Every Current NFL Player from NCAA DII & DIII

September 20, 2021 / Athletic AdministrationAthletic LeaderCoachingFootball
Not every player in the NFL played in a stadium packed with 100,000-plus fans on Saturdays with a parking lot filled with tailgaters and barbeque specialists. Not every player in the NFL received an athletic scholarship. Not every player in the NFL ever sniffed an opportunity to be seen on a nationally televised game.

And yet, somehow, someway they made it to the pinnacle of their profession.

A recent story from breaks down every player who is on a current NFL roster that came from the NCAA Division II and Division III levels. Below is an excerpt from that breakdown.

The 2021 NFL season is here around the corner and currently, there are 53 former DII and DIII football players scattered across many different rosters. Here’s a look at who they are and which NFL team they will represent this season.

Arizona Cardinals Dennis Gardeck Sioux Falls
Atlanta Falcons John Cominsky Charleston (WV)
Erik Harris Cal U (PA)
Baltimore Ravens Brandon Williams Missouri Southern State
Buffalo Bills Justin Zimmer Ferris State
Carolina Panthers Trenton Cannon Virginia State
Morgan Fox CSU Pueblo
Brandon Zylstra * Augustana (SD) *
Chicago Bears Marqui Christian Midwestern State
Dallas Cowboys C.J. Goodwin Cal U (PA)
Greg Zuerlein Missouri Western
Denver Broncos Nate McCrary Saginaw Valley State
Detroit Lions  Trinity Benson East Central
Anthony Pittman Wayne State (MI)
Tyrell Williams Western Oregon
Green Bay Packers Malik Taylor Ferris State
Houston Texans Tavierre Thomas Ferris State
Indianapolis Colts Ashton Dulin Malone
Kenny Moore II Valdosta State
Chris Reed Minnesota State
E.J. Speed ** Tarleton State **
Grover Stewart Albany State (GA)
Mike Strachan Charleston (WV)
Kansas City Chiefs Jody Fortson Valdosta State
Tyreek Hill West Alabama
Tershawn Wharton Missouri S&T
Las Vegas Raiders Denzelle Good Mars Hill
Los Angeles Chargers Austin Ekeler Western Colorado
Matt Feiler Bloomsburg
Matt Overton Western Washington
Trey Pipkins Sioux Falls
Los Angeles Rams  Chris Garrett Concordia-St. Paul
Matthew Orzech Azusa Pacific
Miami Dolphins  Adam Shaheen Ashland
Zach Sieler Ferris State
Minnesota Vikings C.J. Ham Augustana (SD)
Adam Thielen Minnesota State
New England Patriots Kyle Dugger Lenoir-Rhyne
Matthew Judon Grand Valley State
Gunner Olszewski Bemidji State
New Orleans Saints Deonte Harris Assumption
Jeff Heath Saginaw Valley State
New York Jets Keelan Cole Kentucky Wesleyan
Nathan Shepherd Fort Hays State
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Alex Cappa Humboldt State
Ryan Jensen CSU Pueblo
Zach Triner Assumption

* — Zylstra played his redshirt-freshman year with Augustana before transferring to DIII Concordia-Moorhead. 

** — Speed played at Tarleton State before the Texans moved to FCS. 

This is the fifth season we’ve tracked DII football players in the NFL. It began in 2017 when 90 DII players made rosters across the league. In 2018, it went down to 83 players, while 2019 saw that number drop nearly in half to 49. DII players across the NFL went up to 54 in 2020. This season will see that number drop to 47.

Here are a few other notable numbers from the data:

4 — Is the most number of players coming from any one school. The school: Ferris State.

» ALSO SEE: TCU’s Patterson Envisions NIL Arms Race to Keep Players & Recruits

6 — DII players on the Indianapolis Colts, which is the most out of all NFL teams. Coming in second is the Los Angeles Chargers with four. Third place is a five-way tie between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs, Detroit Lions, and Carolina Panthers all with three players.

22 — Teams with at least one former DII football player, which is a decrease from 27 last season. The Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans, and Washington Football Team don’t feature a DII player on the 53-man roster.

DIII football players on NFL rosters

Buffalo Bills Jake Kumerow Wisconsin-Whitewater
Carolina Panthers Dan Arnold Wisconsin-Platteville
Denver Broncos  Quinn Meinerz Wisconsin-Whitewater
Jacksonville Jaguars Ben Bartch St. John’s (MN)
Las Vegas Raiders Nicholas Morrow Greenville College
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Ali Marpet Hobart

To read the full article and more from, click here.