WKU’s exposure at football’s premier level continues to grow as evidenced by 10 former Hilltoppers who will appear on NFL rosters heading into the opening weekend.
Three Hilltoppers are expected to be on active rosters this weekend in former tight ends Jack Doyle and Tyler Higbee, as well as receiver Taywan Taylor, while seven others are currently on practice squads or injured reserve rosters.
Doyle headlines the group as the most tenured former Hilltopper in the league. Entering his fifth season as a member of the Indianapolis Colts, Doyle, a former undrafted free agent, was rewarded for his loyalty to the club with a three-year, multi-million dollar extension this offseason.
Higbee enters his second season with the Los Angeles Rams after being drafted in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Now under the direction of head coach Sean McVay, the Rams have expressed a belief in increasing the production of their tight ends in McVay’s offensive system which helped develop Redskins tight end Jordan Reed into a pro bowler in 2016.
Taylor, who set every single season and career record for a wide receiver on The Hill, enters his rookie season with the Tennessee Titans after a stellar preseason in which he led the team in receiving yards and receptions. Both head coach Mike Mularkey and quarterback Marcus Mariota have complimented Taylor’s skillset throughout the preseason as a dynamic playmaker for the club. Taylor became the second-highest draft pick in school history this past April when Tennessee selected him in the third round, No. 71 overall.
Forrest Lamp, the highest draft pick in school history, and George Fant – who was one of the NFL’s top feel-good stories of 2016 – each suffered knee injuries in the preseason and will miss the year as a result. Both Lamp and Fant would have been in starting roles or in competition for starting roles heading into the opening weekend.
Other practice squad or injured reserve designations include:
Omarius Bryant (Los Angeles Rams, 1st year)
Brandon Doughty (Miami Dolphins, 2nd year)
Tyler Ferguson (Tennessee Titans, 1st year)
Prince Charles Iworah (San Francisco 49ers, 2nd year)
Darrell Williams, Jr. (San Francisco 49ers, 1st year)
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Assistant Director of Media Relations
WKU Hilltopper Athletics