Sun Belt Alumni NFL Week 11 Highlights: Stone Smartt’s First Touchdown and More

2023-11-21 18:01:20

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NEW ORLEANS – Old Dominion alumnus tight end Stone Smartt of the Los Angeles Chargers hauled in his first NFL touchdown on a 51-yard bomb to highlight the Sun Belt alumni showings in Week 11 of the 2023 National Football League (NFL) season.

Running backs Elijah Mitchell of the San Francisco 49ers and Derrick Gore of the Washington Commander also had 20-or-more yard days. Louisiana alum Mitchell amassed 24 yards on four carries, while ULM product Gore accumulated a season-high 23 yards on two touches. Kansas City Chiefs running back Jerick McKinnon out of Georgia Southern combined for 15 yards on two receptions and one rush, while Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Jalen Tolbert out of South Alabama had a pair of catches for 12 yards.

Washington Commanders linebacker David Mayo out of Texas State led the way defensively with six tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks and two quarterback hits. Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Chandon Sullivan via Georgia State added two tackles, two passes defended and his first interception in black and gold.

Also carding multi-tackle performances were safety Percy Butler (Louisiana, Washington Commanders) with seven tackles, cornerback Tre Hawkins III (Old Dominion, New York Giants) with six tackles, safety Dean Marlowe (James Madison, Los Angeles Chargers) with five tackles, safety Tracy Walker III (Louisiana, Detroit Lions) with four tackles and linebacker Neville Hewitt (Marshall, Houston Texans) with two tackles.

On special teams, Louisiana alumnus defensive back Eric Garror had two tackles and 15 punt returns yards for the Tennessee Titans. App State product Sam Martin registered three punts for 104 yards for the Buffalo Bills.

Kickers Tyler Bass (Georgia Southern, Buffalo Bills) and Wil Lutz (Georgia State, Denver Broncos) combined to go 9-for-9 on field goals and 2-for-3 on extra-points. Bass’ long was a 50-yard, while Lutz converted from 52 yards out.

Eighty-seven Sun Belt alumni earned NFL roster spots entering the 2023 season, with 48 on active rosters, 20 on practice squads and 10 on injured or other reserve lists in Week 11. Thirty-three saw the field, with 15 starting for their respective clubs.

Sun Belt football alumni dot 31-of-32 NFL rosters.

App State

Akeem Davis-Gaither – LB, Cincinnati Bengals (1 G, 1 GS, 1 Tackle)
Nick Hampton – LB, Los Angeles Rams (DNP)
* Tae Hayes – CB, New York Jets
^ Cooper Hodges – OL, Jacksonville Jaguars
D’Marco Jackson – LB, New Orleans Saints (Bye Week)
Shemar Jean-Charles – CB, San Francisco 49ers (1 G)
* Shaun Jolly – CB, Los Angeles Rams
Kendall Lamm – OL, Miami Dolphins (1 G)
Sam Martin – P, Buffalo Bills (1 G, 1 GS, 3 Punts, 104 Yards)
Ryan Neuzil – OL, Atlanta Falcons (Bye Week)
* Henry Pearson – FB, Green Bay Packers
^ Jalen Virgil – WR, Denver Broncos

Arkansas State

Demario Davis – LB, New Orleans Saints (Bye Week)
Blake Grupe – K, New Orleans Saints (Bye Week)

Coastal Carolina

* Lance Boykin – CB, Seattle Seahawks
* C.J. Brewer – DL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
* Jerrod Clark – DL, Los Angeles Chargers
* Jeff Gunter – DL, Cincinnati Bengals
* Tarron Jackson – DL, Philadelphia Eagles
Isaiah Likely – TE, Baltimore Ravens (1 G, 1 Tackle)
* Josh Norman – CB, Buffalo Bills

Georgia Southern

Darrell Baker Jr. – CB, Indianapolis Colts (Bye Week)
Tyler Bass – K, Buffalo Bills (1 G, 1 GS, 4-for-4 FG, 2-for-3 XP)
Matt Breida – RB, New York Giants (1 G, 3 Rushes)
* Raymond Johnson III – DL, Detroit Lions
Younghoe Koo – K, Atlanta Falcons (Bye Week)
Jerick McKinnon – RB, Kansas City Chiefs (1 G, 2 Receptions, 8 Yards, 1 Rush, 7 Yards)
Najee Thompson – CB, Minnesota Vikings (1 G)
* Kindle Vildor – DB, Detroit Lions

Georgia State

Wil Lutz – K, Denver Broncos (1 G, 1 GS, 5-for-5 FG)
Chandon Sullivan – CB, Pittsburgh Steelers (1 G, 2 Tackles, 2 Passes Defended, 1 Interception)

James Madison

* Ben DiNucci – QB, Denver Broncos
Mike Greene – DL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1 G, 1 Tackle)
Dean Marlowe – S, Los Angeles Chargers (1 G, 1 GS, 5 Tackles)
Aaron Stinnie – OL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1 G, 1 GS)


Percy Butler – S, Washington Commanders (1 G, 1 GS, 7 Tackles)
Kevin Dotson – OL, Los Angeles Rams (1 G, 1 GS)
Eric Garror – DB, Tennessee Titans (1 G, 2 Tackles, 15 Punt Return Yards)
Robert Hunt – OL, Miami Dolphins (DNP)
Andre Jones Jr. – DL, Washington Commanders (1 G, 1 GS)
Elijah Mitchell – RB, San Francisco 49ers (1 G, 4 Rushes, 24 Yards)
Max Mitchell – OL, New York Jets (1 G, 1 GS)
^ John Stephens Jr. – WR, Dallas Cowboys
Tracy Walker III – S, Detroit Lions (1 G, 4 Tackles)


Derrick Gore – RB, Washington Commanders (1 G, 2 Rushes, 23 Yards)
* Josh Pederson – TE, Jacksonville Jaguars


^ Josh Ball – OL, Dallas Cowboys
Steven Gilmore – CB, Detroit Lions (DNP)
Neville Hewitt – LB, Houston Texans (1 G, 2 Tackles)
^ Nazeeh Johnson – S, Kansas City Chiefs

Old Dominion

Tre Hawkins III – CB, New York Giants (1 G, 1 GS, 6 Tackles)
* Marcus Haynes – LB, Denver Broncos
Taylor Heinicke – QB, Atlanta Falcons (Bye Week)
* Zack Kuntz – TE, New York Jets
Rick Lovato – LS, Philadelphia Eagles (1 G, 1 GS)
Zach Pascal – WR, Arizona Cardinals (DNP)
Nick Saldiveri – OL, New Orleans Saints (Bye Week)
Stone Smartt – TE, Los Angeles Chargers (1 G, 1 GS, 1 Reception, 51 Yards, 1 Touchdown)
* Oshane Ximines – LB, New York Giants

South Alabama

Gerald Everett – TE, Los Angeles Chargers (DNP)
Darrell Luter Jr. – CB, San Francisco 49ers (1 G)
^ Jeremy Reaves – S, Washington Commanders
Jalen Tolbert – WR, Dallas Cowboys (1 G, 2 Receptions, 12 Yards)

Southern Miss

* Cornell Armstrong – DB, Oakland Raiders
* Natrone Brooks – CB, Atlanta Falcons
Jason Brownlee – WR, New York Jets (1 G)
* TyKeem Doss – OL, Baltimore Ravens
Tim Jones – WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (1 G)
^ Nick Mullens – QB, Minnesota Vikings
Rakeem Nunez-Roches – DL, New York Giants (1 G, 1 Tackle)
Eric Scott Jr. – CB, Dallas Cowboys (DNP)
^ Quez Watkins – WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Texas State

* Levi Bell – DL, Seattle Seahawks
Aaron Brewer – OL, Tennessee Titans (1 G, 1 GS)
David Mayo – LB, Washington Commanders (1 G, 1 GS, 6 Tackles, 3 TFL, 2 Sacks, 2 QB Hits)
^ Ty Sketch – OL, Cleveland Browns


Jake Andrews – OL, New England Patriots (Bye Week)
^ Shakel Brown – DL, Tennessee Titans

* Practice Squad
^ Injured & Other Reserve

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