Jayhawks in the Pros (Week One)
Sept. 11, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. – After the first week of the NFL season, several Jayhawks have made their mark. In the first week of action, five of seven former KU student-athletes on NFL rosters saw the field, including Tampa Bay’s Aqib Talib, who blocked his first punt and Denver’s Chris Harris, who had four tackles.
Wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe is in his fourth season in the NFL and first with the Washington Redskins. Briscoe signed with Washington after being released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in late July. Briscoe was inactive for Washington’s first game of the year, a 40-32 win over the New Orleans Saints Sunday. Last season with Tampa Bay, the former Jayhawk standout recorded 35 catches for 387 yards and six touchdowns. In his two NFL seasons, Briscoe has played in 18 games and tallied 41 catches for 480 yards and seven touchdowns. Briscoe played at KU from 2007-09. He was originally drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
Offensive tackle Anthony Collins begins his fifth season in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals. Collins played in the Bengals’ 44-13 loss to the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on Monday Night Football. He has played in 40 games in four years with the Bengals, including 18 starts at tackle. Injuries limited Collins to just seven games last season. Collins played at KU from 2005-07. He was originally selected by Cincinnati in the fourth round of the 2008 NFL Draft.
Cornerback Chris Harris is in his second season with the Denver Broncos.Harris made four tackles, including a half-sack on Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers in a 31-19 Denver win. The second-year cornerback also added a quarterback hurry in the game. In 2011, Harris made 72 tackles and had one interception. Harris played at KU from 2007-10. He signed with the Broncos as an undrafted free agent following the 2011 NFL Draft.
Linebacker Steven Johnson is in his first season with the Denver Broncos after making the team as an undrafted free agent. Johnson was inactive for Denver’s first game of the season, a 31-19 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday. Johnson played at KU from 2008-11. He was signed by the Broncos as an undrafted free agent following the 2012 NFL Draft in April.
Linebacker Mike Rivera is in his first season with the New England Patriots. Rivera played predominantly on special teams in the Pats’ 34-13 win over the Tennessee Titans Sunday, but did not record any statistics. Rivera signed with the Patriots as a free agent during the offseason. Rivera played at KU from 2005-08. During his professional career, Rivera has spent time with the Chicago Bears, Tennessee Titans, Green Bay Packers and Miami Dolphins. He was originally signed by the Bears as an undrafted free agent following the 2009 NFL Draft.
Safety Darrell Stuckey is in his third season with the San Diego Chargers. Stuckey played mostly on special teams in the Chargers’ 22-14 win over the Oakland Raiders on Monday Night Football last night. He recorded one tackle in the second quarter. Last season, Stuckey, who played at KU from 2006-09, saw time on special teams in 14 games and made 12 tackles, including nine solo stops. Stuckey was drafted by the Chargers in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
Cornerback Aqib Talib is in his fifth season in the NFL and fourth as a starting corner for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Talib started at cornerback in the Bucs’ 16-10 win over the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium Sunday. The veteran corner collected his first punt block in the NFL and had three tackles and one pass defended. He started 13 games for the Bucs last year and made 34 tackles, broke up 11 passes and recorded two interceptions, both of which he returned for touchdowns. Talib was fifth in the NFL with six picks in 2010 and has 164 tackles in his four-year career. Talib played at KU from 2005-07. He was a first-round pick by Tampa Bay in the 2008 NFL Draft.
Jayhawks in the Canadian Football League
Tailback Jon Cornish is in his sixth CFL season, all with the Calgary Stampeders. Cornish, who played at KU from 2002-06, had a huge game, rushing for 185 yards on 16 carries, including a touchdown to help the Stampeders down Edmonton, 20-18 on Friday evening. This season, “Kid Canada” has rushed for 827 yards on 135 carries with five touchdowns on the ground. He has also recorded 24 receptions for 171 yards and a touchdown. In his six-year career, Cornish has rushed for 2,697 yards and 17 touchdowns to go along with 74 catches for 488 yards and five receiving touchdowns. He signed with Calgary following the end of his KU career in 2007.
Wide receiver Marcus Henry is in his second year in the CFL with the Edmonton Eskimos. Henry, who played at KU from 2004-07, saw his first action of the 2012 season, recording six catches for 89 yards, including a 31-yard reception against the Calgary Stampeders. Henry had missed the first 10 weeks of the season with an injury. Last year, Henry recorded 33 catches for 384 yards and a touchdown. He signed with Edmonton during the 2011 NFL season after being released by the New York Jets in training camp.
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