MIAMI — A trio of former Northeastern A&M football standouts made the initial rosters of three National Football League teams.
After cutting down to 53 players Saturday afternoon, running back Darwin Thompson made the roster of the Kansas City Chiefs, tight end Jace Sternberger with the Green Bay Packers and cornerback Jeff Richards with the Los Angeles Chargers.
Thompson, a sixth-round draft pick, played only one season at Utah State.
In three pre-season games, Thompson had 60 yards on 12 carries and also added three receptions.
He and Darrel Williams will back up Damien Williams.
He wound up running for 1,044 yards with 14 touchdowns last season at Utah State.
A former Jenks Trojan, Thompson was the offensive player of the year in the Southwest Junior College Football Conference in 2017, when he also was named an NJCAA all-American.
Thompson finished No. 2 overall as NEO’s single season and career rushing leader.
He ranked second in both the nation and the conference with 1,391 yards on 185 carries and eight touchdowns.
Sternberger, from Kingfisher, caught a 2-yard touchdown pass in the Packers’ 27-20 win over Kansas City, a game where Thompson didn't play.
He was a third-round selection by Green Bay (75th pick overall) out of Texas A&M, where he played just one season.
Sternberger was a first team all-SWJCFC honoree in 2017, when he had 21 catches for 336 yards and six touchdowns in his only season in Miami.
He spent his freshman season at Kansas.
Richards spent 2016 with the Ottawa RedBlacks of the Canadian Football League and played six games with the Chargers in 2018, logging four solo tackles and one assist.
In the CFL, he had 15 solos.
He was signed to the Chargers practice squad then added to the active roster on Nov. 3.
Richards previously had spent time with Carolina (signing a futures contract) and Tampa Bay.
He played at NEO in 2009 and 2010, posting 16 solo tackles and 12 assists with one blocked punt as a freshman then logged 38 solos and 21 assists as a sophomore.
More than 50 former Norsemen have played in the NFL dating back to 1936, when Kenneth Lundy was with the New York Giants.