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NFL cuts tracker: Former Cougars So'oto, Fangupo among locals to be released (updated)

By Brandon Judd, Deseret News

Published: Sun, Aug. 24 7:20 p.m. MDT

 This is a 2014 photo of Vic So'oto of the Pittsburgh Steelers NFL football team. So'oto was released by the Steelers Tuesday.

This is a 2014 photo of Vic So'oto of the Pittsburgh Steelers NFL football team. So'oto was released by the Steelers Tuesday.

(Uncredited, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Editor's note: This story will be updated as cuts continue to be announced. Last updated at 4:50 p.m. MDT Tuesday.

An NFL journeyman heading into the fourth year of his pro career, former BYU defensive star Vic So'oto is searching for a team again.

The 6-foot-3, 263-pound linebacker was released by Pittsburgh Tuesday morning. The Steelers later cut six more players, including former BYU defensive lineman Hebron Fangupo, to reach the league-mandated 75-player limit by Tuesday's 2 p.m. MDT deadline. Following these first round of cuts, teams must reduce their active rosters to 53 players by a 2 p.m. deadline Saturday.

So'oto signed with Pittsburgh during the offseason. Since signing with Green Bay as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2011, the former Cougar has been a part of six different NFL teams, including the Packers (twice), Raiders, Redskins, Cardinals, Saints and most recently the Steelers.

He had three tackles, a sack and a forced fumble in Pittsburgh's Week 2 preseason victory over Buffalo.

Fangupo has been in Pittsburgh since signing with the team in December 2012; he played in four regular-season game last year for the Steelers and had one tackle.

Also of note from Tuesday, all seven players with local ties — including five rookies — on the Raiders' roster made it through the first wave of cuts. These players include Tony Bergstorm (Utah), Bojay Filimoeatu (Utah State and Granger HS), Keith McGill (Utah), Jake Murphy (Utah and American Fork HS), Donald Penn (Utah State), Karl Williams (Utah, Southern Utah and Layton HS) and Spencer Hadley (BYU).

Still, at a time when most NFL player transactions involve athletes being released, former Utah defensive lineman Joe Kruger received positive news Monday.

Looking to bolster a depleted defensive line, the San Diego Chargers added Kruger off waivers, two days after the second-year pro was waived by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Kruger, a Timpanogos High product, had four tackles, a tackle for loss and a blocked field-goal attempt for the Eagles during preseason play. He was a seventh-round draft pick by Philadelphia in 2013 and spent last year on injured reserve.

He now joins his brother Paul, an outside linebacker for the Cleveland Browns, in the AFC.

Other locals who have been cut thus far:

Tyler Larsen, C, Utah State (Jordan HS)

The rookie Larsen, who signed with Miami after going undrafted, was waived by the Dolphins Tuesday. He played 20 snaps during Miami’s first three preseason game against Atlanta, but that reduced to 11 snaps the next game and he didn't play in the Dolphins' contest against Dallas on Saturday.

Harvey Unga, RB, BYU (Timpview HS)

A little over one week after BYU's all-time leading rusher signed with Jacksonville on Aug. 16, the Jaguars released Unga and 10 other players Sunday. In his only preseason game with the Jaguars, Unga had one carry for five yards as Jacksonville lost 13-12 to Detroit Friday.

Unga was recently featured in a teaser for an episode that chronicles his NFL journey that will be a part of the NFL Network's upcoming series, "Undrafted."

"I've got a glimpse," Unga said in the clip that aired on the NFL Network Thursday night. The "Undrafted" series premieres Oct. 23. "I've got a glimpse of what I wanted — to feel, to taste, to engulf myself in. I think I've only scratched the surface."

Unga, who has transitioned into a fullback in the pros, was a seventh-round NFL supplemental draft pick by the Chicago Bears in 2010. He spent parts of four years with the Bears, mainly on the practice squad.

David Reed, WR, Utah

Reed was released by San Francisco Monday evening. The fifth-year pro had five receptions for 55 yards in preseason action, but he also lost a fumble. Reed joined the 49ers this season after playing last year with the Colts; he spent his first three NFL seasons with Baltimore.

Cody Larsen, DL, Southern Utah (Jordan HS)

Larsen, heading into his second pro season, was waived by Denver Monday. He signed with the Broncos on July 30 after spending his rookie year on the Ravens' practice squad.

R.J. Stanford, CB, Utah

The veteran Stanford has his contract terminated by the Cincinnati Bengals Monday. After spending the past two seasons with the Miami Dolphins, Stanford signed with Cincinnati in March. He has played in 41 career regular-season games and has 39 career tackles and an interception in four pro seasons.

Kerwynn Williams, RB, Utah State

Williams, the second-year back who spent most of his time last year on the practice squads for the Colts and Chargers, was waived by San Diego Monday. He rushed for 10 yards and a touchdown in the first week of the preseason, but did not record any stats the past two weeks. That's a stark contrast to last year, when he had 169 rushing yards for Indianapolis in the preseason and started the season on the 53-man active roster. Soon, though, he moved to the practice squad for the Colts before moving on to the Chargers' practice squad.

Reggie Dunn, WR, Utah

Dunn, who was on his sixth NFL team in just his second year as a pro, was waived by the Arizona Cardinals Monday. He had one kickoff return for 14 yards and a punt return for three yards during the preseason.

Cody Hoffman, WR, BYU

Hoffman, an undrafted rookie who signed a free-agent deal with Washington, was waived by the Redskins Sunday. Hoffman, who was three inches taller than any other receiver on Washington's team, did not catch a pass and was only targeted twice during the Redskins' first three preseason games.

Tay Glover-Wright, DB, Utah State

The rookie Glover-Wright, an undrafted free agent who signed with Atlanta, was one of 10 players waived by the Falcons Sunday afternoon. Glover-Wright was listed as third string at cornerback on the team's most recent depth chart and had three tackles and a pass deflection in preseason play.

Anthony Morales, LB, Weber State

One month to the day after he signed with Carolina, Morales was waived by the Panthers Sunday. The former Wildcat played sparingly for Carolina in the preseason, recording one tackle in three games.

Michael Smith, RB, Utah State

The former Aggie was waived Saturday by the New York Jets. He signed with the Jets on Aug. 1 but did not play in any preseason games. He was cut by Tampa Bay earlier this summer after being drafted in the seventh round by the Buccaneers in 2012.

Other roster moves:

Former Cottonwood High star Stanley Havili was placed on the reserve/physically unable to perform list by the Colts Tuesday. The fullback started eight games for Indianapolis last season and had 18 receptions for 128 yards and a touchdown.

Email: bjudd@deseretnews.com; Twitter: @brandonljudd

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1. Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT,
Aug. 24, 2014

What? Why? The headline a few days ago made it sound like the Unga signing was as big as the Lebron James going back to Cleveland deal.

2. samhill
Salt Lake City, UT,
Aug. 24, 2014

It's a tough, tough job.

I hope the guys on football scholarships take note and show their wisdom and gratitude for the academic opportunity by keeping their grades up, since it's very unlikely they will land a long-term career in the NFL.

3. cmsense
Kaysville, UT,
Aug. 24, 2014

NFL ....Not For Long

I'm hoping Cody and Harvey get another chance. Well, Harvey has been at it now for 3 or 4 years so I guess he's had a fair shot.
Cody has amazing hand eye coordination and body control, and with his height he beats the cornerback 7/10 times even when he is covered. Play to his strengths, and I think he'd be awsome in the NFL. He's gotta be better than a lot of guys on NFL rosters. So he runs a 4.6 40. I believe a guy named Jerry Rice ran a 4.5. I'd rather have a guy that can catch than a track star.

4. utefever
kaysville, UT,
Aug. 24, 2014

Too bad for Kruger. Wish he would have stayed in college one more year. We could have used him last year.

5. Smokin' Joe
ALTURAS, CA,
Aug. 24, 2014

The disparaging comments about these football players are way over the top. What difference does it make what school they played for? The fact of the matter is they are human beings and men in need of jobs to support themselves and sometimes their families. Stop the nonsense of mocking them for no other reason than they attended a different University than you. It says something about a person (and its not good) when he revels in the failure of others.