Four Ferris State Football Alums Open NFL Preseason Action This Week!

NFL preseason

Big Rapids, Mich. - Four Ferris State University football alums will continue their quest to make National Football League (NFL) active rosters as they open preseason action this weekend.

Bulldog alums Jake Lampman (East Lansing/Haslett) and Justin Zimmer (Greenville) will play their preseason opener with the NFL's New Orleans Saints on Thursday (Aug. 10) evening on the road against the Cleveland Browns.

Meanwhile, former Bulldog standout Jason Vander Laan (Frankfort, Ill./Chicago Christian) and the New York Jets begin preseason play Saturday (Aug. 12) at home versus the Tennessee Titans while recent FSU linebacker Brady Sheldon (Novi) plays his first preseason contest with the Oakland Raiders on the road against the Arizona Cardinals the same day.

All four began preseason camp in late July with their respective NFL clubs following offseason workouts and are currently on each team's 90-man roster. All NFL clubs will cut down to the 53-player limit in early September.

Lampman made the New Orleans Saints' active roster and saw game action last fall while two-time Harlon Hill Trophy winning quarterback Vander Laan was resigned by the New York Jets near the end of the 2016 season. In addition, Zimmer joined Lampman with the Saints at the end of the year after originally taking part in training camp with the Buffalo Bills last summer. 

Finally, Sheldon signed with the Raiders prior to the start of camp in July after being invited to their rookie mini-camp following April's NFL Draft.

Last fall, Lampman became the first Ferris State player to appear in an NFL regular-season game in 13 years as the most recent FSU alum to play on football's biggest stage in regular-season action was standout receiver Clarence Coleman in 2003. He's the sixth player all-time who competed for the Bulldogs to see playing time in the regular season along with Dave Gagnon (1974), Ricky Patton (1978-82), Monty Brown (1993-96), Ed Philion (1994-95) and Coleman (2003).

Over the last three seasons at Ferris State, the Bulldogs have compiled a 34-5 overall record and claimed two conference championships, posted two unbeaten regular-seasons, captured a regional title and reached the national semifinals while posting four playoff victories.

In the five seasons under FSU head coach Tony Annese, the Bulldogs have become a national power on the Division II level. FSU has posted a 49-12 overall mark in the last five years and the Bulldogs have also posted the best winning percentage of all 21 collegiate programs in the state of Michigan along with the GLIAC since his arrival.