This time of year is awfully tough on first year NFL players, particularly those that were drafted late or not drafted at all.

After a slew of cuts across the league prior to the cutdown deadline yesterday, a pair of South Dakota State football alumni received news that they would not be retained on their current teams.

Quarterback Chris Oladokun and Wide Receiver Cade Johnson were both cut from their teams that they spent the preseason with: Pittsburgh and Seattle respectively.

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Many times, players will get the opportunity to rejoin the team that cut them as a member of the 16-player practice squad.

Johnson was fortunate enough to get that call, as it was reported that he will be a part of the Seahawks practice squad this season.

For Oladokun, he didn't benefit from a tight quarterback race in Pittsburgh this preseason. The team kept Mitchell Trubisky, Mason Rudolph, and first round pick Kenny Pickett on the active roster.

But the good news is that Oladokun will get an opportunity to shine elsewhere. The 7th round pick this season by Pittsburgh will join the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad, where he will be able to learn from one of the best in the business: Patrick Mahomes.

There are still plenty of moves to be made, but it's good to see a couple Jackrabbits stick around at the next level as teams fill up their practice squads for the rapidly approaching season.

Source: Matt Zimmer Argus Leader Twitter

Know Your South Dakota College and University Mascots

The college football experience is an ultimate high for football fans and it takes several other teams to make that happen week after week during the season.
Just think about what goes into gameday? First and foremost, the players and coaching staff who put in hours and hours of practice and training to play in front of their fans. Then there's field prep, game officials, live broadcasts, concessions, and on-the-field entertainment. Yep, entertainment.

Second to the game, who do you watch? The cheerleaders? The band at halftime? What about the mascot? That's a job not many people can do.
I asked Sioux Falls native and former Cagey mascot for the Sioux Falls Canaries and Little Red & Herbie for the Nebraska Huskers Nate Welch about being a mascot:

  • What does it take to be a mascot?
  • "Losing a bet or filling an opportunity!" Welch says, "An internal energized desire to love life. After meeting great performers who are introverts out of costume, they become the center of attention when they take the stage. And also feeding off the performance of others."
  • Why does the mascot never talk?
  • "Know your role and shut your mouth. You are there to entertain. Tell the story with your actions and not your voice."
  • Advice to someone putting on that costume for the first time?
  • "Remember you are now in a costume. Have fun. Otherwise, you're just a dork in tights. If the fur ain't flying you ain't trying."

Nate Welch has moved on from his days as a mascot to Executive Director of the Vermillion Area Chamber of Commerce and Development Company in Vermillion, South Dakota.

So, can you name the mascots at our South Dakota Colleges and Universities? Check out the gallery below:

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