Former Salukis wrap up Week One of the NFL preseason

(DailyEgyptian.com file photo)

(DailyEgyptian.com file photo)


For fans, the NFL preseason serves as a reprieve from the summer lull of professional sports.

But for four former SIU athletes, the preseason is an opportunity to climb up the depth chart or fight to make the final 53-man roster.

Here’s how they did in their first chances on the field this season.

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Brandon Williams, defensive end, Atlanta Falcons

STATS: 1 solo tackle, 2 assisted tackles, 0.5 sacks vs Washington

Despite playing outside linebacker at SIU, Williams showed promise Thursday in his new position, finishing tied for fifth on the team in total tackles. He was one of only three Falcons to register a stat in the sack column.

Williams chased down Redskins quarterback Nate Sudfeld, much like he did Week One of his senior season at SIU when the Salukis faced Sudfeld’s Indiana Hoosiers.

First NFL game in the books #RiseUp

A photo posted by Brandon Williams (@bwilliams4494) on

Williams signed with the Falcons after going undrafted this past May.

While at SIU, the Du Quoin native registered 101 total tackles, 9.5 sacks with two fumbles forced and recovered.

He also blocked a kick in three consecutive games, returning one for a touchdown against Western Illinois in Macomb.

Williams is not listed on the top three in the Falcons’ depth chart.

Adam Fuehne, tight end, Detroit Lions

STATS: 1 reception for five yards vs Pittsburgh

Fuehne’s NFL debut came in a 30-17 Lions win over the Steelers on Friday. He was one of three tight ends to record a reception in the game.

The Damiansville native is fighting for a roster spot to complete the tight end corps behind projected starter Eric Ebron after going undrafted this year. He is not listed on the top three tight ends on the Lions’ depth chart.

Fuehne had his best season as a Saluki in 2015, catching 25 passes for 351 yards and two touchdowns.

MyCole Pruitt, tight end, Minnesota Vikings

STATS: 2 receptions for 16 yards vs Cincinnati

The second year of Pruitt’s NFL campaign got off to a solid start Friday, as his 16 receiving yards were fifth-most on the Vikings in their 17-16 win against the Bengals in front of friends and family.

Family and football what more could i ask for

A photo posted by MyCole Pruitt (@flyycole_x4) on

Pruitt is listed as the No. 2 tight end on the Vikings depth chart behind 2012 Pro Bowler Kyle Rudolph.

After being a two-time consensus All-American in the Football Championship Subdivision at SIU, Pruitt recorded 10 catches for 89 yards in his rookie year.

Jayson DiManche, linebacker, Cincinnati Bengals

STATS: No stats recorded vs Minnesota

DiManche’s start to his fourth season in the NFL was an uneventful one, failing to record a stat in the Bengals’ loss to the Vikings on Friday.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BI8ck-2BU1c/?taken-by=zoelbjd

After bouncing around on three teams last season, appearing in one game for the Cleveland Browns, DiManche is back with the team that signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2013.

Across his NFL career, DiManche has appeared in 29 games, tallying 28 total tackles with one forced fumble.

He finished his Saluki career with 145 tackles, 19 sacks, three forced fumbles, six pass deflections and one interception while being named to the All-Missouri Valley Football Conference Second Team his senior season.

Sports editor Sean Carley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @SCarleyDE.

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