16 former Wildcats on NFL rosters

By Jelani Yancey

Kansas State had 15 players on active rosters and one on a practice squad as NFL teams were mandated to trim their rosters for the upcoming season over the weekend. Of the 16 players, 10 are on offense and six are on defense.

The longest-tenured former Wildcats include cornerback Terence Newman, offensive lineman Ryan Lilja and running back Darren Sproles.

Newman, who is in his 10th season, is in his first year with the Cincinnati Bengals after spending his first nine years with the Dallas Cowboys.

Lilja is in his ninth year, including his third as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs. 

Sproles enters his eighth season, and second with the New Orleans Saints, a year after breaking the NFL record for all-purpose yardage at 2,696.

A pair of rookies made NFL rosters as undrafted rookie free agent Tysyn Hartman survived the two mandated cuts by the NFL to earn a roster spot with the Kansas City Chiefs, while running back Bryce Brown, a sixth-round choice, is on the active roster for the Philadelphia Eagles.

A former community-college walk on at K-State, running back William Powell earned his first roster spot on a NFL team as he made the Arizona Cardinals’ 53-man roster. Powell, who had spent the final few weeks on the practice squad with Arizona last year, led the NFL in rushing during the 2012 preseason with 249 yards and three touchdowns on 42 carries.

Additionally, five organizations have two former Wildcats on their rosters as Newman is joined by linebacker Emmanuel Lamur, who earned a practice squad spot for the Bengals, Hartman and Lilja are teammates in Kansas City, Powell and linebacker Reggie Walker play for Arizona, while wide receiver/kick returner Brandon Banks and linebacker Rob Jackson are teammates for a third season with the Washington Redskins.

The NFL season kicks off on Wednesday, while a full slate a games are scheduled for this Sunday.

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