Running down NFL players who have roots in UTSA
Since 2016, UTSA players have seen some of its football players convert from the NCAA to the NFL. It is an exciting moment for the players to get a shot to chase their dreams and play for a vast amount of professional teams.
Defensive back Teddy Williams is the first Roadrunner to play in the NFL. From 2010-2011, the track star turned football player played with the Dallas Cowboys. He did not play in college, but still got a shot at his dreams of being a professional athlete. In 2012, Williams signed with the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the United Football League (UFL). He made his way to the Arizona Cardinals in 2013 and made his first reception on a 51-yard pass from former NFL quarterback, Carson Palmer. Williams had a brief stint in 2014 with the Chicago Bears, making two special teams tackles in five games. From the fall of 2015 through the spring of 2018, Williams played with the Carolina Panthers, he was even a part of the team that played in Super Bowl 50. Williams was released by the Panthers in March of this year, a week later he signed with the New York Giants on a one-year, $880,000 contract.
Defensive tackle Ashaad Mabry signed with the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2015 and stayed there as a practice squad/reserve player until the fall of 2017. This past May, Mabry signed with the Carolina Panthers.
Tight end David Morgan II set the tone for future Roadrunners, being the first UTSA player ever drafted in the annual NFL Draft (188th overall pick to the Minnesota Vikings). In his final year at UTSA, Morgan was named a second-team all-american and second-team All-CUSA selection after finishing among tight ends around the country with 45 receptions for 566 yards and setting UTSA’s single-season record with five touchdowns. This past season Morgan set career highs in all statistics.
In the November game of 2017, Morgan caught his first touchdown and is looking to improve more as his career progresses in the NFL.
In 2016, defensive tackle Brian Price signed with the Green Bay Packers. Price was on both the practice squad and the active roster for 2016 and 2017. In 2017, the Dallas Cowboys claimed Price off of waivers, and last March he signed a two-year extension.
In 2017, running back Jarveon Williams signed with the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent. He signed to the practice squad and got promoted in December of the same year. As the season gets closer, Williams aims to compete for more touches in the Bengal’s backfield.
It seems the 2018 football class has had the most success, with four different Roadrunners making it to the league this season.
Cornerback Devron Davis signed as an undrafted free agent to the Baltimore Ravens and three-year starter offensive lineman Austin Pratt is getting his shot with an invite to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie mini-camp. Also, former walk-on and record breaker Dalton Sturm signed as an undrafted free agent with the Dallas Cowboys.
Marcus Davenport received the most hype of any former Roadrunner ever heading into this year’s draft. The defensive end had a career total of 185 tackles and 21.5 sacks leaving UTSA. Listed as an athletic 6 foot 6 inches and 264 pounds, Davenport was high on most NFL team’s draft board. No one knew where he would go, but one thing was certain: he was going somewhere in the first round. The New Orleans Saints traded up to the 14th overall to pick the San Antonio native. The second Roadrunner ever drafted and the first one drafted in the first round of the NFL is an amazing achievement that is not an easy one to achieve, especially coming from a smaller school.
These former Roadrunners are able to say things that few are able to say: they have made an NFL roster. Whether it’s the practice squad, a reserve or the active roster, breaking into the National Football League is not an easy accomplishment and takes years of hard work. As the 2018-2019 season slowlyapproaches, fans are excited to see how these professional ‘Runners will do.