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Stan Becton | | August 29, 2023

Every FCS and HBCU player on the initial 53-man 2023 NFL rosters

Grambling State football's Sundiata Anderson on upcoming season, NFL Draft aspirations

The talent in FCS football is on display as 113 former FCS players made NFL active rosters after the annual preseason cuts. That number is a decrease from last year after the 53-man cuts.

There are big names from the FCS throughout NFL rosters, including left tackle Terron Armstead (Miami Dolphins, Arkansas-Pine Bluff), linebacker Shaquille Leonard (Indianapolis Colts, South Carolina State) and wide receiver Cooper Kupp (Los Angeles Rams, Eastern Washington).

FCS TO NFL: 2020's FCS NFL players | 2021's FCS NFL players | 2022's FCS NFL Players

FCS NFL players by NFL Team

There is an FCS player on every NFL team's 53-man active roster for the second straight year. Among the NFL rosters, the Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers lead the league with seven FCS players making each team.

7 Buccaneers, Colts
6 Falcons, Patriots, Raiders
5 Bills, 49ers, Titans
4 Bears, Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs, Dolphins,
Eagles, Jets, Lions, Panthers, Rams
3 Browns, Cowboys, Packers,
Ravens, Saints, Steelers
2 Bengals, Commanders, Jaguars, Texans
1 Cardinals, Giants, Seahawks, Vikings

RANKINGS: Check out the latest FCS rankings

FCS NFL players by college

North Dakota State has the most FCS players on NFL active rosters with 10 players. Three schools follow with four players each.

10 North Dakota State
4 South Carolina State, South Dakota State, Weber State
3 Chattanooga, Eastern Washington, Northern Iowa, Samford,
Southern Illinois, Stephen F. Austin, Youngstown State
2 Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Appalachian State, Central Arkansas,
Eastern Illinois, Fordham, Harvard, Idaho, Jackson State,
James Madison, Missouri State, Montana State, Northern Colorado,
Princeton, Sacramento State, Southeast Missouri State,
Southern, Southern Utah, Villanova, Yale
1 Alabama State, Campbell, Dayton, Delaware, Duquesne,
Eastern Kentucky, Florida A&M, Georgia Southern,
Grambling State, Holy Cross, Houston Baptist, Illinois State,
Indiana State, Jacksonville State, Lafayette, Marist, Montana,
Morgan State, Murray State, North Carolina A&T,
Northern Arizona, Penn, Prairie View A&M,
Sacred Heart, Sam Houston,
San Diego, South Dakota, Stetson,
Stony Brook, UT Martin, UC Davis, VCU, Wagner

FCS NFL players by FCS conference

The Missouri Valley Football Conference has the most FCS players on NFL active rosters with 28 players.

19 Big Sky
10 SoCon, SWAC
7 Ivy
6 OVC, SoCon
5 CAA, MEAC, Pioneer
3 ASUN, Patriot
2 Big South
1 Southland

UPSETS: See every FCS-over-FBS upset

FCS NFL players by position

Offensive line has the most FCS players among positions on NFL active rosters with 23 players; Defensive back and linebacker follow with 20 and 19 players each.

23 Offensive line
20 Defensive back
19 Linebacker
13 Defensive line
12 Wide Receiver
11 Tight end
7 Running back
4 Long snapper
3 Punter, Quarterback
1 Fullback, Kicker

AWARDS: Walter Payton Award history Buck Buchanan Award history |  Jerry Rice Award history 

NFL players from HBCUs

There are 20 players on NFL rosters from HBCUs — 16 from the FCS and four from DII. South Carolina State has the most players on NFL active rosters with four players. See the full breakdown below.

FCS NFL Players from HBCUs

  • Houston Texans — OT Tytus Howard (Alabama State)
  • Miami Dolphins — T Terron Armstead (Arkansas-Pine Bluff)
  • New York Giants — P Jamie Gillan (Arkansas-Pine Bluff)
  • Dallas Cowboys — S Markquese Bell (Florida A&M)
  • Washington Commanders — T Trent Scott (Grambling State)
  • Detroit Lions — LB James Houston (Jackson State)
  • New England Patriots — CB Isaiah Bolden (Jackson State)
  • Atlanta Falcons — OL Joshua Miles (Morgan State)
  • Carolina Panthers — T Ricky Lee (North Carolina A&T)
  • Atlanta Falcons — WR KhaDarel Hodge (Prairie View A&M)
  • Los Angeles Rams — DB Cobie Durant (South Carolina State)
  • Indianapolis Colts — LB Shaquille Leonard (South Carolina State)
  • San Francisco 49ers — DL Javon Hargrave  (South Carolina State)
  • Arizona Cardinals — CB Antonio Hamilton Sr. (South Carolina State)
  • Chicago Bears — OL  Ja'Tyre Carter (Southern)
  • Washington Commanders — CB Danny Johnson (Southern)

DII NFL Players from HBCUs

  • Indianapolis Colts — DT Grover Stewart (Albany State)
  • Kansas City Chiefs — CB Joshua Williams (Fayetteville State)
  • Miami Dolphins — OT Kion Smith (Fayetteville State) 
  • Green Bay Packers — RB Emanuel Wilson (Fort Valley State)
4 South Carolina State
2 Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Fayetteville State,
Jackson State, Southern
1 Alabama State, Albany State, Florida A&M, Fort Valley State,
Grambling State, Jackson State Morgan State,
North Carolina A&T, Prairie View A&M

2023 FCS NFL draft picks on rosters

Out of the 10 FCS players taken in the 2023 NFL draft, only one didn't make a roster. See the players cut below:

  • Kennesaw State DT Travis Bell

Every FCS player on NFL rosters

The following is the complete list of former FCS players on NFL active rosters as of Aug 29, 2022:

AFC North

Cleveland Browns (3): DT Shelby Harris (Illinois State), RB Pierre Strong Jr. (South Dakota State), CB Mike Ford (Southeast Missouri State)

  • RESERVE/Non-Football Illness — OG Drew Forbes (Southeast Missouri State)

Pittsburgh Steelers (3): LS Christian Kuntz (Duquesne), OT Dylan Cook (Montana), S Miles Killebrew (Southern Utah)

Baltimore Ravens (3): LS Tyler Ott (Harvard), LB Malik Hamm (Lafayette), NT Michael Pierce (Samford)

Cincinnati Bengals (2): OG Cordell Volson (North Dakota State), WR Andrei Iosivas (Princeton)

  • RESERVE/Non-Football Illness — DT Devonnsha Maxwell (Chattanooga)

AFC East

New England Patriots (6): WR Kendrick Bourne (Eastern Washington), CB Isaiah Bolden (Jackson State), LB Chris Board (North Dakota State), LB Marte Mapu (Sacramento State), OT Tyrone Wheatley (Stony Brook), OL Cole Strange (Chattanooga)

New York Jets (4): LB Quincy Williams (Murray State), OT Billy Turner (North Dakota State), DL John Franklin-Myers (Stephen F. Austin), WR Xavier Gipson (Stephen F. Austin)

  • RESERVE/Non-football injury — CB Jimmy Moreland (James Madison)

Buffalo Bills (5): P Sam Martin (Appalachian State), CB Siran Neal (Jacksonville State), OT Spencer Brown (Northern Iowa), CB Christian Benford (Villanova), CB Taron Johnson (Weber State)

Miami Dolphins (4): OT Kendall Lamm (Appalachian State), TE Julian Hill (Campbell), DB Elijah Campbell (Northern Iowa), OT Terron Armstead (Arkansas-Pine Bluff)

  • RESERVE/INJURED — LB Zeke Vandenburgh (Illinois State), DB Keion Crossen (Western Carolina), TE Eric Saubert (Drake)

AFC South

Jacksonville Jaguars (2): LB Caleb Johnson (Houston Christian), LB Foyesade Oluokun (Yale)

  • RESERVE/INJURED — WR Jaylon Moore (UT Martin), OL Josh Wells (James Madison)

Houston Texans (2): OT Tytus Howard (Alabama State), DE Derek Rivers (Youngstown State)

Tennessee Titans (5): S Matthew Jackson (Eastern Kentucky), OL Dillon Radunz (North Dakota State), RB Julius Chestnut (Sacred Heart), C/OG Corey Levin (Chattanooga), WR Colton Dowell (UT Martin)

Indianapolis Colts (7): DE Samson Ebukam (Eastern Washington), DT Eric Johnson II (Missouri State), LB Shaquille Leonard (South Carolina State), TE Mo Alie-Cox* (VCU), LS Luke Rhodes (William & Mary), S Rodney Thomas II (Yale), TE Drew Ogletree (Youngstown State)

  • RESERVE/INJURED — DE Titus Leo (Wagner)

AFC West

Las Vegas Raiders (6): DT Bilal Nichols (Delaware), QB Jimmy Garoppolo (Eastern Illinois), LS Jacob Bobenmoyer (Northern Colorado), TE Jesper Horsted (Princeton), WR DeAndre Carter (Sacramento State), WR Kristian Wilkerson (Southeast Missouri State)

Los Angeles Chargers (4): QB Easton Stick (North Dakota State), RB Elijah Dotson (Northern Colorado), DL Nick Williams (Samford), TE Donald Parham Jr. (Stetson)

  • RESERVE/INJURED — OT Andrew Trainer (William & Mary)

Kansas City Chiefs (4): RB Jerick McKinnon (Georgia Southern), WR Justin Watson (Penn), LB Jack Cochrane (South Dakota), DE B.J. Thompson (Stephen F. Austin)

Denver Broncos (4): CB Tremon Smith (Central Arkansas), TE Adam Trautman (Dayton), ILB Alex Singleton (Montana State), RB Jaleel McLaughlin (Youngstown State)

  • RESERVE/INJURED — LB Jonas Griffith (Indiana State)

NFC East

New York Giants (1): P Jaime Gillan (Arkansas-Pine Bluff)

Philadelphia Eagles (4): LB Christian Ellis (Idaho), CB James Bradberry (Samford), TE Dallas Goedert (South Dakota State), OG Sua Opeta (Weber State)

Washington Commanders (2): OT Trent Scott (Grambling State), CB Danny Johnson (Southern)

Dallas Cowboys (3): S Markquese Bell (Florida A&M), QB Trey Lance (North Dakota State), RB Hunter Luepke (North Dakota State)

NFC West 

Arizona Cardinals (1): CB Antonio Hamilton Sr. (South Carolina State)

Los Angeles Rams (4): WR Cooper Kupp (Eastern Washington), DB Cobie Durant (South Carolina State), LB Christian Rozeboom (South Dakota State), DE Jonah Williams (Weber State)

San Francisco 49ers (5): S George Odum (Central Arkansas), OL Nick Zakelj (Fordham), FB Kyle Juszczyk (Harvard), TE Ross Dwelley (San Diego) DL Javon Hargrave (South Carolina State)

Seattle Seahawks (1): K Jason Myers (Marist)

NFC North

Chicago Bears (4): TE Robert Tonyan (Indiana State), LB Dylan Cole (Missouri State), OL Ja'Tyre Carter (Southern), OL Braxton Jones (Southern Utah)

Detroit Lions (4): WR Kalif Raymond (Holy Cross), LB James Houston (Jackson State), CB Khalil Dorsey (Northern Arizona), OL Colby Sorsdal (William & Mary)

Green Bay Packers (3): WR Christian Watson (North Dakota State), TE Tucker Kraft (South Dakota State), P Daniel Whelan (UC Davis)

Minnesota Vikings (1): OG Olisaemeka Udoh (Elon)

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons (6): LB Kaden Ellis (Idaho), LB Troy Andersen (Montana State), OL Joshua Miles (Morgan State), WR KhaDarel Hodge (Prairie View A&M), TE MyCole Pruitt (Southern Illinois), LB Tae Davis (Chattanooga)

  • RESERVE/INJURED — OL Ethan Greenidge (Villanova)

Carolina Panthers (4): LB Kamu Grugier-Hill (Eastern Illinois), OT Ricky Lee (North Carolina A&T), OG Nash Jensen (North Dakota State), S Jeremy Chinn (Southern Illinois)

New Orleans Saints (3): OT Trevor Penning (Northern Iowa), DE Tanoh Kpassagnon (Villanova), WR/RS Rashid Shaheed (Weber State)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7): RB Chase Edmonds (Fordham), DL Mike Greene (James Madison), OG Aaron Stinnie ( James Madison), OG Cody Mauch (North Dakota State), CB Zyon McCollum (Sam Houston), S Ryan Neal (Southern Illinois), OLB Cam Gill (Wagner)

*-Player participated in DI basketball at an FCS school

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