Former Aggie Vigil highlights new locals on NFL rosters

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It's not easy making a 53-man NFL roster as an undrafted free agent, but three local college football players have defied the odds.

Former Utah State standout linebacker Zach Vigil went undrafted in last April's NFL draft. But his dream of playing pro football will continue as a member of the Miami Dolphins after NFL teams announced their 53-man rosters Saturday.

Vigil joins eight other Aggies on NFL rosters ahead of Thursday's opener. Vigil is only the second Utah State linebacker currently in the league, alongside Seattle Seahawks standout Bobby Wagner, though reports indicate he will likely see most of his time with the Dolphins on special teams.

Uani' Unga made the New York Giants' roster as a linebacker, and fellow former BYU linebacker Alani Fu'a has been named to the Arizona Cardinals final roster. The duo join six other former Cougars in the NFL.

Utah is represented by 23 players in the NFL this season as of the current roster cut deadline. Newly drafted tackle Jeremiah Poutasi will join his Tennessee Titans teammates this year, as well as a bounty of former Utes plying their trade on Sundays. Kansas City's Alex Smith and San Diego's Eric Weddle lead the old guard of Utes, who will see competition against fellow Utah graduates like Cleveland's Nate Orchard, New York's Trevor Reilly and Philadelphia's Eric Rowe, among others.

Several former local standouts also signed practice squad deals with a variety of teams. Ex-Ute Brian Blechen has gone to the Carolina Panthers, former Cougar De'Ondre Wesley signed with the Ravens, and recent Utah graduate Kaelin Clay joined Tampa Bay. Sam Brenner has made the practice squad with the Dolphins and Paul Lasike bounced back from getting cut by Arizona to sign with Chicago's practice squad.

Here is the full list of former local football players to watch in the NFL this year.

Locals on NFL rosters

Name NFL team Pos. College
Ezekiel Ansah Detroit Lions DE BYU
John Denney Miami Dolphins LS BYU
Alani Fua Arizona Cardinals LB BYU
Dennis Pitta Baltimore Ravens TE BYU
Dallas Reynolds New York Giants OL BYU
Daniel Sorensen Kansas City Chiefs DB BYU
Uani' Unga New York Giants LB BYU
Kyle Van Noy Detroit Lions LB BYU
Dres Anderson San Francisco 49ers WR Utah
Matt Asiata Minnesota Vikings RB Utah
Zane Beadles Jacksonville Jaguars G Utah
Tony Bergstrom Oakland Raiders G Utah
Anthony Denham Houston Texans TE Utah
Paul Kruger Cleveland Browns LB Utah
Star Lotulelei Carolina Panthers DT Utah
Brice McCain Miami Dolphins CB Utah
Keith McGill Oakland Raiders CB Utah
Koa Misi Miami Dolphins LB Utah
Nate Orchard Cleveland Browns LB Utah
Tenny Palepoi San Diego Chargers DE Utah
Jeremiah Poutasi Tennessee Titans OT Utah
Trevor Reilly New York Jets LB Utah
Eric Rowe Philadelphia Eagles DB Utah
Derrick Shelby Miami Dolphins DE Utah
Sealver Siliga New England Patriots DL Utah
Sean Smith Kansas City Chiefs CB Utah
Alex Smith Kansas City Chiefs QB Utah
Steve Smith, Sr. Baltimore Ravens WR Utah
Paul Soliai Atlanta Falcons DT Utah
R.J. Stanford Detroit Lions DB Utah
Eric Weddle San Diego Chargers FS Utah
Maurice Alexander St. Louis Rams SS Utah State
Will Davis Miami Dolphins CB Utah State
Nevin Lawson Detroit Lions CB Utah State
Curtis Marsh Denver Broncos DB Utah State
Donald Penn Oakland Raiders OT Utah State
Robert Turbin Seattle Seahawks (IR) RB Utah State
Zach Vigil Miami Dolphins LB Utah State
Bobby Wagner Seattle Seahawks LB Utah State
Haloti Ngata Detroit Lions DT Oregon
Xavier Sua-Filo Houston Texans OG UCLA
Will Tukuafu Seattle Seahawks FB Oregon
Ricky Havili-Heimuli Atlanta Falcons (IR) NT Oregon
Steven Paea Washington Redskins DE Oregon State/Snow College
Jordan Devey San Francisco OL Memphis

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Jeremiah Jensen


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