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BYU in the NFL: Several former Cougars fighting to make NFL Rosters

The NFL Preseason is here and for several former Cougars that means their opportunity to earn a spot in the league has come.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Training camps are well under way in the NFL and the first full slate of preseason matchups begins tonight. While a few former Cougars like Dennis Pitta, Ziggy Ansah, John Denney, and Kyle Van Noy likely have roster spots on their respective teams already locked down, several other former Cougars have a lot to prove during training camp as they try to make the final cut.

Daniel Sorensen

Of this years undrafted free agents out of BYU, Daniel Sorensen looks to be the most likely to make a 53-man roster at this point.  Kansas City is a great fit for Sorensen and he has impressed since day one. An injury to the Chiefs' starting strong safety Eric Berry has even given Sorensen the opportunity to run with the ones.

Sorensen had his best day as a member of the Chiefs Monday, picking off a pass from backup quarterback Tyler Bray and later pulled down a second interception off a pass thrown from backup quarterback Chase Daniel. Sorensen should see some solid minutes in Kansas City's first preseason game tonight at 8:00 pm (ET) vs. the Cincinnati Bengals.

Cody Hoffman

Cody Hoffman has also been garnering some attention out in Washington. It should come as no surprise to BYU fans that  Hoffman's hands and his ability to come down with balls, despite his lack of speed or leaping ability, have turned a few heads in DC.

SportsJouney's Lake Lewis Jr., who seems particularly high on Hoffman, had this to say about the former BYU wide receiver in a recent article:

"If Hoffman continues his development under the eye of the Redskins new coaching staff, this is a player that, in the worse case scenario, would be on their practice squad. As of today, I don't see that being a possibility because his game and talent has "53-man roster" written all over it."

Given the talent Washington currently has at wide receiver right now, making the final roster will still be an uphill battle for Hoffman. The one thing lacking from the talented Redskins' receiving unit is size, so that will likely be the most attractive characteristic Hoffman can showcase for the Washington coaching staff. Hoffman will need to show he can use that size effectively, particularly in the red zone, in the Redskins' upcoming preseason games to earn himself a roster spot. Washington kicks off its preseason schedule tonight at 7:30 p.m. (ET) vs. New England.

The Rest

After initially being cut after by the teams that first signed them as undrafted free agents back in April, Eathyn Manumaleuna and Spencer Hadley have found new homes in New England and Oakland, respectively. There haven't been many updates from the Patriots' camp on Manumaleuna and Hadley just joined the Raiders yesterday, so will have to wait to see how they perform in the games. Manumaleuna's Patriots will play Hoffman's Redskins tonight at 7:30 pm (ET) and Hadley's Raiders will be in Minnesota to face the Vikings on Friday at 8:00 p.m. (ET).

Hebron Fangupo and Dallas Reynolds were both already on NFL rosters from last season, but will need to show well in camp and preseason action in order to retain their roster spots. Fangupo worked his way onto the Steelers' roster last season and has been working hard to stay there. The Steelers' will be in action Saturday at 7:30 p.m. (ET) vs. Reynolds' Giants.

Vic So'oto, who split last season with Arizona and then New Orleans practice squad, is also in Pittsburgh trying to make the Steelers' final roster and has already made at least one play standout play during camp.

Free Agents

Austin Collie, Bryan Kehl, and Brett Keisel are the three former Cougars that have yet to find a team this season. Things have been pretty quiet for Collie since he worked out for Washington back in April. Collie's history of concussions and knee injuries make him a risk for any team, but if healthy he can still be an impactful player in the receiving game. A potential landing spot for Collie could be the Bears, who lost  their #3 wide receiver Marquess Wilson to a fractured clavicle this week.

Kehl is coming off a season ending ACL injury he suffered in October of last year while playing for the Redskins. Kehl. The 5-year NFL veteran had seen only limited minutes with Washington and there doesn't seem to be a lot of teams interested in Kehl leading up to this season. As of July 28th, Pittsburgh hadn't ruled out re-signing Kiesel, who has played 12 years for the Steelers. If an offer doesn't come from Pittsburgh, I expect the 35-year old defensive end to retire.