Idaho ties in the NFL: Browns acquire Pocatello native; LVE has strong showing for Cowboys

·6 min read

Tristen Hoge’s NFL dreams aren’t over yet.

The Idaho Statesman’s 2014 5A All-Idaho Player of the Year, out of Highland High in Pocatello, was signed to the Cleveland Browns’ practice squad on Monday.

Hoge started every game all four years of his high school career and originally signed with Notre Dame out of high school before transferring to BYU.

At BYU, Hoge lined up at guard and appeared in 26 games, including 25 starts, beginning in 2018. Bouts with COVID-19 and pneumonia cut his senior season short, but he still managed to start seven games. His 2019 campaign was also cut short by a leg injury.

Although he went undrafted, the 6-foot-5, 306-pound Idaho native signed with the New York Jets in the spring and played 46 snaps in preseason action before getting cut.

Hoge is the nephew of former Idaho State/NFL running back and ESPN analyst Merril Hoge.

Fellow Highland High grad Tommy Togiai also plays for the Browns, while Boise State alum Curtis Weaver and former Emmett High star Porter Gustin are on Cleveland’s practice squad.

The second week of the NFL regular season saw 16 players with Idaho ties take the field, including seven starters.

Of the 16 men who logged playing time, 10 are former Boise State standouts, while four are University of Idaho alums. Four also played high school ball in the Gem State.

Below is a look at how players with Idaho ties performed during Week 2 of the NFL regular season.

BOISE STATE

TE, John Bates, No. 87 Washington Football Team: Played one snap on offense and 15 on special teams but did not record any stats in Washington’s 30-29 win over the N.Y. Giants.

The Arizona Cardinals’ J.J. Watt, left, goes against the Minnesota Vikings’ Ezra Cleveland during their game Sept 19 in Glendale, Arizona.
The Arizona Cardinals’ J.J. Watt, left, goes against the Minnesota Vikings’ Ezra Cleveland during their game Sept 19 in Glendale, Arizona.

G, Ezra Cleveland, No. 72 Minnesota Vikings: Started at left guard and played all 61 snaps on offense and seven on special teams in the Vikings’ 34-33 loss to Arizona.

CB, Dont’e Deayon, No. 21 Los Angeles Rams: Deayon is a member of the Rams’ practice squad and was not called up for their 27-24 win over Indianapolis.

WR, John Hightower, No. 82 Philadelphia Eagles: Hightower is a member of the Eagles’ practice squad and was not called up for their 17-11 loss to San Francisco.

DE, DeMarcus Lawrence, No. 90 Dallas Cowboys: Lawrence is expected to miss six to eight weeks after fracturing a foot during practice last week.

OT, Charles Leno Jr., No. 72 Washington Football Team: Started at left tackle and played all 71 offensive snaps, plus seven on special teams.

Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison tries to escape Arizona defenders on Sept. 19 in Glendale, Arizona.
Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison tries to escape Arizona defenders on Sept. 19 in Glendale, Arizona.

RB, Alexander Mattison, No. 25 Minnesota Vikings: Came off the bench and had three carries for 11 yards and caught one pass for 17 yards while playing 13 offensive snaps (21%).

RB, Jeremy McNichols, No. 28 Tennessee Titans: Came off the bench and contributed one carry for 3 yards and caught three passes for 26 yards. McNichols was on the field for 21 offensive snaps (24%) and two on special teams in the Titans’ 33-30 overtime win against Seattle.

DT, David Moa, No. 96 New York Giants: Moa is a member of the Giants’ practice squad and was not called up for their 30-29 loss to Washington.

G, John Molchon, No. 75 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Placed on injured reserve earlier this month and is expected to miss at least the first three weeks of the season with a leg injury. Molchon missed all of last season with an undisclosed leg injury.

C, Matt Paradis (Council High), No. 61 Carolina Panthers: Started at center and assisted on a tackle when Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold was intercepted by Saints DT Malcolm Roach. Paradis played all 76 offensive snaps as Carolina beat New Orleans 26-7.

Carolina Panthers center Matt Paradis runs off the field after Carolina defeated the New Orleans Saints 26-7 in on Sept. 19 in Charlotte, N.C.
Carolina Panthers center Matt Paradis runs off the field after Carolina defeated the New Orleans Saints 26-7 in on Sept. 19 in Charlotte, N.C.

QB, Brett Rypien, No. 4 Denver Broncos: Rypien is a member of the Broncos’ practice squad and was not called up for their 23-13 win over Jacksonville.

S, Darian Thompson, No. 23 Dallas Cowboys: Thompson is a member of the Cowboys’ practice squad and was not called up for their 20-17 win over the L.A. Chargers. He suffered a hamstring injury in Week 1 and is considered week-to-week.

ILB, Tanner Vallejo, No. 51 Arizona Cardinals: Played 27 snaps on special teams (75%) and was flagged for a 15-yard roughing the kicker penalty in the third quarter.

LB, Leighton Vander Esch (Salmon River High), No. 55 Dallas Cowboys: Started at outside linebacker and finished second on the team with seven total tackles, including one sack, two tackles for loss and a QB hurry. Vander Esch played 37 snaps (52%) on defense and five on special teams (26%).

“Vander Esch, who drew two penalties in the game, seems to be the best version of himself in years. Time will tell if the 2019 first-round pick can surpass his rookie production,” Dallas Morning News reporter Michael Gehlken wrote. “If he can stay healthy and get consistent snaps, he clearly has a chance.”

DE, Curtis Weaver, No. 59 Cleveland Browns: Weaver is a member of the Browns’ practice squad and was not called up for their 31-21 win over Houston.

CB, Avery Williams, No. 35 Atlanta Falcons: Returned two punts for 11 yards and returned four kickoffs for 59 yards while playing 21 snaps (70%) on special teams.

WR, Cedrick Wilson, No. 1 Dallas Cowboys: Came off the bench and had one carry for 5 yards and caught two passes for 20 yards. Wilson participated in 36 snaps on offense (58%) and two on special teams (11%).

IDAHO

WR, Jeff Cotton, No. 88 Jacksonville Jaguars: Cotton is a member of the Jaguars’ practice squad and was not called up for their 23-13 loss to Denver.

G/T, Jesse Davis, No. 77 Miami Dolphins: Started at right tackle and played 45 offensive snaps (61%) in the Dolphins’ 35-0 loss to Buffalo.

LB, Christian Elliss, No. 53 Philadelphia Eagles: Elliss is a member of the Eagles’ practice squad and was not called up for their 17-11 loss to San Francisco.

LB, Kaden Elliss, No. 55 New Orleans Saints: Came off the bench and played 29 snaps on defense (38%) and 22 on special teams, assisting on a tackle in their 26-7 loss to Carolina.

DE, Benson Mayowa, No. 10 Seattle Seahawks: Started at edge and played 57 snaps on defense (65%), registering three tackles in the Seahawks’ 33-30 overtime loss to Tennessee.

RB, Elijhaa Penny, No. 39 New York Giants: Came off the bench and had two carries for 5 yards and made one tackle on special teams. Penny played three snaps on offense and 20 on special teams.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill runs the ball against the Carolina Panthers during the second half of their game Sept. 19 in Charlotte, N.C.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill runs the ball against the Carolina Panthers during the second half of their game Sept. 19 in Charlotte, N.C.

HIGH SCHOOLS

DE, Porter Gustin (Emmett High), No. 94 Cleveland Browns: Gustin is a member of the Browns’ practice squad and was not called up.

QB, Taysom Hill (Highland High), No. 7 New Orleans Saints: Played 10 snaps on offense, totaling two carries for 16 yards. Hill also played six snaps on special teams, assisting on a tackle.

OL, Tristen Hoge (Highland High), Cleveland Browns: Hoge, an undrafted rookie out of BYU, was signed to the Browns’ practice squad on Monday.

DT, Tommy Togiai (Highland High), No. 93 Cleveland Browns: Togiai was not on the Browns’ active roster for the second straight game.

DL, Jonah Williams (Rocky Mountain High), No. 92 Los Angeles Rams: Came off the bench and played 11 snaps on defense and five on special teams but did not record any stats.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting