Griffons in the NFL

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Over the past few years, Missouri Western has enjoyed a steady production of professional football players from the Griffon football program.

Although some of those players have yet to prove themselves to the professional football world, there are some former Griffons that have started steady careers.

2011 Western graduate, Greg Zuerlein, has entered his third season as the kicker for the St. Louis Rams. Although it is still early in the 2014 season Zuerlein has already made seven field goals on eight attempts including one 56-yard field goal during a 6-34 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

In three seasons with the NFL, Zuerlein has made 56 out of 67 field goal attempts giving him a completion percentage of 83.6 percent.

At the moment, the Rams have a 1-2 record and are last in the NFC West Division.

David Bass graduated from Western in 2012 and is now a second-year defensive end for the Chicago Bears. Bass has had a drop in playing time this season, playing in one out of four games in 2014 as opposed to playing in 12 out of 16 games in 2013 due to the Bears’ defensive end additions in the offseason.

As a rookie, Bass recorded 20.5 tackles as well as an interception for a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens. The pick-six made Bass the Bears’ first rookie defensive lineman to record an interception since 1987 and Chicago’s first defensive lineman to return an interception for a touchdown since 2004.

The Bears are currently 2-2 and are in a three-way tie for second place in the NFC North Division.

Another 2012 Western graduate, Mike Hill, has begun his second year as an NFL running back with the Green Bay Packers. As a rookie, Hill was bounced from San Diego to Green Bay and then to Tampa Bay before being re-signed by the Packers in February 2014.

Hill was signed to Green Bay’s practice squad at the beginning of the 2014 season before being called up to the active roster on Tuesday, Sept. 30.

“That moment was awesome, but I have got to be on top of stuff and be ready,” Hill said during a Packers’ press conference on Tuesday. “When my name is called, I am going to go out there, try to make plays and try to make a name for myself.”

Hill has accumulated 23 yards on nine attempts for an average of 2.6-yards per carry during his career.

The Packers are part of the three-way tie for second with the Bears in the NFC North Division with a 2-2 record.

The most recent addition to Griffons in the NFL is 2013 Western graduate Reggie Jordan. The Jacksonville Jaguars acquired the tight end as an undrafted free agent in May 2014. Jordan was able to play in one preseason game before being placed on the Jaguars injured reserve list. On Wednesday, Sept. 10, he became a free agent.

Watch on Sundays as Zuerlein, Bass and Hill continue their active playing career; also keep an eye open for Jordan to burst onto the NFL scene.

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