clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Devon Witherspoon is already a budding NFL star

Let’s check in on some of our old friends in the NFL.

Carolina Panthers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

With NFL football back and in full swing, ever wonder how some former Illini are faring in their respective homes?

We’ve got you covered.

Devon Witherspoon

Our guy.

If you watched Spoon at all last year, you knew it wasn’t going to be long before he was locking people down in the NFL.

After missing Week 1 due to injury, Witherspoon has started the last two weeks for the Seahawks and his Week 3 performance was exactly what Illini fans saw every Saturday in orange and blue not too long ago.

And it hasn’t taken long for Seahawks fans to fall in love with him.

Sydney Brown

Sydney Brown has played sparingly for the Eagles in his first three weeks of NFL action outside of special teams but on Monday Night Football against the Buccaneers, he got his first real chance to shine.

This third down pass breakup to deny former All-Pro Mike Evans a touchdown was the country’s first glimpse at what Sydney Brown can do.

Don’t count out Syd playing an important role for the defending NFC champs this year.

Kerby Joseph

After making a name for himself singlehandedly owning Aaron Rodgers last season, Kerby won a starting safety job for the NFC North-favorite Detroit Lions out of camp.

So far in 2023, he’s made two starts, including one in the Lions’ 21-20 opening night victory against the defending Super Bowl champs. He missed Week 3 with a hip injury.

Nate Hobbs

Hobbs has built a lot of trust in Las Vegas ever since being taken in the fifth round of the 2021 Draft. He’s appeared in 30 games in his NFL career so far, including locking down the starting nickel spot on the Raiders’ defense.

This season, he’s already racked up 25 tackles, two tackles for loss and three pass breakups. On Sunday Night Football against the Steelers in Week 3, he had his best game yet.

Tony Adams

Illinois really is DBU, huh?

Adams raised a ton of eyebrows during Jets training camp, so much so that he won the starting free safety job over longtime veteran Adrian Amos out of training camp.

Adams started the first two weeks of the season on a very talented Jets defense before unfortunately suffering a hamstring injury that kept him out of action in Week 3.

Vederian Lowe

Lowe started his career with the Minnesota Vikings after being selected in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

This past offseason, The New England Patriots found themselves thin on offensive line depth and decided to trade a sixth-round pick of their own for Lowe. And it took just two weeks for that move to pay off, as Lowe made his first career start at left tackle on Sunday Night Football against the Dolphins in Week 2.

He was back in the lineup in Week 3, shifting over to right tackle.

Chase McLaughlin

McLaughlin has bounced around quite a bit, appearing for SEVEN different teams since entering the league in 2019.

This year, he won the starting kicker job for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and quickly validated their decision by burying a game-winning 57-yard field goal in the Bucs’ Week 1 victory over the Vikings.

He’s 5-for-6 on field goals through three games and 5-for-5 on extra points.

Quick Hits

Ted Karras: Karras has been one of the more successful former Illini in recent memory, winning two Super Bowls with Tom Brady and the Patriots. He now snaps the ball to Joe Burrow in Cincinnati as the team’s starting center.

Jihad Ward: Ward has been more of a depth piece for a variety of teams during his 8-year NFL career before finally finding some consistent playing time with the New York Giants the last two seasons. He’s started two games at OLB in 2023.

Kendrick Green: Green was traded by the Steelers to the Houston Texans this past offseason and has started two games this season at left guard, protecting rookie C.J. Stroud.

Jartavius Martin: Quan has already battled a concussion to begin his rookie season and has yet to play a defensive snap for the Commanders.

Chase Brown: Brown’s still waiting for his opportunity in Cincinnati, as he’s recorded just one carry for two yards to begin his NFL career.

Alex Palczewski: Palcho battled against the odds to make the Broncos’ 53-man roster out of camp but was quickly placed on injured reserve with a hand injury.