Rookie Jacob Dolegala became the first former NEC quarterback to make a NFL team’s post-preseason 53-man roster.
CCSU’s all-time leading passer, who signed as an undrafted free agent following the draft, was one of four quarterbacks kept by the Bengals. It’s rare to see an NFL team carry four quarterbacks, but, the Bengals were clearly worried about the possibility of Dolegala hitting the waiver wire. Earning rave reviews since rookie camp, the rookie signal caller’s preseason production made him an appealing developmental option for a number of teams throughout the league.
Two former Wagner ballers found their way onto 53-man roster as well.
Veteran Julian Stanford, who was a virtual lock to survive cut-down day in Buffalo, is set for his seventh season in the NFL. Entering his second season with the Bills, the former all-NEC linebacker is highly valued on special teams and has owned the second-string reps at middle linebacker behind starter Tremaine Edmunds. Stanford saw time backing up Edmunds last year and it appears as if Buffalo’s coaching staff is comfortable with him there.
Former Wagner offensive tackle Greg Senat, a 2018 sixth round draft pick, snagged a spot on the Baltimore Ravens’ 53-man roster following a preseason battle. Senat, who possesses exciting athleticism at the position, spent his entire rookie year on Injured Reserve after sustaining an injury in a preseason game.
Five NEC alumni were not as fortunate as the aforementioned three.
Former all-NEC defensive backs Jermaine Ponder (Saint Francis) and Marcelis Branch (Robert Morris) were released and will hit the waiver wire. Both Ponder (Texans) and Branch (Steelers) came up with interceptions during their teams’ preseason finales. Ponder played in preseason games with three different NFL teams (Browns, Steelers, Texans) this summer. Branch had spent time on the Falcons’ practice squad before signing a futures/reserve contract with Pittsburgh this past winter.
Christian Kuntz, a former two-time NEC Defensive Player of the Year at Duquesne, joined Branch on the Steelers’ cut list. Kuntz, who doubles as a long snapper, signed with Pittsburgh after being released by the Jaguars in June.
Bryant alumni Tom Kennedy (Lions) and Thomas Costigan (Chargers) were both placed on waivers Saturday.
Costigan signed with the Chargers on August 12 after participating in the organization’s spring rookie camp.
Showing up in the Lions’ preseason finale, Kennedy caught two of four targets for 24 receiving yards and logged four punt returns. He averaged 14.0 yards per runback with a long of 28. He totaled five rceptions for 76 yards during the NFL Preseason.
Ponder, Kennedy, Kuntz, Costigan and Branch can all be claimed by another NFL team (and subsequently placed on the 53-man roster) and all have practice squad eligibility.
Julian Stanford (Wagner) – Bills’ 53-man Roster
Greg Senat (Wagner) – Ravens’ 53-man Roster
Marcelis Branch (Robert Morris) – Released by Steelers
Jermaine Ponder (Saint Francis) – Released by Texans
Christian Kuntz (Duquesne) – Released by Steelers
Tom Kennedy (Bryant) – Released by Lions