Friday, July 25, 2014

The offseason status of NFL players with Utah ties (75 items)

By , Deseret News

June 1, 2014

With organized team activities in full swing for NFL teams around the league, 66 players with Utah ties are trying to make impressions.

As of May 31, the University of Utah leads local teams with 30 players on NFL rosters. Utah State is next with 17, while BYU has 11. Also, Weber State has one, Southern Utah has one and six others played high school ball in Utah and collegiately out of state.

This also includes 21 rookies, six of whom were selected in this year's NFL draft May 8-10 and the others signed as undrafted free agents.

Nine other local players are also aiming to return to a roster, as they currently are free agents.

Here's a look at each of these players and their current situations:

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

1 of 75. Sam Brenner

Position: Center

College: Utah

Brenner joined the Miami Dolphins as a free agent last year after going undrafted.

It's worked out for Brenner so far, as he started four games for Miami in 2013 and played in seven.

"I felt a lot of people overlooked me, so I came in here with a chip on my shoulder," Brenner told the Miami Herald. "I felt I was going to prove guys wrong. I wanted to show everyone I can play in this league, and I belong here.”

2 of 75. Will Davis

Position: Cornerback

College: Utah State

Davis was drafted by the Miami Dolphins during the third round of the 2013 NFL draft and played in five games last season, including a seven-tackle game against New England.

Miami chose not to retain cornerbacks Nolan Carroll and Dmitri Patterson during the offseason, giving Davis the chance to contribute more in 2014. According to the Miami Herald, Dolphins coach Mark Philbin intends on giving Davis and fellow second-year corner Jamar Taylor the opportunity to earn playing time over veteran Cortland Finnegan.

3 of 75. John Denney

Position: Long snapper

College: BYU

Denney is currently the longest-tenured player on the Miami Dolphins' roster, after joining the team as the long snapper in 2005.

The former Cougar has 34 career tackles and recovered a fumble last season.

4 of 75. Tyler Larsen

Position: Offensive line

College: Utah State

The rookie Larsen signed a free-agent deal with the Miami Dolphins after not being selected in the NFL draft.

He played center at Utah State, and Miami currently has three other players listed at center, including Utah's Sam Brenner.

“You always want to be drafted,” Larsen said in a feature on the Dolphins website. “That’s just a little bump in the road and I’m here right now. Coaches have said that everyone is a player on the team and that’s how I’m going to take my approach to this and I’m just going to give my all and I’m just happy to be here.”

5 of 75. Koa Misi

Position: Linebacker

College: Utah

Misi, a second-round pick in the 2010 draft, is headed into his fifth year in the NFL, all with the Miami Dolphins.

During that time, Misi has started 46 games, including 12 last season while recording 54 tackles, three pass deflections and two sacks. He is projected to start at strongside linebacker for the Dolphins in 2014 by NFL Around the League's Marc Sessler.

1. wwookie
Payson, UT,
June 1, 2014

Can't wait for the season to start!

The BYU tandem in Detroit could be spectacular.
Hope that Brad Sorensen gets some good playing time and makes the thunderbirds proud.

But most excited to see how Alex and the Chiefs do this year.

Also amazing how the Dolphins love the Utah products.

2. Orem Parent
Orem, UT,
June 2, 2014

What ever happened to Matt Reynolds? Didn't he sign with someone last year?

3. BigCougar
Bountiful, UT,
June 2, 2014

The Dolphins have been loading up on ute players and for the last decade or so (especially on defense) and have been a bottom feeder team during that span. I guess hand-timed 40 results aren't everything.

4. Wanda B. Rich
Provo, UT,
June 2, 2014

Did you forget Cody Hoffman, or did I miss him in your list?

5. greatbam22
andrews afb, MD,
June 2, 2014

@ Wanda B. Rich

He is number 48