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These 53 NFL players with Utah ties made initial regular-season rosters

There has been an upward trend of Utah ties making opening 53-man active rosters in recent years

Washington Football Team wide receiver Dax Milne (84) runs during an NFL preseason game.
Washington Football Team wide receiver Dax Milne (84) runs during an NFL preseason football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021 in Landover, Md. Milne, the former BYU receiver, made the team’s initial 53-man roster, a bit of a surprise after he was a late seventh-round draft pick.
Daniel Kucin Jr., Associated Press

Another final cut down day has come and gone for the NFL, and for Utah ties in the league, things are looking up.

As of Tuesday, there were 53 Utah ties on NFL active rosters, with three others on reserve lists. NFL teams can start signing players to their practice squads beginning Wednesday, and there were 35 Utah ties who were waived or released during training camps that could sign to practice squads.

Of those 53 Utah ties on active rosters, 21 come from the University of Utah, followed by 13 from BYU, seven from Utah State, two from Weber State and one from Southern Utah. There are 26 of those ties who attended a Utah high school.

The 53 Utah ties on an initial 53-man roster continues an upward trend in recent years, climbing from 49 last year, 45 in 2019 and 38 in 2018.

There were some nice Utah-based storylines coming out of the final cuts:

  • Former BYU wide receiver Dax Milne was the penultimate selection in the final round of the 2021 NFL draft, and as such, faced long odds to make the regular-season roster for Washington. But Milne, a former walk-on for the Cougars, found himself on the 53-man and given the chance to make an impact as a rookie.
  • Former Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley making the Baltimore Ravens 53-man roster wasn’t a surprise, but he was assured to be the backup when the Ravens released fellow quarterback Trace McSorley. After an extremely impressive preseason, Huntley earned the backup position and turned heads around the league.
  • Former Utah State quarterback Jordan Love, not surprisingly, is the backup in Green Bay. This comes after he was third-string as a rookie in 2020 and was inactive for every game last season. Now, he’s the main backup to 2020 NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers.
  • Other rookies to make the initial 53-man roster include former BYU defensive tackle Khyiris Tonga with Chicago. He was a seventh-round pick, like Milne. Another former Cougar, cornerback Chris Wilcox, wasn’t so lucky, as he was a seventh-round pick as well but was waived by Tampa Bay.

Here’s a look at each of the 53 Utah ties on active rosters:


San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner greets fans during an NFL football practice in Costa Mesa, Calif., Friday, Aug. 20, 2021.
Damian Dovarganes, Associated Press

BYU

Name, position, team, Utah tie(s)

  • Brady Christensen, OT, Carolina Panthers, BYU and Bountiful High
  • Michael Davis, CB, Los Angeles Chargers, BYU
  • Taysom Hill, QB, New Orleans Saints, BYU
  • Harvey Langi, LB, New England Patriots, BYU, Utah and Bingham High
  • Dax Milne, WR, Washington Football Team, BYU and Bingham High
  • Daniel Sorensen, S, Kansas City Chiefs, BYU
  • Sione Takitaki, LB, Cleveland Browns, BYU
  • Khyiris Tonga, DT, Chicago Bears, BYU and Granger High
  • Kyle Van Noy, LB, New England Patriots, BYU
  • Fred Warner, LB, San Francisco 49ers, BYU
  • Jamaal Williams, RB, Detroit Lions, BYU
  • Ty’Son Williams, RB, Baltimore Ravens, BYU
  • Zach Wilson, QB, New York Jets, BYU and Corner Canyon High

New Orleans Saints free safety Marcus Williams runs a drill during NFL football training camp practice Friday, Aug. 20, 2021, in New Orleans.
Derick Hingle, Associated Press

Utah

Name, position, team, Utah tie(s)

  • Bradlee Anae, DE, Dallas Cowboys, Utah
  • Cody Barton, LB, Seattle Seahawks, Utah and Brighton High
  • Francis Bernard, LB, Dallas Cowboys, Utah, BYU and Herriman High
  • Julian Blackmon, FS, Indianapolis Colts, Utah and Layton High
  • Marquise Blair, S, Seattle Seahawks, Utah
  • Garett Bolles, OT, Denver Broncos, Utah, Snow College and Westlake High
  • Devontae Booker, RB, New York Giants, Utah
  • Terrell Burgess, S, Los Angeles Rams, Utah
  • Leki Fotu, DT, Arizona Cardinals, Utah and Herriman High
  • Matt Gay, K, Los Angeles Rams, Utah and Orem High
  • Javelin Guidry, DB, New York Jets, Utah
  • Chase Hansen, LB, New Orleans Saints, Utah and Lone Peak High
  • Tyler Huntley, QB, Baltimore Ravens, Utah
  • Jaylon Johnson, CB, Chicago Bears, Utah
  • Star Lotulelei, DT, Buffalo Bills, Utah, Snow College and Bingham High
  • Zack Moss, RB, Buffalo Bills, Utah
  • Tim Patrick, WR, Denver Broncos, Utah
  • John Penisini, DL, Detroit Lions, Utah, Snow College and West Jordan High
  • Eric Rowe, S, Miami Dolphins, Utah
  • Marcus Williams, FS, New Orleans Saints, Utah
  • Mitch Wishnowsky, P, San Francisco 49ers, Utah

Seattle Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (54) and wide receiver DK Metcalf, right, walk off the field together after NFL football practice Saturday, July 31, 2021, in Renton, Wash.
Ted S. Warren, Associated Press

Utah State

Name, position, team, Utah tie(s)

  • Jalen Davis, CB, Cincinnati Bengals, Utah State
  • Kyler Fackrell, LB, Los Angeles Chargers, Utah State
  • Tyler Larsen, C, Washington Football Team, Utah State and Jordan High
  • Jordan Love, QB, Green Bay Packers, Utah State
  • Patrick Scales, LS, Chicago Bears, Utah State and Weber High
  • Nick Vigil, LB, Minnesota Vikings, Utah State and Fremont High
  • Bobby Wagner, MLB, Seattle Seahawks, Utah State

Buffalo Bills safety Taron Johnson makes a catch during an NFL football training camp practice in Orchard Park, N.Y., Wednesday July 28 2021.
Jeffrey T. Barnes, Associated Press

Other Utah universities

Name, position, team, Utah tie(s)

  • Miles Killebrew, S, Pittsburgh Steelers, Southern Utah
  • Taron Johnson, CB, Buffalo Bills, Weber State
  • Jonah Williams, DE, Los Angeles Rams, Weber State

Detroit Lions offensive tackle Penei Sewell runs a drill during NFL football practice in Allen Park, Mich., in this Thursday, June 3, 2021, photo.
Paul Sancya, Associated Press

Others from Utah high schools

Name, position, team, Utah tie(s)

  • Kaden Elliss, LB, New Orleans Saints, Judge Memorial High
  • Simi Fehoko, WR, Dallas Cowboys, Brighton High
  • Alohi Gilman, S, Los Angeles Chargers, Orem High
  • Andre James, OT, Las Vegas Raiders, Herriman High
  • Bryan Mone, DT, Seattle Seahawks, Highland High
  • Dalton Schultz, TE, Dallas Cowboys, Bingham High
  • Penei Sewell, OT, Detroit Lions, Desert Hills High
  • Xavier Su’a-Filo, OG, Cincinnati Bengals, Timpview High
  • Jay Tufele, DT, Jacksonville Jaguars, Bingham High