Sept. 4, 2011
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State saw 16 of its former football players make NFL rosters as teams were mandated to trim their rosters to 53 active players on Saturday. Of the 16 players, nine are on offense and seven are on defense.
The longest-tenured former Wildcats include Oakland running back Rock Cartwright and St. Louis linebacker Ben Leber, who are beginning their 11th season in the league. Kansas City safety Jon McGraw and Dallas cornerback Terrance Newman are each entering their 10th NFL season.
The lone former Wildcat to make a NFL team as a rookie is Miami running back Daniel Thomas, who was drafted in the second round of this past year’s draft.
Additionally, four organizations have two former Wildcats on its roster as Thomas is joined by tight end Jeron Mastrud in Miami, McGraw and offensive lineman Ryan Lilja are playing for the Chiefs, quarterback Josh Freeman and linebacker Zac Diles are playing for Tampa Bay, and wide receiver/kick return Brandon Banks and linebacker Rob Jackson are teammates for Washington.
Diles was with St. Louis during the preseason but was cut by the Rams on Saturday. He was quickly signed by the Buccaneers on Sunday, who are coached by former Wildcat defensive coordinator Raheem Morris.
The 32 NFL teams will fill out practice squads, which will be announced at a later date.
The NFL season kicks off on Thursday, September 8, while a full slate a games are scheduled for Sunday, September 11.
Wildcats in the NFL – As of Sept. 4
Name Organization Pos. NFL Exp.
Brandon Banks Washington WR 2
Rock Cartwright Oakland RB 10
Jeromey Clary San Diego OL 5
Zac Diles Tampa Bay LB 5
Josh Freeman Tampa Bay QB 3
Rob Jackson Washington LB 2
Ben Leber St. Louis LB 10
Ryan Lilja Kansas City OL 8
Jeron Mastrud Miami TE 2
Jon McGraw Kansas City S 9
Joshua Moore Chicago CB 2
Jordy Nelson Green Bay WR 4
Terence Newman Dallas CB 9
Darren Sproles New Orleans RB 7
Daniel Thomas Miami RB R
Reggie Walker Arizona LB 3
List does not include practice squad players or those on injured reserve