Blue White Illustrated

September 2023

Penn State Sports Magazine

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 62 of 67

S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 3 6 3 W W W . B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M you don't go through hell first. I'll get past this just like everything else on this journey! I will continue to elevate." FORMER NITTANY LIONS IN THE NFL As of Aug. 14 Adrian Amos (Played at Penn State from 2011- 14), S, New York Jets: After four seasons in Green Bay, Amos signed a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Jets in June. He finished the 2022 season as the Packers' second-leading tackler with 102 stops, including 7 for loss and 2 sacks. Troy Apke (2014-17), S, Washington Command- ers: A member of the Commanders' practice squad last year, Apke was placed on the reserve/injured list in August after hurting his shoulder. Saquon Barkley (2015-17), RB, New York Giants: Barkley had threatened to sit out the season amid a contract dispute, but he had a change of heart in July and signed an adjusted franchise tag worth $10.1 million, with another $1 million in incentives. The one-year deal comes on the heels of a 2022 season in which the former Penn State great rushed for a career-high 1,312 yards. Barkley did not see action in the Giants' exhibition opener against De- troit on Aug. 11. Ryan Bates (2015-19), TE, Buffalo Bills: Bates is looking to hold onto the Bills' starting right guard position but is being challenged by second-round draft choice O'Cyrus Torrence. Nick Bowers (2015-19), TE, Cincinnati Bengals: Bowers hasn't seen action in a regular-season game since playing in five contests with the Raiders in 2021. Nevertheless, he's battling for a roster spot in Cincinnati this summer. He had 1 catch for 3 yards in the Bengals' exhibition opener against Green Bay on Aug. 11. Jaquan Brisker (2019-21), S, Chicago Bears: Coming off a strong rookie season in which he ranked as the Bears' second-leading tackler with 104 stops, Brisker has received praise as a potential Pro Bowler this year. Cam Brown (2016-19), LB, New York Giants: Brown played in six games last season and is fight- ing for a roster spot with the Giants. He finished with 4 tackles in their exhibition opener against Detroit. Ji'Ayir Brown (2020-22), S, San Francisco 49ers: Brown, a third-round draft pick in April, is in con- tention for a starting spot at safety in his rookie season with the Niners. He had 4 tackles, all solo stops, in San Francisco's 34-7 loss to Las Vegas in its preseason opener Aug. 13. Jason Cabinda (2014-17), FB, Detroit Lions: After a difficult 2022 season in which he played in only four games due to injury and illness, Cabinda is bat- tling to hold onto his roster spot in Detroit. Tariq Castro-Fields (2017-21), CB, Washington Commanders: Castro-Fields has recovered from the knee injury that limited him to two games as a rookie and is expected to win a backup spot in Washington's secondary. He had 2 tackles to help lift the Commanders over Cleveland, 17-15, in their exhibition opener Aug. 11. Dan Chisena (2015, 2018-19), WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: Chisena signed with the Steelers in Janu- ary following three seasons in Minnesota and is looking to win a job as a coverage specialist on kicks and punts. Sean Clifford (2017-22), QB, Green Bay Packers: A fifth-round draft choice in April, Clifford is vying for a backup role behind starter Jordan Love. He completed 20 of 26 passes for 208 yards, with 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions, in his preseason debut, helping lead the Packers to a 36-19 win over Cincinnati. Jahan Dotson (2019-2021), WR, Washington Commanders: Dotson is eager to take the next step in his career after catching a team-best 7 touch- down passes as a rookie. He was the Commanders' third-leading receiver with 523 yards on 35 catches last season and began his 2023 campaign with 2 catches for 30 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown grab, in Washington's preseason win at Cleveland. Arnold Ebiketie (2021), DE, Atlanta Falcons: Ebik- etie finished the 2022 season with 3 sacks and 9 quarterback hits, with both totals ranking third on the Falcons' defense. He's vying for a starting job under the direction of new defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen, previously of the New Orleans Saints. Ebiketie had 3 tackles, including a sack, along with 2 quarterback hits, in the Falcons' 19-3 win over Miami on Aug. 11 to begin their exhibition season. Pat Freiermuth (2018-20), TE, Pittsburgh Steel- ers: Freiermuth ranked second on the team with 63 catches for 732 yards and 2 touchdowns last season. He sprained his MCL and ACL late last season but did not need offseason surgery and is expected to be one of the league's more productive tight ends this fall. Freiermuth had 1 catch for 6 yards in the Steelers' exhibition opener against Tampa Bay on Aug. 11. Will Fries (2016-20), OL, Indianapolis Colts: Fries is looking to build on a 2022 season in which he started nine games at right guard for the Colts. Mike Gesicki (2014-17), TE, New England Pa- triots: After five seasons in Miami, Gesicki signed a one-year deal with the Patriots worth up to $9 million with incentives. He caught a career-high 73 passes for 780 yards in 2021 but saw his productiv- ity plummet in his final season with the Dolphins, totaling 32 catches for 362 yards. Blake Gillikin (2016-19), P, New Orleans Saints: Gillikin is back with the Saints after handling all 77 punts for the team last year, averaging 46.4 yards. He averaged 38 yards on 3 punts in New Orleans' exhibition opener against Kansas City on Aug. 13. Kevin Givens (2016-18), DT, San Francisco 49ers: Despite going undrafted in 2019, Givens has turned out to be an effective run-stopper for the Niners, with 13 tackles for loss over the past three seasons. In March, he signed a one-year, $2.1 million con- tract extension that will keep him in San Francisco through the 2023 season. Chris Godwin (2014-16), WR, Tampa Bay Buc- caneers: Bouncing back from a torn ACL late in the 2021 season, Godwin finished with 104 catches for 1,023 yards last year. Following Tom Brady's retire- ment, he's going to be teaming with a new quarter- back this fall, most likely journeyman Baker May- field. Godwin didn't see action in the Buccaneers' preseason opener against Pittsburgh on Aug. 11. Yetur Gross-Matos (2017-19), DE, Carolina Pan- thers: With the Panthers switching to a 3-4 base defense under new coach Frank Reich, Gross-Matos has moved to outside linebacker, a change that he described as "a breath of fresh air." He finished with a career-high 54 tackles, including 2.5 sacks, and totaled 10 quarterback hits in 2022. Gross-Matos had 3 tackles in Carolina's exhibition opener against the Jets on Aug. 12. Jesse James (2012-14), TE, New Orleans Saints: James signed with New Orleans in May and is bat- tling for a roster spot this summer. He was injured last year while with Cleveland and played in only two games without a reception. Austin Johnson (2012-15), DT, Los Angeles Char- gers: Johnson suffered a season-ending knee injury last November but is healthy again and is expected to start at defensive tackle for the Chargers this fall. DaQuan Jones (2010-13), DL, Buffalo Bills: Jones is back with the Bills after a 2022 season in which he had 5 sacks and 33 pressures and compiled a career- best 72.7 pass-rush grade from Pro Football Focus. Jesse Luketa (2018-21), LB, Arizona Cardinals: Luketa returns to the Cardinals after playing in five games during his rookie season and finishing with 3 tackles. He had 3 tackles and a quarterback hit in Ar- izona's exhibition opener against Denver on Aug. 11. Connor McGovern (2016-18), OL, Buffalo Bills: In March, McGovern signed a three-year deal with Buffalo worth $23 million. He had spent the first four years of his pro career in Dallas. Trace McSorley (2014-18), QB, New England Pa- triots: McSorley signed a one-year contract with the Patriots in April after spending the 2022 season in Arizona. Vying for a backup spot behind starting quarterback Mac Jones, McSorley completed 1 of 3 attempts for 4 yards in New England's preseason opener versus Houston on Aug. 10. PJ Mustipher (2018-22), DT, Denver Broncos: Mustipher is looking to earn a spot on the Broncos' 53-man roster after signing as an undrafted free agent in April. He had 3 tackles in Denver's exhibi- tion opener against Arizona. Amani Oruwariye (2014-18), CB, New York Gi- ants: Oruwariye signed a one-year pact with the Giants in March after spending his first four pro sea- sons in Detroit. He had 2 tackles against his former team in the Giants' preseason opener. Odafe Oweh (2018-20), DE, Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens are looking for a big jump in productivity from Oweh, who had 8 sacks in his first two seasons. Micah Parsons (2018-19), LB, Dallas Cowboys: Parsons placed ninth on's ranking of the league's top 100 active players heading into the

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue White Illustrated - September 2023