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NFL Players

Firebirds Who Appeared In NFL Uniform
(see gmcsports archives sections for high school accomplishments of these players)
 Ryan Kelly Ryan Kelly
Lakota West Class of 2011
Position: Center
College: University of Alabama (Under Grad. class of 2015, Grad class of 2016)

College Honors & Highlights: Remington Award Winner (Most outstanding center in college football)… Consensus First Team all-American… Starter & Team captain of the 2016 National Championship team… numerous other awards and honors National, from Southeast Conference, and team… for more see Crimson Tide 2015 football media guide.NFL Entry: Drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in 1st round (18th choice overall) of 2016 draft.NFL Career Summary:  Has completed 2nd season, 23 games all in starting lineup Status: On Indianapolis Colts current roster. This section last updated on 2/13/2018
 HICKS Jordan Hicks
Lakota West Class of 2010
Position: Linebacker (Middle Linebacker in NFL)
College: Texas University (Under Grad class of 2014, Grad student 2015)

College Highlights and Honors: Walter Camp Foundation Second Team all-American, 2014… Associated Press Football Writers Association of America Second Team all-American, 2014… Numerous other honors, athletic and academic from the Big 12 conference and team… for more see Longhorn 2014 football media guide. NFL Entry:  Drafted in 2015 by the Philadelphia Eagles in 3rd round (84th pick overall) NFL Career Summary:  31 games played, 28 in starting lineup over three seasons.  119 tackles and one touchdown. Member of 2018 NFL Championship Team.  Status: On Philadelphia Eagles current (2018)roster.  This section last updated on 2/13/2018
 peters-john1 John Peters
Lakota West Class of 2010
Position:  Tight End (WR college, QB high school)

College: Mount St. Joseph (class of 2015)
College Highlights and Honors:  Twice named to all-HCAC (Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference ) teams as a wide receiver. Caught 67 passes for a total of 1145 yards and caught 21 TD passes in 23 games over three seasons. Peters is the first Lion to sign a NFL contract.NFL Entry: Undrafted free agent signed by the Cincinnati Bengals in spring of 2015 and again in spring of 2016. First player from Cincinnati’s Mount.NFL Career Summary: Played in multiple 2015 & 2016 preseason games with the Bengals before being cut prior to regular season start.
Status: Out of the NFL.  This section last updated on 9/6/2016
 2014-stephen-houston Stephen Houston
Lakota West Class of 2009
College: Indiana (class of 2015)

College Summary: Stephen fourth on the school’s all-time list with 25 rushing touchdowns, sixth with 29 total touchdowns and ninth with 2,304 rushing yards, Houston is ninth in school history with nine 100-yard rushing games. Last season, he rushed for 753 yards on 112 attempts for 6.7-yard average and five touchdowns.
Primary Positions: Running Back
Drafted By: Undrafted free agent signed by the New England Patriots in spring of 2015.
NFL Career Summary: Played in preseason games in 2015 for New England Patriots and Clevland Browns but released when teams cut back to the 53 man regular season roster.  Played in preseason games in 2016 for the Baltimore Ravens but released before the regular season.

Status: Out of the NFL.  This section last updated on 9/6/2016
 hunter_grant Grant Hunter
Lakota West Class of 2007
College: Butler University (class of 2012)
College Summary: Hunter, led Butler in quarterback sacks for four straight seasons. He was Butler’s Defensive Lineman of the Year in 2011. He is second on Butler’s all-time list for quarterback sacks with 35.5 during his four-year career.  Hunter led the Bulldogs in 2011 with ten quarterback sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss, while earning honorable mention All-Pioneer Football League recognition.  Professional teams took notice of his combination of size and speed.
Primary Positions: Defensive Line (College) & Linebacker (NFL)
Drafted By: Undrafted free agent signed by the Cincinnati Bengals in spring of 2012.
NFL Milestones–
10 August 2012 … Played in season opening exhibition win (17-6) over the New York Jets at Paul Brown Stadium.  Hunter was credited with one solo tackle.
31 August 2012…Waived by Bengals just prior to the beginning of the NFL regular season. Retired from football. This section last updated on 6/6/2016
 conner_john JOHN CONNER
Lakota West Class of 2005
College: University of Kentucky (class of 2010)
College Summary: Conner became a member of the UK starting lineup as a sophomore and was a very explosive fullback.He was named the “Best Blocking Back” prior to his senior season in the Birmingham News. During Conner’s career at UK he recorded 247 yards on 54 attempts, and 4 touchdowns (averaged 4.6 yards/carry. He also recorded 25 catches for 147 yards (8.1 yards/catch) including four TD catches.
Primary Position: Fullback (College & NFL)
Drafted By: New York Jets in the 5th round of the 2010 NFL draft.NFL Milestones–6/4/10… Conner signed a four year, $1.99 million deal with the Jets and receivd a $199,000 signing
9/4/10 ….. made the Jets 53 player active roster.  He is listed #2 at fullback on the team depth
chart and is also expected to see action on special teams.  He becomes the first Lakota West
athlete and just the second in Lakota district history to make an NFL team.
9/13/10….. played in the Jets/Ravens game on Monday night football to become the first Lakota West Alum to play in a major league regular season sports contest of any kind.
1/23/11….. completed a successful rookie season today as the Jets were eliminated from the NFL playoffs losing to the Pittsburg Steelers.  The Jet’s finished the regular season with a combined record of 13-6 (11-5 regular season/ 2-1 in playoff’s)
2010-2011 Season Summary… Conner played in all 19 games as a member of the special teams and in several games as a fullback with the offensive unit.  For the year Conner rushed the ball 8 times for 44 yards including one 16 yard TD run. His TD came on the final drive of the Jets final game of the regular season, a 38-7 win over the Buffalo Bills.  Conner’s season totals also included 2 pass receptions for 9 yards, 3 kick returns for 35 yards, and 5 total tackles (2 solo & 3 assisted).  He becomes only the second Lakota District player to play a season in the NFL (after 1996 Lakota grad Troy Evans*).  Conner is the first Lakota player to ever be credited with a touchdown in the NFL.*Evans, a linebacker and special teams specialist, played 9 seasons in the NFL, most recently as the special teams captain of the 2010 Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints.8/1/11… Reported to Jets training camp for beginning of his second NFL season. Was elevated on depth chart to #1 fullback on roster.
2011-12 Season Summary… Conner played in all 16 regular season games.  The Jets did not make the play offs this year.  He had 13 rushing attempts for 44 yards resulting in 7 first downs and 1 touchdown.  He caught 2 passes for 9 yards, one resulting in a first down.  He has now played in 35 consecutive games for the Jets.2012-13 Season Summary… Conner began the season as the Jets starting fullback but was waived by the Jets in October after reaching an injury settlement.
He signed with Cincinnati in December and played the last five games of the season with the Bengals.
2013-14 Season (Fourth NFL Season)
8/31/2013… Waived by Bengals after last pre-season game.
9/24/2013… Signed two year deal with New York Giants. Since elevated to #1 at fullback on the Giant depth chart.
2014-15 Season (Fifth NFL Season)
Completed regular season with the New York Jets. Caught first NFL TD pass, a 9 yard game winner in 16-11 victory over Tennessee in week 15.  Waived by the Jets after the season ended.
Status:  Signed contract on 5/13/2015 with the Buffalo Bills. Was waived at the conclusion of the 2015 pre-season and is currently out of professional football.This section last updated on 9/6/2016