NFL roster cuts hard on former Trojans

The Struggle for 53 — What Trojans made the NFL cut, who missed out

It’s that time of year. The NFL is almost here. This past weekend featured the fourth and final preseason games for teams, and final cuts were made to trim all rosters to 53. Here are the former Trojans unable to make it on the active roster for one of the 32 teams:

  • Center Kristofer O’Dowd
  • Kicker Jacob Harfman
  • Defensive tackle Derek Simmons
  • Guard Butch Lewis
  • Running back C.J. Gable
  • Wide receiver Ronald Johnson
  • Linebacker Michael Morgan
  • Guard Nick Howell
  • Offensive lineman Alex Parsons
  • Running back Stafon Johnson
  • Safety Cary Harris
  • Running back Chauncey Washington

Of those that were cut, only Kristofer O’Dowd caught most off guard. O’Dowd was considered a top-five center in the last draft, but went undrafted. Arizona signed him to address depth issues on the offensive line, but the two eventually parted ways.

The surprise of the weekend was not a cut, but a signing. Wide receiver Keary Colbert, who last played in the NFL in 2009, made the 53-man roster for the Kansas City Chiefs. Since he played for the Detroit Lions in 2009, Colbert played for the UFL’s Florida Tuskers and Sacramento Mountain Lions, and was even the assistant tight ends coach for USC last season.

Old faces, new places

The significant former Trojan switching teams was running back Reggie Bush. After an up and down career in New Orleans, Bush has been given a fresh start with the Miami Dolphins.

Although he has yet to show the top-notch playmaking ability he had at USC, Bush is hoping a change of scenery does the trick. Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano has already given Bush the vote of confidence, as declaring Bush will receive significantly more carries to start with than rookie Daniel Thomas due to Thomas’ slow progress.

Safety Taylor Mays was also on the move, as the San Francisco 49ers traded him to the Cincinnati Bengals for a seventh round draft pick. Mays, the former All-American, only completed one season in the league for the ‘Niners before new San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh shipped him east. Mays should be fighting with the incumbent Chris Crocker to win a starting safety role, but for now, it looks like Mays will be a special teamer and backup.