A total of eight former Appalachian State University Mountaineers are currently on NFL rosters as the 2011 season comes closer. That number was at six until this past weekend when former New York Jet Marques Murrell returned to the NFL and signed with the New England Patriots, and rookie Jabari Fletcher signed as an undrafted free agent with the Cleveland Browns.
In his four professional seasons, Murrell appeared in 27 games and made 22 tackles for the Jets, and was a member of the Jets squad that made it to the 2009 AFC Championship game. Murrell currently ranks second in ASU history with 36 quarterback sacks.
Fletcher will be hoping to make a splash during training camp and preseason to try and lock down a roster spot or a place on the practice squad for the Browns. Fletcher finished up his App State career with 22 sacks for that Mountaineer defense.
The other six ASU players in the league were either drafted in this year’s NFL draft or have already been given contracts and have been in the league for at least a year.
Armanti Edwards was selected in the third round of the 2010 NFL draft, but did not make an impact for the Panthers last year, appearing in just three games with two punt returns. Corey Lynch appeared in all 16 games last season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and recorded 32 tackles and an interception. Lynch will be entering his fourth season in the NFL. Jason Hunter is another former Mountaineer who has found a place in the pros. Hunter, who is entering his sixth year in the NFL, had his best season as a professional last year, tallying 60 tackles, three sacks and an interception in 16 games for the Denver Broncos.
The Mountaineers saw three players get drafted this year that will be rookies during this 2011-2012 season. Mark Legree, Daniel Kilgore, and D.J. Smith will all make their season debuts this year with the Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers, respectively.