Ravens boast most Mormon players on NFL roster

Published: Thursday, Sept. 10 2009 12:16 a.m. MDT

This season, the Baltimore Ravens are the most-Mormon team in the NFL.There are five members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Baltimore's 2009 roster, and Mormons are among the team's most notable performers and acquisitions.__IMAGE1__Nose tackle Haloti Ngata, of Salt Lake City, has established himself as an elite NFL defensive lineman. A former first-round draft pick out of the University of Oregon, Ngata was a first-team alternate for the Pro Bowl last year.This season, former University of Utah defensive end Paul Kruger will join Ngata on the Baltimore defensive line. The Ravens made the returned missionary from Orem, Utah, their second pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.Todd Heap, of Mesa, Ariz., returns for his ninth professional season at tight end. Heap is a two-time Pro Bowl selection who joined the Ravens in 2001 out of Arizona State.Baltimore also features former Weber State offensive lineman David Hale, a backup center, and third-string quarterback John Beck, formerly of BYU and the Miami Dolphins. Both players are returned missionaries.Elsewhere in the NFL, two veteran LDS offensive linemen are missing from team rosters this fall. BYU product John Tait retired in February after a 10-year career that included 139 pro starts at tackle. Former Ricks College lineman Edwin Mulitalo, whose 10 years in the NFL has featured 127 starts and a Super Bowl victory with the Ravens, was released by the Lions and has yet to sign with a team.Eagles linebacker Stewart Bradley (Nebraska), who established himself as the team's starting middle linebacker in 2008, will miss the season with a torn anterior-cruciate ligament. He was the Eagles' second-leading tackler. Green Bay's Devin Frischknecht (Washington State) and San Diego's Ryon Bingham (Nebraska) will also miss the season with injuries.Several Latter-day Saints were recently cut from their teams' roster but later added as practice squad players. They include BYU's Travis Bright (Cowboys) and David Nixon (Raiders); Weber State's J.D. Folsom (Dolphins) and Marcus Mailei (Eagles); and Tulsa's Garrett Mills (Vikings).


E-mail: ashill@desnews.com

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS