The 99th National Football League season is set to begin with more than a dozen area players on active rosters.
Centerville High School leads the way with three alumni in the NFL: Mike Nugent, Michael Bennett and Ifeadi Odenigbo.
>>RELATED: Area players who have signed with Ohio State
Entering his 14th season, Nugent is the dean of area players in pro football.
The Ohio State All-American made the Oakland Raiders somewhat unexpectedly after an injury sideline rookie Eddy Pineiro midway through training camp.
His career began with the Jets and included stops in Tampa Bay, Arizona, Cincinnati, Chicago and Dallas. He spent seven seasons with the Bengals.
Here is a list of the area players on NFL rosters:
- Bam Bradley, Trotwood-Madison, Ravens (Begins the season on the physically unable to perform list)
- Michael Bennett, Centerville, Jaguars
- Kurt Coleman, Northmont, Saints
- Taylor Decker, Butler, Lions
- Jordan Hicks, Lakota West, Eagles
- Nicholas Grigsby, Trotwood-Madison, Patriots
- Ryan Kelly, Lakota West, Colts
- Josh Kline, Mason, Titans
- Cody Latimer, Jefferson, Giants
- Elijah Nkansah, Mason, Seahawks (practice squad)
- Mike Nugent, Centerville, Raiders
- Ifeadi Odenigbo, Centerville, Browns
- Adam Pankey, Hamilton, Packers
- Quinten Rollins, Wilmington, Packers (injured reserve)
- Joe Thuney, Alter, Patriots
- Jerel Worthy, Wayne, Buccaneers
Three area players were waived or released in the past month and have not found new teams as of this writing (Chunky Clements, Trotwood-Madison; Donteea Dye, Fairfield and Braxton Miller, Wayne).
Jalin Marshall, a Middletown star and Ohio State standout, has announced he plans to be part of the Alliance of American Football, a new league set to begin play early next year.
Area standouts Nick Mangold (Alter) and Trent Cole (Xenia) officially retired in the past year while would-be rookies Sean Welsh (Springboro) and Mike McCray II both opted not to pursue pro careers after going through the draft process in the spring.
On the coaching side, new Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale is a Trotwood-Madison grad.