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WSU football stars: Where are they now?

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Weber State University has produced several local football stars over the years. Many of these athletes have made the decision to continue their involvement in the sport and incorporate it into their professional lives as well.

Currently, some former Wildcat stars can be found with recent activity among professional levels of football playing, whether it is the National Football League or the Canadian Football League.

Tim Toone, who played the positions of wide receiver for the Wildcats during the 2003, 2006 and 2007 seasons, is currently a free agent in the NFL. Toone was recently cut from the Denver Broncos practice on April 30, after being added to the practice squad a few months prior on Jan. 10. Before his time with the Broncos, Toone was a member of the practice squad of the Buffalo Bills in 2011.

Toone was the 255th and final selection of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. Toone was one of the final cuts to the roster in September 2010, but was later added to the Lions’ practice squad. He was placed on the practice squad’s injured-reserve team due to an undisclosed injury and, although he signed a future contract earlier the following year, the Lions released him in 2011.

The Lions signed another WSU player following this season’s draft, signing Wildcat offensive lineman J.C. Oram. Oram finished his four years at WSU last season, and was one of the top offensive guards in the nation. Last year, he received All-American honors for the second-straight season.

While at WSU, Oram appeared in 48 games, starting 47 of them, and was named to the Big Sky All-Conference team all four years of his college career. He was part of the conference-winning team in 2008 and reached the NCAA playoffs in 2008 and 2009.

Oram was not drafted, but signed with the Lions shortly after the NFL Draft earlier this year, and will be competing for a position on the team during the Lions training camp.

Two former Wildcats were recently cut by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL. Tyrell Francisco and Joe Collins were both let go last month during the CFL preseason. Francisco was originally drafted by Hamilton last year, but was cut before playing in a regular season game. He was one of the last players cut by Hamilton before the start of the regular season.

Collins signed a free agent contract with the Tiger-Cats in May, and was cut last month as the team trimmed its roster during the preseason. Collins graduated from WSU in 2010 and was a unanimous selection to the Big Sky All-Conference First Team. In his final year in Ogden, Collins was eighth in the nation in receiving yards per game at 95.1. He was also 10th in the conference in all-purpose yards. He finished the season with 61 receptions, the ninth-most in WSU single-season history, and had 1,046 receiving yards, the 12th-most in WSU single-season history.

In his three seasons with WSU, Collins played in 27 career games and had 109 receptions for 1,501 yards and 10 touchdowns. He ranks 15th in school history in career receiving yards and is 19th in career receptions.

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