This information on former Vanderbilt student-athletes on current National Football League rosters was updated Jan. 13, 2020.
Khari Blasingame (2015-18) // Tennessee // Blasingame earned a spot on the practice squad in Minneosta to start the season after making a favorable impression during the preseason as a rookie free agent fullback prospect.
He was then signed to the Titans’ 53-man roster and has played eight games with Tennessee. He had two receptions for 47 yards in a win at Oakland in December.
Blasingame helped the Titans win 28-12 at Baltimore on Saturday by playing 16 snaps on offense and eight on special teams.
Tennessee and Blasingame next travel to Kansas City on Sunday for the AFC championship.
Former Vanderbilt great Khari Blasingame with that key block on the Tennesse touchdown pic.twitter.com/XI1p88KWlc
— Chad Bishop (@MrChadBishop) January 12, 2020
Oren Burks (2014-17) // Green Bay // Burks was a third-round pick of the 2018 NFL Draft and competed for a starting job at linebacker as a rookie in Green Bay. Burks was forced to the sideline with a chest injury suffered in the 2019 preseason opener, but returned to the practice field Sept. 30.
Burks made his 2019 debut against Dallas on Oct. 6 and assisted on one tackle while playing 11 snaps on defense and 20 plays on special teams. He has played in 13 games this season and made nine tackles.
In the Packers’ 28-23 win over Seattle on Sunday, Burks made three tackles and played 20 snaps on special teams.
Green Bay and Burks next travel to San Francisco in the NFL championship game.
Adam Butler (2013-16) // New England // Butler is in his third season in New England and comes off a year when he helped the Patriots capture the Super Bowl. Butler has played multiple defensive line positions and has been most effective as a pass-rushing specialist from the defensive tackle role.
Butler played in 16 games this season (and started two), had 26 tackles – eight for a loss – and six sacks as well as five passes defended.
Butler and the Patriots were eliminated against Tennessee in the playoffs. He had three tackles and defended a pass in that game.
Zach Cunningham (2013-16) // Houston // The 57th overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, Cunningham became a starter and one of Houston’s most-productive defenders as a rookie. He was a consensus first team All-American at inside linebacker for the Commodores in 2016.
Cunningham led the Texans in 2018 with 73 solo tackles and 105 combined tackles, adding two forced fumbles, one interception return for a score and a fumble recovery.
In 18 games this season Cunningham has a new career-high 144 tackles (eight for a loss), two sacks, three defended passes and two fumble recoveries.
The Texans lost to Kansas City on Sunday in the divisional round of the playoffs and Cunningham had seven tackles, a hit on the quarterback and a defended pass.
Former Vanderbilt great Zach Cunningham with the pursuit to slow down this play pic.twitter.com/L2VGTyxedc
— Chad Bishop (@MrChadBishop) January 12, 2020
Casey Hayward (2008-11) // Los Angeles Chargers // Hayward is in his eighth season and is considered among the NFL’s elite cornerbacks. He is a two-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro defender who topped the NFL in 2016 with seven interceptions.
In 2017, he was named the Chargers’ most valuable player and defensive player of the year. In 2018, Hayward finished the regular season with 47 solo tackles, 53 total stops and nine passes defended.
As one of the Chargers’ top cover corner in 2019, Hayward finished his season with 32 tackles, eight passes defended and two interceptions in 16 games.
Tre Herndon (2014-17) // Jacksonville // Herndon is in his second NFL season after playing in 11 games on coverage units and at cornerback as a rookie with Jacksonville. He made the Jags’ active roster after signing with the team as a rookie free agent and finished his rookie season with 10 solo tackles and 13 total stops.
Getting his first career start at cornerback replacing All-Pro Jalen Ramsey in Jacksonville’s win over Denver in Week 4, Herndon posted four solo tackles and defended a pass that game.
Herndon played in 16 games and started 14 this past season. He finished with 54 tackles – one for a loss – and defended 13 passes.
Will Holden (2013-16) // Baltimore // A fifth-round pick by Arizona in 2017, Holden has been with three NFL teams as an offensive tackle and guard. Holden is currently on the practice squad in Baltimore.
Holden and the Ravens lost to Tennessee on Saturday in the divisional round of the playoffs.
Kenny Ladler (2010-13) // Washington // Ladler made his NFL debut in 2014 and has bounced around the league since 2014.
The safety appeared in one game this past season for Washington in which he made four tackles against the New York Giants and played 69 snaps on defense and 21 on special teams. Ladler was an All-SEC defensive back selection as a senior at Vanderbilt in 2013.
Jordan Matthews (2010-13) // San Francisco // After being released by San Francisco in late August, Matthews returned to the league Oct. 3 by resigning with the 49ers. He was then picked up by Philadelphia earlier this month before resigning with San Francisco last week.
Matthews suffered from injuries in the 2017 and 2018 seasons, but has accumulated 270 receptions, 3,255 yards and 22 touchdowns during tenures with Philadelphia, Buffalo and New England.
This season, Matthews has four receptions for 33 yards.
Matthews, who was inactive against Minnesota in the divisional round of the playoffs, and the 49ers next host Green Bay on Sunday in the NFC championship Sunday.
Spencer Pulley (2011-15) // New York Giants // Pulley joined the Giants early in the 2018 season, and eventually went on to start nine games on the offensive front. In 2017, Pulley served as the Chargers’ starting center for all 16 regular season games. In 2018-19, Pulley earned eight starting assignments at center.
Pulley started Nov. 10 in the Giants’ game against the New York Jets and played all 71 offensive snaps.
Trent Sherfield (2014-17) // Arizona // Sherfield is in his second NFL season after making the most of his rookie campaign in Phoenix. Signed as a rookie free agent, Sherfield played in 13 games and earned two starts at wide receiver for the Cardinals.
By the end of the 2018 season, he was one of the team’s top receiving threats, finishing with 19 receptions, 210 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Sherfield was targeted 13 times in 16 games this season and had four receptions for 80 yards.
Kyle Shurmur (2015-18) // Kansas City // Shurmur was added to Kansas City’s practice squad Aug. 30 after a strong preseason showing with the Chiefs. He was released by the Chiefs on Oct. 22 and resigned to the team’s practice squad in November.
Shurmur and the Chiefs now host Tennessee on Sunday in the AFC championship game.
Justin Skule (2015-18) // San Francisco // Skule was selected in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the 49ers. He moved into the 49ers’ starting lineup while replacing injured tackle Joe Staley and earned his first start at tackle against Pittsburgh on Sept. 22.
Skule has played 546 snaps this season on offense and 78 on special teams in 16 games.
Skule and the 49ers next host Green Bay on Sunday in the NFC championship game.
Emmanuel Smith (2014-17) // Kansas City // Smith was on the practice squad for the Kansas City Chiefs. The inside linebacker was signed as a rookie free agent by Atlanta and finished the 2018 season as a practice squad contributor in Tampa Bay.
Smith and the Chiefs now host Tennessee on Sunday in the AFC championship game.
Stephen Weatherly (2012-15) // Minnesota // Weatherly is in his fourth NFL season while coming off the best year of his career. In 2018, Weatherly became an occasional starter at defensive end and valuable pass-rush specialist for the Vikings, enjoying the most playing time of his pro career.
This season Weatherly has played 18 games, recorded 25 tackles (four for a loss), 2.5 sacks and forced a fumble.
Weatherly had one tackle and played 30 combined snaps on defense and special teams in the Vikings’ season-ending loss to San Francisco in the divisional round of the playoffs.
Vanderbilt’s Stephen Weatherly showing off the speed in the NFL playoffs pic.twitter.com/wa91oxlXEz
— Chad Bishop (@MrChadBishop) January 11, 2020
Ralph Webb (2013-17) // Pittsburgh // Webb was signed to Pittsburgh’s practice squad in November.
The running back was signed by New England as an undrafted free agent in 2018 and spent time on the practice squad with Tampa Bay during that season.
Joejuan Williams (2016-18) // New England // Williams was selected as the 45th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Patriots. Williams was on New England’s active roster through the first month of the regular season and played 13 special teams snaps Sept. 22 against the New York Jets.
He’s appeared in nine contests this season and has been credited with four tackles and one defended pass.
Williams made two tackles during New England’s loss to Tennessee in the playoffs.
Jonathan Wynn (2014-17) // Detroit // Wynn was signed to Detroit’s practice squad after competing for a roster spot during preseason camp. He was originally signed by Minnesota as a rookie free agent in June 2018.