Two former Bulls — Eagles DT Bruce Hector and Cardinals CB Deatrick Nichols — have made their respective NFL teams' initial 53-man rosters as undrafted free agents.
Not so fortunate was Quinton Flowers. The Bulls' three-year starting quarterback and all-time total offense leader, Flowers was among the Bengals' final cuts, but could stick around with the organization as a member of the practice squad.
NFL teams were required to reduce their rosters to 53 players by 4 p.m. Saturday. Things could still fluctuate over the next few days if/when teams claim players cut elsewhere.
But Hector's survival to this point qualifies as arguably the most stunning USF-centric story line of the preseason.
A Robinson High alumnus, Hector had three tackles, a sack and forced fumble in the Eagles' preseason opener against Pittsburgh, and continued to impress throughout August. By many accounts, he out-performed seventh-round pick Elijah Qualls, against whom he was competing for a spot in the defensive tackle rotation.
"He's impressed us all along the way," defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz told NBCSports.com.
"But I think the thing that's been most impressive is that there's a lot of guys that look good early and then they level out, or they fade, or they can't stay healthy, or they plateau and they just don't improve, [but] that's not Bruce. Bruce impressed us early, but going on he has steadily improved. And he's been on the field and he's healthy enough to be on the field."
Nichols' agent confirmed Saturday he had made the cut to 53. The former first-team All-American Athletic Conference corner had five tackles in Arizona's third (and most significant) preseason game, last Sunday's 27-3 victory against Dallas. The week before against the Saints, he collected four tackles and a sack.
Flowers, who tried to make Cincinnati's roster as a running back, appeared a roster long shot at the outset. In his most extensive preseason action, he had eight carries for 23 yards (and an 8-yard reception) in Thursday night's 27-26 loss to the Colts.
Other teams' roster announcements still were trickling in late Saturday afternoon. Former Bulls Quinterrius Eatmon (Panthers) and Nigel Harris (Bucs) were waived earlier in the day.