Griffons in the NFL

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After an eventful season, former Griffons who went on to play in the NFL had some big moments.

David Bass, a defensive linemen who graduated from Western in 2013, and was drafted in the seventh round by the Chicago Bears. During his rookie season, Bass played in 12 games. In those 12 games, he accumulated 15 solo tackles, 8 assisted tackles and one sack.

The highlight of Bass’ season was in a game against the Baltimore Ravens, when he intercepted a pass fromJoe Flacco and ran it 24 yards for his first career touchdown. That pick-six was his only one of the season.

The Chicago Bears finished off the 2013 season with a record of 8-8 and finished second in the NFC North Division.

Michael Hill, a running back, graduated in 2013 from Western. He was signed as an undrafted free agent to the San Diego Chargers. Soon afterwards in September, he signed with the Green Bay Packers only to be released yet again in November. Fortunately, he was signed to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that same month. He rushed for a total of 23 yards, averaging 2.6 yards per carry. He had no touchdowns and averaged 11.5 receiving yards.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished the 2013 season with a record of 4-12 and finished dead last in the NFC South Division.

On Jan. 9, Hill was arrested at Tuck’s Bar in his hometown of St. Joseph, when officers responded to a disorderly conduct call. Hill was arrested on charges of resisting arrest and failure to obey lawful order.

“While certainly the arrest did occur on that evening, both of the alleged charges were never filed and will not be…He was issued a ticket for ‘Disturbing the Peace,’ paid the minimal fine and has moved on – lesson learned,” Brett Esley, associate director of athletics for external relations, released in an emailed statement on Feb. 11.

A month after the incident, on Feb. 10, the Buccaneers released Hill from their roster, along with three other players. The press release stated that Hill was placed on waivers, after being signed to the team after a slew of injuries to the Buccaneers’ running backs.

Greg Zuerlein is a kicker who graduated from Western in 2012. He plays for the St. Louis Rams. Over the past two seasons, he has been given endearing nicknames, such as Greg the Leg and Young GZ, for his extraordinary accuracy and range when it comes to kicking the football.

This past season, his longest field goal was 54 yards. He attempted a total of 28 field goals and landed 26 of them, making his percentage for the season 92.9 percent.

The St. Louis Rams finished with a record of 7-9 and finished dead last in the NFC West division.

Overall, two of the three former griffons appear to have found their homes in the NFL, while one continues to seek a home in professional football.

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