WVU Alumni Week In NFL

As a sat down this past Sunday to watch the NFL, I began to realize that some former Mountaineers are really making names for themselves in the professional ranks.

I first watched the Steelers-Bengals game and found that there was no shortage of gold and blue alumni on the field for this one. Amos Zereoue is becoming more and more of a major key to the Steelers' offense each week. Last week Amos lead the Steelers in receiving and this week he carried the football ten times for 51 yards and hauled in two passes. Coach Cowher has spoken very highly of Zereoue and with Jerome Bettis' age, I would not be surprised to see Famous Amos play an even more prominent role in the Steelers' offense in the future.

Amos, however, was not the only Mountaineer to move up I-79 and wear the black and gold. Former Mountaineer defensive back Mike Logan played a major part in the Steelers' effort to hold the Bengals to nine points. Coach Bill Cowher has also spoken quite highly of Logan and went as far as to say he was one of the hardest workers on the team.

These two former Mountaineers were only half of the Mountaineers on the field in this game. Rich Braham was the starting center for the Bengals while Canute Curtis made three tackles from his linebacker position. Four players from any college in one game is impressive by anybody's standards.

It may be hard to believe, with the special teams struggles that the current Mountaineers are facing, but a couple of former Mountaineers are playing a major part in special teams as well. Former WVU kicker Mike Vanderjagt has consistently been one of the NFL's top kickers while former All-American Todd Sauerbrun is having another great season after last year's trip to the Pro Bowl. If only we could have them back in Morgantown.

Another former Mountaineer is quickly becoming one of the most talked about young talents in the NFL. I was on the road Sunday morning prior to the start of the 1:00 games and was listening to sports radio discussing the day's games and the season thus far. Every member of the panel mentioned Jerry Porter when discussing the Raiders. All of the "experts" stated that Porter was key to the Raiders success and his future in the NFL was unlimited. Porter continues to make plays and, like Zereoue, is becoming more of a factor each week.

These are only a few of the impressive list of Mountaineers who have seen significant playing time on NFL squads this season. Other former WVU players include: Anthony Becht (Jets), Aaron Beasley (Jets), John Browning (Chiefs), Barrett Green (Lions), Antwan Lake (Lions), Gary Stills (Chiefs), John Thornton (Titans), and Mike Compton, who won a Super Bowl ring last season with the Patriots. It is easy to see that it is tough to watch a game in the NFL without seeing a former Mountaineer make an impact.

No, I didn't forget about the most exciting performance of the weekend. In a game that had to put a smile on any Mountaineer fan's face, former signal caller Marc Bulger lead the 0-5 Rams to a win over the undefeated Oakland Raiders in his first NFL start. Bulger threw three touchdown passes and made few mistakes in orchestrating the upset, for which he earned NFC offensive player of the week honors.

Bulger's first move after winning the biggest game of his life was to go find fellow Mountaineer Jerry Porter after the game. The two exchanged high fives and hugs and showed the entire country what it means to be a Mountaineer.


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