NO DRAFTING: Sun Belt players following alternative routes to potential NFL fame, fortune

NO DRAFTING: Sun Belt players following alternative routes to potential NFL fame, fortune
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By David Rogers. April 29, 2019. BLOWING ROCK, NC — It takes time (and effort) to change a reputation — and even then…

Despite a winning record by its league members against other FBS conferences in bowl games the past two years (3-2 in 2018 and 5-1 in 2017), the Sun Belt Conference was mostly snubbed in the seven rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Louisiana-Monroe’s Marcus Green, a wide receiver/kick returner, was the Sun Belt’s lone selection at #203 (sixth round) by the Atlanta Falcons.

There is no question that Green is a dynamic player after a 4-year career at ULM that saw him catch 202 passes for 2,698 yards and 23 TDs. It is a career that also included  70 kickoff returns for 1,761 yards (a 25.2 yards per game average), four for TDs.

Fortunately, the draft is not the only path to professional football at the highest level. Five Appalachian State players were signed Saturday evening to Undrafted Free Agent (UDFA) contracts. CLICK HERE for that story.

A full list of Sun Belt players receiving UDFA contracts include:

Appalachian State

  • Clifton Duck, Cornerback, to the Chicago Bears
  • Tae Hayes, Cornerback, to the Jacksonville Jaguars
  • MyQuon Stout, Defensive Tackle, to the New York Jets
  • Austin Exford, Safety, to the Houston Texans
  • Jalin Moore, Running Back, to the New York Jets

Georgia Southern

  • Ellis Richardson, Tight End, Chicago Bears

Georgia State

  • Penny Hart, Wide Receiver, Indianapolis Colts
  • Chase Middleton, Linebacker, Houston Texans

Texas State

  • Keenan Brown, Tight End, Los Angeles Rams


  • Trevon Sanders, Defensive Line, New York Jets

Arkansas State

  • Lanard Bonner, Offensive Line, Atlanta Falcons

About The Author

As Editor and Publisher of Blowing Rock News, David Rogers has chosen a second professional career instead of retirement. For more than 35 years, he served in the financial services industry, principally in institutional equity research. He grew up in the oilfields north of Bakersfield, California and was a high school English major and honors student. From an economically disadvantaged family background, he worked his way through college (on grounds crew and in dining hall, as well as advertising sales for college newspapers), attending Johnston College at the University of Redlands, Claremont McKenna College, and California State University, Bakersfield. Other jobs to pay for college included a Teamsters Union job in South Central Los Angeles, a roustabout in the central California oilfields, and moving sprinkler pipe and hoeing weeds in the cotton fields west of Bakersfield. Rogers' financial services industry career took him from Bakersfield to La Jolla and San Diego, then to Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, Newport Beach and Charlotte before arriving in the High Country in 2000 to take a volunteer position coaching the rugby team at Appalachian State University and write independent stock market research. He spent three years as a senior financial writer for a global financial PR firm with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Shanghai, Beijing, Tel Aviv, and Frankfort (Germany). Rogers is the author of "The 90% Solution: Higher Returns, Less Risk" (2006, John Wiley & Co., New York). He is married to wife Kim (Jenkins Realtors), and shares in the joy provided by her three grown children and five grandchildren.

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