Stanford Places 17 Players on NFL Rosters

Sept. 7, 2008

STANFORD, Calif. - With the 2008 National Football League season kicking off this weekend, 17 former Stanford football players are on NFL rosters. 12 of the former Cardinal players are on an active 53-man roster, four are on injured reserve and one player is a practice squad member. Of the dozen Stanford products that are on 53-man rosters, six are listed atop their teams' depth chart for opening day.

Among the former Cardinal players to earn 2008 opening day starts was Buffalo quarterback Trent Edwards, who completed 19-of-30 passes for 215 yards and a touchdown in leading the Bills to a 34-10 rout of the visiting Seattle Seahawks. Sunday's season-opening effort came on the heels of a stellar rookie campaign for Edwards, who was chosen in the third round of the 2007 draft. His nine starts last year paced all NFL rookie quarterbacks, while his five wins were the most by a Bills rookie signal-caller since 1973. He completed 151-of-269 passes with seven touchdowns, while his 1,630 passing yards were the most by a rookie quarterback selected in the third round since the modern draft began in 1967. Edwards also tossed three first-half touchdown passes on Dec. 9 vs. Miami, becoming the first rookie quarterback with a trio of first-half TD strikes since Stanford legend Jim Plunkett did so for New England in 1971. All told, his prolific 2007 campaign garnered Edwards an All-Rookie Team Selection by both Pro Football Weekly/Professional Football Writers of America and NFL.com's Gil Brandt.

One of the men protecting Edwards during Buffalo's victory Sunday afternoon was starting right tackle Kirk Chambers. In just his second NFL start, Chambers helped pave the way for a Bills offense that gained 338 yards of total offense.

Tampa Bay tight end Alex Smith, who earned All-Pac-10 honors while at The Farm, caught a pair of passes in the Bucs' season opener. An opening day starter in 2008, Smith also started 14 regular-season games last year, and was in Tampa Bay's lineup in the NFC Wild Card game against the New York Giants.

A pair of former Stanford offensive lineman will be in the Bay Area trenches this fall - center Eric Heitmann of the San Francisco 49ers and tackle Kwame Harris of the Oakland Raiders. A first-team All-American as a senior, Heitmann enters the opening weekend with 82 NFL starts over his first six professional campaigns. In fact, he was one of only 35 NFL players to line up for every snap of the 2007 season. Harris, who was chosen in the first round of the 2003 draft by the 49ers, has made 44 NFL starts since. After signing with Oakland in March, he is slated to start on the Raiders' offensive line on Monday Night Football against the Denver Broncos.

Stanford's defensive NFL presence is led by St. Louis Rams starting free Oshiomogho Atogwe. He was a menace for opposing quarterbacks in 2007, as his career-high seven interceptions led the NFC and were the second-most in the NFL. Atogwe started all 16 games last year, while he became the first Ram since the 1991-92 season to pick off a pass in four straight contests. A physical fourth-year player, Atogwe also finished third on the team with 94 tackles (69 solo) and tied for second by forcing a pair of fumbles.

While not currently listed first on the depth chart, five other former Stanford players will look to make an impact in 2008. St. Louis linebacker Chris Draft played in all 16 games last year for the Rams, including seven starts. Third-year linebacker Jon Alston, who made steady strides in 2007, will look for even bigger things during his second season with the Oakland Raiders. Cornerback Leigh Torrence played in all 16 games last year with the Washington Redskins, while Atlanta Falcons linebacker Coy Wire moves to the NFC after being voted special teams captain for the 2007 Buffalo Bills. Wide receiver Greg Camarillo returned to Miami after playing in 15 games last year, and caught three passes for 37 yards in the Dolphins' season-opening contest. Finally, safety Brandon Harrison is slated to be a factor for the Houston Texans in the secondary.

Four Cardinal players - including three with previous NFL experience - are opening the 2008 season on injured reserve. Six-year NFL veteran Tank Williams - who has made 59 starts - was slated to see time at strong safety for the defending AFC champion New England Patriots before suffering an injury. Special teams dynamo T.J. Rushing was in line to return both kickoffs and punts for the Indianapolis Colts. After starting five games for the Detroit Lions in 2007, defensive back Stanley Wilson will look to work his way back into the lineup once healthy. Finally, rookie tight end Evan Moore enjoyed a tremendous training camp with the Green Bay Packers before going down with a knee injury.

A teammate of Moore's with the 2007 Cardinal - center Tim Mattran - signed a free agent deal with Minnesota during the summer and was added to the Vikings' practice squad following an impressive training camp showing.

Below is the full list of the former Stanford football players on 2008 NFL opening weekend rosters. For the player's current NFL.com profile page, please click on the individual name.

Jon Alston (LB)
2008 Team: Oakland Raiders
Seasons At Stanford: 2002-05
Seasons In NFL: 2006-08

Oshiomogho Atogwe (S)
2008 Team: St. Louis Rams
Seasons At Stanford: 2001-04
Seasons In NFL: 2005-08

Greg Camarillo (WR)
2008 Team: Miami Dolphins
Seasons At Stanford: 2002-04
Seasons In NFL: 2006-08

Kirk Chambers (OT)
2008 Team: Buffalo Bills
Seasons At Stanford: 2000-03
Seasons In NFL: 2004-08

Chris Draft (LB)
2008 Team: St. Louis Rams
Seasons At Stanford: 1994-97
Seasons In NFL: 1998-2008

Trent Edwards (QB)
2008 Team: Buffalo Bills
Seasons At Stanford: 2003-06
Seasons In NFL: 2007-08

Kwame Harris (OT)
2008 Team: Oakland Raiders
Seasons At Stanford: 2000-02
Seasons In NFL: 2003-08

Brandon Harrison (S)
2008 Team: Houston Texans
Seasons At Stanford: 2003-06
Seasons In NFL: 20087-08

Eric Heitmann (C)
2008 Team: San Francisco 49ers
Seasons At Stanford: 1998-2001
Seasons In NFL: 2002-08

Tim Mattran (C)
2008 Team: Minnesota Vikings
Seasons At Stanford: 2004-07

Evan Moore (WR)
2008 Team: Green Bay Packers
Seasons At Stanford: 2003-07

T.J. Rushing (CB)
2008 Team: Indianapolis Colts
Seasons At Stanford: 2002-05
Seasons In NFL: 2006-07

Alex Smith (TE)
2008 Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Seasons At Stanford: 2001-04
Seasons In NFL: 2005-08

Leigh Torrence (CB)
2008 Team: Washington Redskins
Seasons At Stanford: 2001-04
Seasons In NFL: 2005-08

Tank Williams (S)
2008 Team: New England Patriots
Seasons At Stanford: 1998-2001
Seasons In NFL: 2002-07

Stanley Wilson (CB)
2008 Team: Detroit Lions
Seasons At Stanford: 2002-04
Seasons In NFL: 2005-07

Coy Wire (LB)
2008 Team: Atlanta Falcons
Seasons At Stanford: 1998-2001
Seasons In NFL: 2002-08

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