Qualcomm Stadium due to an injury, but was listed as the team’s starting strong safety on the depth chart released before preseason camp. He was selected in the fourth round by the Chargers in this year’s NFL Draft.
Former Kansas corner back Aqib Talib, who played at KU from 2005-07, is participating in his third preseason camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Talib did not play in Saturday’s preseason game against the Miami Dolphins, but was listed as the team’s starting left cornerback on the pre-camp depth chart. Talib has played in 30 games for the Bucs over two seasons, making 87 tackles and nine interceptions in his professional career. Talib was selected by Tampa Bay in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft.
Former Kansas safety Justin Thornton, who played at KU from 2006-09, is a rookie in preseason camp with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Thornton participated in his first preseason game Saturday, in a 23-7 win over the Detroit Lions at Heinz Field, collecting a pair of tackles. Thornton was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Steelers in April following the NFL Draft.