The 100 Moments of TSU Athletics presented by Taco Bell® series continues by recognizing a handful of former Tennessee State student-athletes who are currently preparing for contests on the gridiron.
As of Aug. 7, there are six former TSU Tigers competing to make NFL rosters and are practicing with their respective teams in training camps.
Former Tiger Rico Council is just starting his NFL journey and is trying to find a place on the Falcons' depth chart.
Council, a linebacker from Chattanooga, Tenn., was signed by the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent after senior season in which he was tabbed as the Ohio Valley Conference Preseason Co- Defensive Player of the Year. In 2011, he led the Tigers in tackles with 87 and recorded 8.5 tackles for loss. Council has a strong chance to make the Falcons' roster after the team lost linebacker Curtis Lofton to free agency and multiple other linebackers due to injury.
On Aug. 6, the Cowboys announced the signing of former TSU running back Javarris Williams. Dallas marks the third team that Williams has played for since being drafted in the seventh round by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009. Williams has six career carries in the NFL after tallying over 3,000 yards at Tennessee State. The Richmond Tex. native currently has four players ahead of him on the depth chart.
Another player trying to stick with his current team is center Cecil Newton of the Baltimore Ravens. Newton started for four years at center for the Tigers and helped pave the way for the afore-mentioned Williams. Following college, Newton signed a contract with the Jaguars as an undrafted free agent. Since that time, Newton has played for four different clubs on their practice squads.
Safety Anthony Levine is looking to move up the Green Bay Packers depth chart after spending much of his first season on the team's practice squad. Levine posted 129 tackles and five interceptions during his TSU career and was earned second-team All-Conference honors as a senior. Levine is currently Green Bay's third free safety.
Defensive Tackle Lamar Divens has been in the NFL since 2008, but this will be his first season as a member of the Tennessee Titans. Divens has played for three other teams during his time in the league, but played in all of his five career games with the Ravens. After transferring from Vanderbilt after his sophomore season, Divens came to TSU and posted 43 tackles and recovered one fumble. According to the team's website, Divens is expected to join the club's defensive line rotation thanks to his size and strength.
Perhaps the most publicized of the bunch is cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie who enters his fifth season in the league and second with the Philadelphia Eagles. Rodgers-Cromartie was originally drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft after an impressive college career. He was selected to the Pro Bowl after the 2010 season and is trying to repeat that feat after becoming one of the team's top two cornerbacks.
See some of Rodgers-Cromartie's highlights from his time at TSU:
The 100 Moments of TSU Athletics presented by Taco Bell® highlights some of the greatest moments in honor of Tennessee State's centennial celebration. A new moment will be released each weekday for a total of 100. These moments were chosen by the TSU 100 Moments committee, which consists of alums from various departments. TSU has so many great moments, not all can be represented in these 100.
Sports Information Assistant Alex Mitchell contributed to this article.