BUFFALO, NY - As the 2012 NFL season gets underway, a quintet of UB football alumni will start the season on rosters across the league. Three Bulls are a part of their respective team's starting depth chart, with two others starting the season on injured reserve.
The defending AFC champion New England Patriots signed a pair of UB alums over the offseason, adding Jamey Richard and Trevor Scott. While Richard will start the season on injured reserve, Scott is expected to be a major contributor to the Patriot special teams and will be a backup defensive end. The former college teammates will now be reunited after Scott spent the past four seasons with Oakland, and Richard spent the past four seasons with Indianapolis.
Speaking of the Colts, former UB defensive back Mike Newton has also been placed on injured reserve after being brought back to the team on the practice squad. Fellow defensive back Josh Thomas has come on strong with the Carolina Panthers organization and is now the special teams starter and a backup cornerback. After appearing in nine games as a rookie, the 2010 graduate has shown the growth and athleticism to push for extra snaps in 2012.
The final Bull in the pros is Green Bay running back James Starks. After he led the NFL with 315 rushing yards in the 2010 playoffs to help the Packers win the Super Bowl, Starks came back to lead the team in rushing in 2011. He appeared in 13 games and made two starts, also adding 216 yards receiving to go with 578 yards on the ground. He will again share time at the starting position, but with a full healthy season he will be sure to be a major factor in Green Bay's Super Bowl run.