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Small Oregon College Produces Pro Football Players

Western Oregon University Alums win Super Bowl Rings
2020-04-09 18:52:12 by Chief Editor
By Herman L. Brame

Western Oregon University is a small college in Monmouth, Oregon with about 6,200 students and competes in the NCAA Division II level of football. One would expect that the only professional football players from Oregon colleges would be from the University of Oregon, Oregon State University and maybe Portland State University. Western Oregon University has shattered that expectation with two of its alums recently winning Super Bowl rings.

Western Oregon's first NFL draft pick was offensive lineman Brian Crawford who was selected in the seventh round of the NFL draft by the Minnesota Vikings in 2001. Crawford later played for the Seattle Seahawks and NFL Europe before an injury ended his career. In 2002, defensive back Chris Angel signed a free agent with the Oakland Raiders, and after his release he began a career in the Arena Football League playing for Columbus, New York, Nashville and Colorado. Defensive lineman Jeff Charleston played three seasons at Western Oregon before finishing his senior year at Idaho. In 2006, Charleston signed as a free agent with the Houston Texans and played for the Indianapolis Colts in 2007. He played for the New Orleans Saints in 2010 winning a Super Bowl ring and an ESPY. In 2007, Western's All-American tight end Kevin Boss was drafted in the fifth round by the New York Giants and was a starter for the 2008 Super Bowl Championship team. Western Oregon's latest NFL draft pick was offensive lineman Jason Slowey who was drafted by the San Francisco 49-ers in the 6th round, number 199 overall during the 2012 draft. Slowey was a two-time first team All-Great Northwest Conference selection and his senior year was the conference lineman of the year. In 2015, Tyrell Williams a graduate of Cascade High School in Salem and a four-year wide receiver with Western Oregon signed a Rookie free agent contract with the San Diego Chargers. A highlight of his pro career came in game sixteen when he scored a touchdown against the Denver Broncos.

The arena football leagues offered professional playing opportunities for a number of Western Oregon standouts that include.

Elton Seals- All-Conference defensive back played for the Bakersfield Blitz (AF2) and the Tri-Cities Fever (NIFL.)

Antar Brame- All-Conference defensive back, kick returner, and punt returner. Brame was a starter for the 2005 NIFL champion Tri-Cities Fever. He later played professionally in the IFL, AFL, AIFA and AF2 for the Alaska Wild, Los Angeles Avengers,Arizona Adrenaline,Wyoming Cavalry and the Stockton Lightning. In 2011, he played for the Wyoming Cavalry of the Indoor Football League.

Brinton Smith- A reserve defensive back for the 2005 Tri-Cities Fever.

Ryan Belcher- All-Conference lineman. Won the AF2 championship in 2009 with the Spokane Shock.

Mark Thorson- All-Conference quarterback. Played for the AF2's Boise Burn.

Dave Morrill- All-Confernce linebacker. Played for the AF2's Tennessee Valley Vipers.

Jon Apgar- All-Conference lineman. Played for the AF2's Tennessee Valley Vipers and the AFL's Los Angeles Avengers.

Shaun Kauleinamoku- All-Conference wide receiver. Played for the AFL's Spokane Shock 2010-2011.

Justin Ore- All-Conference wide receiver. Played for the AFL's Utah Blaze in 2011.

Western Oregon University during the past decade has produced over a dozen professional football players. Quite an accomplishment for any college let alone a little known small public college in Monmouth, Oregon.


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