Six former Miami RedHawks football players entered training camp on an NFL roster. Here’s a list of who they are and how they got there.
Tommy Doyle (2016-2020)
During his time as an offensive tackle at Miami, Doyle led the way for a solid RedHawk o-line for three years. He played right tackle in 2018, then switched over to left tackle in 2019. Doyle earned First Team All-MAC honors in 2019 and 2020.
This led the Buffalo Bills to select him as their fifth-round pick of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Doyle’s best chance to make the Bills team is to beat out fellow rookie Spencer Brown and veteran Ryan Bates for either the swing-tackle role or the emergency tackle role. In his first preseason game, Doyle played right tackle during five of the team’s nine drives.
Emmanuel Rugamba (2019-2020)
After transferring from the University of Iowa after two years, Rugamba played in 16 games at Miami, earning Third Team All-MAC honors in 2019 and 2020. His performance in the 2019 MAC Championship earned him the MAC Championship Defensive Player of the Game award.
The defensive back was picked up by the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted free agent this year as the first Rwandan to ever be on an NFL training camp roster.
Rugamba has a tough road if he wants to remain in the NFL. He’s listed at the bottom of the Browns’ depth chart for his position, so his best hope is to make the practice squad. In his first preseason action, Rugamba recorded two tackles.
Two important dates to keep in mind for Rugamba are Aug. 24 and 31. All NFL teams need to cut their rosters to 80 players by Aug. 24, and down to 53 by Aug. 31. If Rugamba gets released on either of these dates, his NFL future could be in jeopardy.
Doug Costin (2016-2019)
Costin, a defensive lineman, earned a 2018 Second Team All-MAC selection and in 2019 received First Team All-MAC honors. His senior year in 2019 was his best season. He recorded 58 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and four sacks. The Jacksonville Jaguars signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2020.
Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter
As a rookie for the Jags in 2020, Costin played in 12 games while starting 9, helping to record 32 tackles. He is known for being a strong defender against the run. Costin is very likely to make the team, as he’ll have to compete for playing time with teammates Taven Bryan and Jay Tufele.
Costin had four tackles in his first preseason game.
Sam Sloman (2016-2019)
Kicker Sam Sloman will look to continue his NFL career after being drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the seventh round in 2020. He was named Second-Team All-MAC for his senior season in 2019.
His career in college is marked with Miami records. In 2019, his 26 field goals made out of 30 attempts ranked first all-time for a single season for a RedHawk. His .867 percentage is second all-time. He ranks top four in field goals, attempts, percentage, extra points and scoring.
After a short stint with the Rams, he was waived and picked up by the Tennessee Titans, where he made a 37-yard field goal in week 17 to clinch the division for the Titans. In his short career so far, he’s made 10 out of 13 field goal attempts while hitting 88.5% of his extra point attempts.
Sloman was signed to compete with veteran kicker Chris Boswell, but he hurt his chances with a poor performance in the Hall of Fame Game, when he missed an extra point and a 49-yard field goal attempt. He did hit a 48-yard attempt later in the game.
Sloman was cut by the Steelers last week, so look for him to either move around to another team or earn a spot on the Steelers’ practice squad.
Brandon Brooks (2007-2011)
A three-time pro bowler of the Philadelphia Eagles, Brooks hopes to make a return after missing the entirety of the 2020 season with a torn Achilles.
Brooks started the first 24 games of his career at Miami before dealing with injuries in 2010. Starting at left guard his freshman year, he led the Miami offensive line with a team-high 855 plays along with 70 knockdowns. He earned Second Team All-MAC honors in 2009 and 2010. This led the Houston Texans to select Brooks in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
In his career to date, Brooks has played in 112 games, and he has started every game he’s played in since 2013. After a successful stint in Houston, Brooks signed a five-year $40 million contract with Philadelphia in 2016. The year after, Brooks was named to the first of three consecutive pro bowls while going on to win Super Bowl LII.
Brooks signed a four-year, $54.2 million contract extension through 2024 with the Eagles as he looks to have a healthy season in 2021. He’s had a hamstring issue in training camp, but he’ll start for the Eagles if he can remain on the field.
Ben Roethlisberger (2000-2003)
Now for the most famous of Miami University alumni in the NFL. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is looking to lead the Pittsburgh Steelers back to the Super Bowl.
In his final year as a RedHawk, Big Ben posted outrageous statistics including 342 completions for 4486 yards and 37 touchdowns while throwing only 10 picks. He finished ninth in Heisman voting in a class that boasted Larry Fitzgerald, Eli Manning and Phillip Rivers.
After being drafted by the Steelers eleventh overall in 2004, Roethlisberger went 13-0 in his rookie campaign before falling to the New England Patriots in the AFC Conference Championship. Since then, he’s led the league in yards twice, yards per game three times, and completions once.
Roethlisberger’s résumé also includes six pro bowls selections and Super Bowl rings in 2005 and 2008.
Prior to this season, retirement rumors swirled around Roethlisberger. But he is back on the field, and many consider this year likely to be his last. The Steelers have not made it past the Wild Card round since 2017, so Roethlisberger hopes to grab that elusive third ring before his playing days are finally over.
Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect Sam Sloman's release from the Pittsburgh Steelers.