unlv football:

Former Rebel John Lotulelei survives the cut in Seattle


Associated Press

Former UNLV linebacker John Lotulelei runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Monday, Feb. 25, 2013.

The UNLV football team’s leading tackler from last season is now on a NFL roster.

Linebacker John Lotulelei, who had 120 tackles in 2012, made the Seattle Seahawks 53-man roster today. NFL teams cut down from 75 players by 3 p.m., with three other former Rebels making rosters.

The rookie Lotulelei signed a free agent contract in the spring with Seattle after not being selected in the draft. He impressed coaches almost immediately, according to reports.

“I kind of feel like I have to do more than drafted players to earn respect,’’ he told the Seattle Times Aug. 12. “And not only that, but to try to get on the team. ... but being an undrafted free agent was fine with me. I knew I still had a chance to make any team. That’s the goal.”

Frank Summers made the Buffalo Bills and will be their starting fullback. He was a fifth-round draft pick in 2009 out of UNLV by the Pittsburgh Steelers and also spent time with the San Diego Chargers. He missed last season while rehabbing from an injury, signing a free agent contract with Buffalo in April.

Joe Hawley made the Atlanta Falcons for the fourth straight season and is penciled in as the No. 2 center. He’s also played guard in his career, seeing action in 31 games and starting 12 times. He was a fourth round pick in the 2010 draft out of UNLV.

Also, defensive back Quinton Pointer will be back with the St. Louis Rams for a second season. Last year, he made the team as an undrafted free agent, finishing the season with five tackles in limited action.

Four former Las Vegas area high school players also made teams today. Running backs Steven Jackson (Eldorado) in his first year with the Falcons and DeMarco Murray (Bishop Gorman) of the Dallas Cowboys were shoo-ins to make rosters and are considered two of the best at their position.

Rookie Kerwynn Williams from Valley High made the Indianapolis Colts as a kick returner and their last running back. He was a seventh-round selection last spring.

Also, second-year pro Billy Winn (Las Vegas High) made the Cleveland Browns for the second straight season and is projected as a defensive line starter, and former Canyon Spring High standout Juron Criner made the Oakland Raiders as a reserve wide receiver.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.

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