NASHVILLE, Tenn. — This information on former Vanderbilt student-athletes on current National Football League and additional professional rosters was updated April 29, 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 played nine games with Tennessee. He had two receptions for 47 yards in a win at Oakland in December.
Blasingame played 16 plays on offense and six snaps on special teams in the Titans’ 35-24 loss at Kansas City in the American Football Conference championship game. He finished the season appearing in six games with four receptions for 54 yards.
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 played 14 games this season and made nine tackles.
Burks was in on 23 plays on specials teams and three snaps on defense in the Packers’ 37-20 loss at San Francisco in the National Football Conference 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 in 2019, Cunningham set a career high of 144 tackles (eight for a loss), made two sacks, defended three passes and recovered two fumbles.
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 five NFL teams as an offensive tackle and guard.
After spending parts of the 2019 season with Seattle and San Francisco, Holden closed the year on the Baltimore practice squad.
Kalija Lipscomb (2016-19) // Kansas City // Lipscomb signed a free agent deal with Kansas City in April.
Lipscomb ranks second all-time among Vanderbilt receivers with 22 touchdown catches. With 198 catches, Lipscomb ranks fourth on the all-time list and also ranks fifth all-time with 2,356 receiving yards.
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 had four receptions for 33 yards. Matthews was inactive against Kansas City in Super Bowl LIV.
Riley Neal (2019) // Denver // Neal signed a free agent deal with Denver in April.
Neal started 10 games at quarterback for the Commodores as a graduate transfer from Ball State. He completed 57.8 percent of his passes (149 of 258) for 1,585 yards and nine touchdowns.
Jared Pinkney (2015-2019) // Atlanta // Pinkney signed a free agent deal with Atlanta in April.
Pinkney the Vanderbilt record for career receiving yards by a tight end with 1,560. Pinkney’s 114 career receptions shares the program mark by tight ends with former All-America Allama Matthews. He also ranks second to Matthews at the position with 14 career touchdown catches.
As a 11-game starter last year, Pinkney posted 233 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 20 catches. In 2018, Pinkney registered 50 receptions for 774 receiving yards and seven touchdowns – all single-season career highs.
Pinkney appeared in 50 games as a Commodore.
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. He finished the season with 95 offensive plays.
Justice Shelton-Mosley (2019) // Kansas City // Shelton-Mosley signed a free agent deal with Kansas City in April.
Shelton-Mosley played in 11 games for the Commodores, primarily as a wideout and return specialists. As a wideout, Shelton-Mosley finished the year with 14 receptions for 97 yards, and five rushes for 43 yards. As a returner, he averaged 9.1 yards on 16 punt returns and 18.1 yards on 17 kick returns.
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 past 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 beat San Francisco 31-20 in Super Bowl LIV. The quarterback has seen been released by the organization.
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 85 on special teams in 17 games.
Skule and the 49ers lost to Kansas City in Super Bowl LIV.
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 beat San Francisco 31-20 in Super Bowl LIV.
Ke’Shawn Vaughn (2017-2019) // Tampa Bay // Vaughn was selected 76th overall in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Vaughn ranks fifth all-time at Vanderbilt with 2,272 rushing yards despite making just 24 appearances. His 6.4 yards per attempt is the highest among Vanderbilt’s top-10 career rushers and he ranks third all-time among Commodores with 21 rushing touchdowns.
Stephen Weatherly (2012-15) // Carolina // 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 past season Weatherly 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.
In March, Weatherly signed a two-year free agent deal with Carolina.
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 as a rookie and was been credited with four tackles and one defended pass.
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.
Bruno Reagan (2014-18) // St. Louis BattleHawks • XFL // Reagan started all 14 games for the Commodores in 2018 and started 40 straight at one point during his time with the Commodores on the offensive line.
Reagan and the BattleHawks went 3-2 in five games.
LaDarius Wiley (2014-18) // Los Angeles Wildcats • XFL // Wiley was a 2018 preseason third team All-SEC selection in 2018 for the Commodores. He finished his senior season at safety with 83 tackles after posting 88 as a junior in 2017.
Wiley had five tackles, a pass defended and an interception in the Wildcats’ 37-17 at Houston to start the year and four stops in a 25-18 loss to Dallas. In a 39-9 victory over the DC Defenders, Wiley made three stops and blocked a punt.
Wiley registered two tackles, a sack and a quarterback hurry in a loss to New York and had two tackles LA’s 41-34 win over Tampa Bay.
Charles Wright (2014-18) // New York Guardians • XFL // A defensive end, Wright was a second team All-SEC selection his junior year in 2017 and a preseason all-conference selection in 2018 before injury cut that season short.
Wright had three tackles as the Guardians opened the season with a 23-3 win over Tampa Bay.
Kenny Ladler (2010-13) // British Columbia Lions // Ladler returned to the CFL after playing with the Washington Redskins in 2019. He signed with the Lions in February.
Ladler made his NFL debut in 2014 and has bounced around the league since then. The safety appeared in one game in 2019 for Washington. He contributed four tackles against the New York Giants and played 69 snaps on defense and 21 on special teams in that appearance.
Ladler was an All-SEC defensive back selection as a senior at Vanderbilt in 2013.