Thank the heavens, football season is finally back. As we prepare for the season opener on Thursday, here are six former University of Wyoming stars to watch for in the NFL this season.

Defensive lineman Mitch Unrein, pictured above, enters his sixth season in the league with the Chicago Bears. Unrein was reunited with John Fox, his former coach in Denver, when he was traded from San Diego to Chicago early last season. Unrein logged steady playing time on the defensive line and was used a fullback during goal line situations. The former UW standout caught his second career touchdown pass against the Broncos in week 10.

Unrein will be joined in Chicago by his former Wyoming teammate Chris Prosinski. The defensive back from Buffalo, Wyoming, is also entering his sixth NFL season and second with the Bears.

Safety Tashaun Gipson is gearing up for his fifth year in the NFL after getting traded from Cleveland to Jacksonville during the offseason. Gipson tallied two interceptions with the Browns last season, bringing his career total to 14, including two interception returns for a touchown.

Joining Gipson in the Jaguars revamped defensive backfield will be his former Wyoming teammate Marqueston Huff. Huff also signed with Jacksonville during the off-season after spending two years with the Tennesee Titans.

Nose Tackle Mike Purcell begins his third season with San Francisco. Purcell appeared in eight games for the 49ers, recording his first career sack. He is expected to logsignificantt playing time this season.

After working his way up from the practice squad as a rookie, Mark Nzeocha enters his second season as a linebacker and special teams player for the Dallas Cowboys.



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