Two Tigers Ink Contracts with NFL Teams
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Two Tigers Ink Contracts with NFL Teams

Two former Tennessee State University football players signed practice squad contracts with NFL teams on Tuesday. Defensive tackle Lamar Divens inked a contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while linebacker Sidney Tarver completed a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Divens, who played for the Tigers in 2006 and 2007, signed an undrafted free agent contract with Baltimore in 2008. In the summer, he was released by the Ravens. The Fayetteville, Tenn., native signed a practice squad contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Tuesday. Divens has played in five NFL games during his four-year career.

At TSU, Divens played in 14 games and inked 46 tackles during his career. He also notched six tackles-for-loss during that span. For Lincoln County High School, Divens won 5A Mr. Football honors and was named first team All-State.

Also on Tuesday, Tarver signed a contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The linebacker, who recently played on the 2010 TSU squad, signed an undrafted rookie contract with the Cleveland Browns in July. He was released before the season began and now signed a deal to the Jaguars practice squad on Tuesday.

Tarver started 30 of 40 games at Tennessee State and totaled 144 tackles, 4.5 sacks and two interceptions.  As a senior, he started all 13 games and registered 62 tackles and 3.5 sacks.  A native of Chattanooga, he attended Baylor High School where he earned all-state honors his final two seasons.

Divens and Tarver join four others already in the National Football League: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Philadelphia Eagles), Anthony Levine (Green Bay Packers), Cecil Newton (Baltimore Ravens) and Javarris Williams (Houston Texans).

Three of those teams are currently leading their respective divisions. The Houston Texans wrapped up their first ever AFC South Division title last weekend, earning a playoff berth for the first time in franchise history. Green Bay is currently the only undefeated team in the NFL with a 13-0 record, while Baltimore is tied for first in the AFC North.

"It's an honor to have those guys come through our program and represent what Tennessee State football is all about," said TSU Football Head Coach Rod Reed. "They not only received a top-flight education, but an opportunity to play professional sports as a career. I am proud they were afforded both opportunities."

-- TSU Tigers --