Ward makes Vikings' opening-game roster

Sep. 4—MOULTRIE — Former Colquitt County and LSU defensive back Jay Ward is listed as a safety on the 53-player roster posted by the Minnesota Vikings ahead of their season-opening Sept. 10, game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The 6-foot, 188-pound Ward was selected in the fourth round by the Vikings in the 2023 NFL draft.

Ward will wear jersey No. 20 for the Vikings.

He will be the seventh former Packers to play in the NFL, joining Virgil Seay, Nate Lewis, Antonio Edwards, Jamiyus Pittman, Cameron Erving and T.J. Smith.

Erving, who played at Colquitt County and Florida State before being a first-round draft choice of the Cleveland Browns in 2015, was released by the Carolina Panthers on Aug. 29.

Erving, 31, played in 11 games on the offensive line for the Panthers as a backup last season.

In 2019, Erving won a Super Bowl championship ring as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs.

He also played for the Dallas Cowboys in his eight-year NFL career.

Smith was released last week by the Vikings, but was immediately re-signed to the practice squad.

Like Smith, former Colquitt County and Auburn tight end John Samuel Shenker was waived on Aug. 29, by the Las Vegas Raiders, but was signed to the practice squad the next day.

—In Austin Peay's season-opening 49-23 loss to Southern Illinois, defensive back Jaheim Ward, Jay's younger brother, was credited with two assisted tackles.

The Governors will play Saturday at Tennessee.

Jaheim Ward, a 6-foot-2, 183 red-shirt sophomore, is a three-time member of the Austin Peay Athletic Director's Honor Roll.

Ward played in all 11 games, starting two, in 2022.

—Kaleb Dawson had an interception and was credited with nine tackles in his first game with Alabama A&M.

The former Colquitt County defensive back and red-shirt senior had previously played at Appalachian State before transferring to Alabama A&M and the Southwestern Athletic Conference this year.

The Bulldogs, who fell to Vanderbilt 47-13 in their opener, will be home to play host to Lane next Saturday.

—Another ex-Packer who had an outstanding start to the 2023 season is wide receiver Orion Bonner, who led Glenville (W.Va.) State with eight pass receptions for 93 yards in a 44-9 win over Northwood.

The Pioneers will play next on Sept. 16, at home against Notre Dame College.

A junior, Bonner now has 77 career catches, including seven for touchdowns for the West Virginia school.

—Preseason FCS All-American defensive end Ty French had seven tackles, including three for loss and a sack, in Gardner-Webb's season-opening 45-24 loss at Appalachian State.

The 6-foot-3, 230-pound senior, is a two-time first-team All-Big South Conference selection and is on the Buck Buchanan Award watch list.

The Runnin' Bulldogs will be home to face Elon on Saturday.

—Former Colquitt County quarterback Steven Krajewski is playing his senior season at Staten Island, New York's Wagner College and completed 19-of-33 passes for 334 yards and two touchdowns in a season-opening 46-16 loss to Fordham.

The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder will lead the Seahawks against Navy in Annapolis, Md., on Saturday.

Krajewski previously played at Connecticut and Georgia State.

—Kicker Wil Lutz was traded last week by the New Orleans Saints to the Denver Broncos for a seventh-round draft choice.

Lutz lived in Moultrie as a child when his parents taught at Colquitt County schools.

Lutz graduated from Northgate High in Newnan and kicked collegiately at Georgia State.

Undrafted out of college, he was signed and then waived by the Baltimore Ravens in 2016.

He then was signed by New Orleans and was the Saints kicker until last week's trade.

—Four former Colquitt County football players — Jay Harper, Cole Holmes, Raheim McBride and Charlie Pace — were suited up for the first Thomas University team that played a scrimmage against the Georgia Warhawks last Saturday at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Thomasville.

The Nighthawks will play their first game on Sept. 9 at Point University.

Thomas University will play in the NAIA's Sun Conference.

—Zy Brockington was credited with a solo tackle in Memphis' 56-14 season-opening victory over Bethune-Cookman.

The Tigers will play at Arkansas State on Saturday.

—After playing the last two seasons at Kansas State, Omar Daniels got his first playing time at Georgia Tech last Saturday and had a solo tackle in a 39-34 season-opening loss to Louisville.

Tech will play host to South Carolina State next Saturday in Atlanta.

—Nyquan Washington started in the secondary when Tennessee Tech opened its season with a 45-10 loss to Furman.

The 5-11, 165-pound junior had two solo and two assisted tackles.

—Former Colquitt County, Valdosta and Valwood receiver Tajh Sanders had two pass receptions for 21 yards in Western Illinois' 58-21 season-opening loss to New Mexico State.