Twenty-Four Illini on NFL Opening Day Rosters

Martez Wilson, one of 24 former Illini in the NFL this year, is poised for a big year with the Saints.
Martez Wilson, one of 24 former Illini in the NFL this year, is poised for a big year with the Saints.

Sep 5, 2013

Illini in the NFL Website | Weekly Updates

Two dozen former Fighting Illini football players are on active 53-man rosters for the 2013 NFL opening weekend, two more than last season and the fifth most among Big Ten teams behind Ohio State (31), Iowa (26), Penn State (25) and Wisconsin (25).

The list includes five rookies - Michael Buchanan, Glenn Foster, Graham Pocic, Akeem Spence and Hugh Thornton - and a bevy of veterans like Vontae Davis, David Diehl, Rashard Mendenhall, Pierre Thomas and Steve Weatherford to name a few. In addition, one former Illini, Justin Green, was named to the New England Patriots' practice squad. Look for weekly Illini in the NFL updates throughout the season HERE.

Former Illini on 2013 Opening Day NFL Rosters (24)
Jeff Allen, OL, Kansas City Chiefs
Jon Asamoah, OL, Kansas City Chiefs
Alan Ball, CB, Jacksonville Jaguards
Arrelious Benn, WR, Philadelphia Eagles (IR)
Michael Buchanan, DE, New England Patriots
Jeff Cumberland, TE, New York Jets
Vontae Davis, CB, Indianapolis Colts
David Diehl, OL, New York Giants
Glenn Foster, DL, New Orleans Saints
Kelvin Hayden, CB, Chicago Bears (IR)
Michael Hoomanawanui, TE, New England Patriots
A.J. Jenkins, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
Mikel Leshoure, RB, Detroit Lions
Corey Liuget, DE, San Diego Chargers
Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Whitney Mercilus, DE, Houston Texans
Tony Pashos, OL, Oakland Raiders
Graham Pocic, OL, St. Louis Rams (IR)
Akeem Spence, DT, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pierre Thomas, RB, New Orleans Saints
Hugh Thornton, OL, Indianapolis Colts
Steve Weatherford, P, New York Giants
Martez Wilson, LB, New Orleans Saints
Tavon Wilson, FS, New England Patriots

Former Illini on Injured Reserve/Practice Squad
Justin Green, DB, New England Patriots - Practice Squad

NFL Players from Big Ten Schools
Ohio State 31
Iowa 26
Penn State 25
Wisconsin 25
Illinois 24
Michgan 23
Nebraska 23
Purdue 18
Michigan State 15
Northwestern 7
Indiana 5
Minnesota 4