Battle Creek Could See it’s 5th and 6th Ever Players in the NFL
As featured in the Battle Creek Enquirer Tuesday, Connecticut linebacker Brandon Bouyer-Randle and Ferris State defensive back Cyntell Williams are two former Battle Creek Central Bearcats that are hoping to see their NFL dreams come true by the end of the weekend.
Bouyer-Randle played six years of college football, four with the Michigan State Spartans, one at Texas Tech and one at Connecticut. He's hoping to hear his name on Day 3 of this weekend's NFL Draft.
"With all the places I played and as much college football I have played, it's just great to be at this position to have some interest from some NFL teams and to possibly get my chance," Bouyer-Randle told the Enquirer.
His 2016 graduate teammate Williams was a standout at Ferris State helping the Bulldogs win two Division II national championships and appearing in another.
"... I'm just hoping someone takes a chance on me, invites me to a camp and I can get the chance to keep playing the game I love," Williams told the Enquirer. Williams is not expected to be drafted but should have the chance to join an NFL minicamp at the least.
Should either player land with an NFL franchise, he will be the 5th player from Battle Creek to ever make it to the NFL. If they both make it, they'll be the 5th and 6th players. All but one player from Battle Creek to play in the NFL played his high school ball at Central.
Tight end Donnie Ernsberger is that one player, having played at Lakeview High School before moving on to Western Michigan. Ernsberger appeared in two games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent in 2018 but was unable to secure a space in the league afterward.
The first-ever player to make it to the NFL from Battle Creek Central was defensive back Dick Speight. Speight only played in two games in 1968 for the then-San Diego Chargers returning a single kickoff for 21 yards.
Tom Beard was a Bearcat turned Michigan State Spartan that was drafted in the 8th round of the 1971 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. The center played in 12 games for the Buffalo Bills in 1972, making just one start.
The most successful player to make it to the NFL from Battle Creek Central was defensive lineman Tony McGee. McGee was a third-round pick by the Chicago Bears in 1971 and became a wildly successful player for the New England Patriots and the now-Washington Commanders, unofficially finishing his 14-year career with 103 sacks. He won Super Bowl XVII with Washington in 1983.
While just making it to the practice field in the NFL is a difficult enough task, it's commendable for both Bouyer-Randle and Williams to be in the position to do just that. To have persevered to the point they have to this point is something the community can take a ton of pride in.