Commanders Add 11 To Training Camp Roster
By Cole Thompson, San Antonio Commanders Team Reporter
SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Commanders are close to finalizing their roster before the start of training camp on Friday, January 4. Seventy-five members are expected to compete over the course of the next several weeks to earn a spot on the Commanders roster for the team’s inaugural season under head coach Mike Riley.
Following the conclusion of mini camp, Commanders general manager Daryl Johnson has added 11 new players to the roster who will have a chance to earn a roster spot before the team’s first game against the San Diego Fleet on February 9.
John Diarse, WR
A native of Monroe, La., Diarse played wide receiver at LSU (2013-15) before transferring to TCU as a graduate student (2016-17). A two-year starter for Gary Patterson’s offense, Diarse became a feature piece of the offense. Finishing his collegiate career with 96 receptions, 1,429 yards and nine touchdowns, Diarse signed an undrafted rookie contract with the Denver last offseason. He was waived during the team’s final roster cuts after finishing the preseason with four catches for 68 yards.
Jayrone Elliott, LB
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Elliott played under Tim Beckham and Matt Campbell over the course of his four seasons at Toledo (2010-13). A defensive end turned outside linebacker, Elliott was a three-year start for the Rockets defense, collecting 124 total tackles, 22.5 tackles for losses, 16 sacks, four pass deflections, one interception and one forced fumble. Undrafted in 2014, Elliott has spent multiple seasons on multiple NFL rosters including the Green Bay Packers (2014-16), Dallas Cowboys (2017) and the New Orleans Saints (2018).
Brian Folkerts, OL
An offensive lineman from Florissant, Mo., Folkerts was a three-year star for the Washburn Ichabods (2009-12) in Topeka, Kan.. After going undrafted in 2012, Folkerts spent six seasons in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints (2012), Carolina Panthers (2013-15, 2017), San Francisco 49ers (2015) and St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams (2015). Folkerts also has played in the Arena Football League with the San Jose SaberCats (2013). The 28-year-old offensive lineman has played both center and guard at the collegiate and NFL level.
Kennan Gilchrist, LB
A three-year starter for the Mountaineer defense, Gilchrist played a major role into helping the Appalachian State football program (2014-16) transition to the FBS level. A native of Abbeville, S.C., Gilchrist played both outside linebacker positions over the course of collegiate career. During his time, Gilchrist collected 194 career tackles, 20 tackles for losses, seven sacks and two forced fumbles. Most recently, the 24-year-old was a member of the Houston Texans practice squad.
Donald Hawkins, OL
Born in Tunica, Miss., Hawkins has spent some time in the Texas area. An offensive tackle for Texas (2012-13), Hawkins started in 24 of his 25 career games under Mack Brown’s offense. Following going undrafted in 2014, Hawkins has played offensive tackles for multiple NFL teams including the Philadelphia Eagles (2014), Cleveland Browns (2014), Dallas Cowboys (2014), Miami Dolphins (2015), San Francisco 49ers (2015), Carolina Panthers (2016), New York Jets (2016) and Kansas City Chiefs. The 26-year-old played in eight NFL games over the course of four seasons.
Fred Lauina, OL
Coming from Nuuuli, American Samoa, Lauina has a close bond with coach Riley already. Recruited by his current coach in 2013, Lauina played college football for Oregon State (2013-17). Starting in 20 games for the Beavers’ offense, the 6-foot-4, 315 pound offensive guard spent the past offseason as a member of the Cleveland Browns training camp roster.
Darryl Morris, DB
A San Antonio, Texas native, Morris played for the Texas State Bobcats out in San Marcos, (2009-12). Morris was a member of the team’s inaugural season transferring to the FBS level in 2012. Finishing his career with 223 tackles, 16.5 tackle for losses, 21 pass deflections, five interceptions and one sack, Morris quickly transitioned to the NFL. As an undrafted free agent, Morris has spent the past six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers (2013), Houston Texans (2014-15), New York Jets (2015), Indianapolis Colts (2016-17) and New York Giants (2017). For his career, Morris has collected 98 total tackles, 14 pass deflections and two interceptions at the NFL level.
Darius Prince, WR
A wide receiver product from West Mifflin, Penn., Prince did not play college football during his time at Penn State Greater Allegheny. Instead, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound receiver played basketball for the Nittany Lions and averaged 12.7 points per game in 2011. Prince is best known for his time in the Arena Football league where he became a key part of the Philadelphia Soul offense. Making his league debut in the 2017 playoffs, Prince collected 76 yards and a touchdown in the semifinals, and followed that up with two scores in ArenaBowl XXX capturing MVP honors. In his first full season, Prince lead the AFL with 89 receptions. His 1,076 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns ranked second and third among AFL player, respectively. Prince most recently was a member of the Philadelphia Eagles offseason roster. Prince also is a coach for the Penn State Greater Allegheny basketball program.
Nick Rose, K
A Dallas native, Rose was a place kicker for the Texas Longhorns (2012-15). A three-year starter for the Longhorns’ special teams, Rose finished his career with 149 career points, averaging a 71.1 percent career field goal rating. The 24-year-old placekicker has a career long of 53 yards. Undrafted in 2016, Rose has spent time as a member of the Washington Redskins (2017) and Los Angeles Chargers (2017), going 11-of-14 on field goal attempts with a long of 55 yards. Rose has also been a member of the offseason roster for the Atlanta Falcons (2016), San Francisco 49ers (2017), New York Jets (2018) and Houston Texans (2018).
Derron Smith, DB
A Banning, Calif., native, Smith was a member of the Fresno State football program (2010-14) under both Pat Hill and Tim DeRuyter. A four-year starter for the Bulldog’s defense, Smith predominantly played free safety and was known for his coverage ability. Over the course of his time in Fresno, Smith finished with 298 career tackles, 13 tackles for losses, 15 pass deflections, 15 interceptions, four sacks, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble. In 2013, Smith finished second among all FBS defenders in interceptions (7). Smith was a three-time first team All-Mountain West player (2012, 2013, 2014). Drafted in the sixth round, Smith has spent three seasons in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals (2015-17) and the Cleveland Browns where he accumulated 17 career tackles and one pass deflection.
Trey Williams, RB
A native Spring, Texas, Williams was a state champion running back for the Dekaney Wildcats before electing to play for Texas A&M (2012-15). Over the course of three seasons, the rotational back, Williams rushed for 1,343 yards on 204 carries with 18 touchdowns, while averaging a career 8.7 yards per carry. Williams also worked as the Aggies’ return man where he collected 1684 yards on 70 returns in three years. Since leaving College Station, Williams has been a member for several NFL programs, including the Washington Redskins (2015), Dallas Cowboys (2015, 2017), New England Patriots (2015), Miami Dolphins (2015), Indianapolis Colts (2015-16) and Pittsburgh Steelers. Williams also has played in the Canadian Football League as a member of the Toronto Argonauts (2017).