Former Florida Gators Cut as NFL Preseason Comes to a Close
High unemployment in the United States just got a little higher. On Saturday, NFL clubs announced their final cuts in order to get their rosters down to the league's 53-player maximum.
Several former Florida Gators were among those who are no longer with a team. Some will sign on with their former teams' practice squads, some may sign with other leagues and some could be done with football altogether.
Jason Watkins: OT, released by the Buffalo Bills
Watkins attended UF from 2005-08 and was All-SEC Honorable Mention as a senior. After going undrafted in 2009, Watkins signed with the Texans but was released before the start of the regular season. After playing in the UFL in 2009, Watkins signed with the Bills.
Phil Trautwein: OL, released by the Cleveland Browns
Trautwein attended UF from 2004 to 2008. He was a first-team All-SEC left tackle in 2006 and 2008. After going undrafted in 2009, Trautwein has bounced from St. Louis to Cleveland a couple times.
Jarred Fayson: WR, released by the New Orleans Saints
Fayson attended UF from 2004-06. Fayson then transferred to Illinois to play for Ron Zook, who originally recruited him to Florida, from 2007-10.
Fayson battled injuries in camp and was cut.
Justin Trattou: DE, released by the New York Giants
Trattou played at UF from 2007-10. Trattou was released by the Giants, but has since been signed to their practice squad.
Chad Jackson: WR, released by the Oakland Raiders
Jackson attended UF from 2003-05. In 2005, Jackson was first-team All-SEC, an All-American honorable mention and a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award, which goes to the nation's top wide receiver.
In 2006, the Patriots selected Jackson in the 2nd round (36th overall). Jackson showed promise despite multiple injuries during his rookie season, until he tore his ACL against the Colts in the AFC Championship game. Jackson missed most of the next season and was released in 2008.
He was picked up by the Broncos and played in four games. After being cut the following season, Jackson has bounced around a bit, and has yet to play in a regular season game.
Lito Sheppard: CB, released by the Oakland Raiders
Sheppard played at UF from 1999-2001. Sheppard was a first-team All-American in 2000 and first-team All-SEC in 2000 and in 2001. He was drafted 26th overall by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2002.
Sheppard played for the Eagles from 2002-08 and was a Pro Bowler and All-Pro in 2004 and 2006. He played for the Jets in '09, the Vikings in 2010 and was cut this preseason by the Raiders.
Cornellius Ingram: TE, released by the Philadelphia Eagles
Ingram attended UF from 2004-08. Ingram began his career as a QB and was red-shirted. He also played shooting guard for the Gators basketball team. During his second year, he was converted to a TE. Ingram was second-team All-SEC in 2007. In 2008, after deciding to return to UF for his fourth year of eligibility, Ingram suffered a major knee injury that caused him to miss the 2008 season.
Ingram was drafted in the fifth round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Eagles but re-injured his ACL during training camp. Ingram has yet to play in an NFL game.
Ahmad Black: S, released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Black played at UF from 2007-10. Despite being undersized, Black was a starter at strong safety from 2008-10. Black's two most memorable plays came in bowl games. One, a red zone interception against Oklahoma in the 2008 championship game off Sam Bradford. The other, a pick-six to ensure victory against Penn State in the 2011 Outback Bowl, which was Black's and beloved head coach Urban Meyer's final game as a Gator.
Black was drafted in the fifth round by the Bucs in 2011, but an ankle injury led to him being cut during the preseason. He is expected to sign on with Tampa's practice squad, assuming he makes it through waivers.
Kestahn Moore: RB, released by the Tennessee Titans
Moore attended UF from 2005-08. Moore was one of those good-at-everything, but not-great-at-anything guys. His stats at Florida were underwhelming, but he was a solid player and team captain in 2008.
Moore was undrafted and signed with the Chargers in 2009, Chiefs in 2010 and the Titans in 2011, but has yet to make a 53-man roster.
Maurice Hurt: G, released by the Washington Redskins
Hurt attended UF from 2006-10. Hurt was a solid lineman throughout his college career, but struggled with consistency due to injuries. In 2010, Hurt started nearly every game, although he played both guard spots as well as right tackle.
Maurice was drafted by the Redskins in the seventh round of the 2011 draft.