Coastal Carolina’s leader in just about every career running back category has joined former Chanticleers Josh Norman and Mike Tolbert on a 2017 53-man NFL roster.
De’Angelo Henderson, who was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the sixth round of the NFL draft in April, has been retained by the Broncos after being lauded by his teammates and coaches during the preseason.
Norman and Tolbert will be adding to their NFL careers this season – Norman as a defensive back with the Washington Redskins and Tolbert as a fullback with the Buffalo Bills.
Other former Chants weren’t as fortunate.
Running back Lorenzo Taliaferro, who was drafted in the fourth round in 2014 by Baltimore and played three seasons with the Ravens, was cut. As were rookie linebacker Alex Scearce by the Chicago Bears, wide receiver Matt Hazel by the Washington Redskins and defensive back Denzel Rice by the Houston Texans.
Taliaferro, who gained 339 yards and scored five touchdowns on 82 carries in his three-year career, crafted a classy post on Instagram to thank the Ravens for his opportunity.
Taliaferro wrote: “I have nothing but great things to say about my 3 years here and I wouldn't trade it for nothing. Baltimore cares all across the board from the front office to training staff to the fans and coaches unfortunately getting cut is the part of the business I can't control.
“But what I can control is bouncing back and making the most out of my next opportunity, and to the other 31 teams I can promise you that whoever it is that will pick me up you are getting a hard worker that's hungry and will not settle. . . . this isn't the end I have plenty years ahead and I will be great.”
Rice was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted free agent in May 2015 and waived in August 2016, then was signed to the Texans' practice squad on Oct. 19 before moving to the active roster on Dec. 10 and playing in Houston's regular-season finale on Jan. 1, recording nine tackles.
Hazel was drafted in the sixth round by the Miami Dolphins in 2014. He played his first two seasons there but saw action in only five games before being waived at the start of the 2016 season. He joined the Buffalo Bills practice squad but was released and joined the Redskins practice squad.
Players released by teams to get down to their 53-man roster must clear waivers through noon Sunday. If they are signed by another team they must be added to that team’s 53-man roster.
If they aren’t signed, they are eligible to be signed to an NFL team’s practice squad.
Teams can sign 10 eligible players to their practice squad, allowing them to practice but not play in games.
Four of the 10 players on the practice squad can have two or more accrued seasons in the NFL. An accrued season means a player was on a team’s 53-man roster, IR or PUP lists for at least six weeks.
Practice squad players are free agents who can be signed by other NFL teams.
A practice squad player will make a minimum of $7,200 for every week he is on a practice squad. That equals $122,400 if a player remains on a practice squad for 17 weeks, more if his team reaches the playoffs.
As for local high school products, North Myrtle Beach alumni Ryan Quigley (punter, Minnesota Vikings) and Temarrick Hemingway (tight end, Los Angeles Rams), and Aynor alumnus T.J. Johnson (offensive lineman, Cincinnati Bengals) and Carvers Bay alumnus Clayton Geathers (defensive back, Indianapolis Colts) made their respective rosters. Hemingway is injured and will start the season on injured reserve, while Geathers was put on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, which requires him to sit out at least the first six games of the season.