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Technical Tidbits 9/9: Smelter reaches injury settlement with 49ers, Austins and Gray anchor Tech secondary

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DeAndre Smelter's days in San Francisco appear to be over already.

John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

The recently-concluded NFL preseason, fruitful as it was for a few of Tech's pro alumni, proved challenging for almost all of the fringe-roster players fighting for spots with their respective professional teams. In short, that majority of Tech's football alumni -- particularly the undrafted free agents from this year -- didn't make the cut this time around. The mainstays like Vance Walker and Demaryius Thomas should be fine this year, but some notable developments for the lesser players are as follows:

  • Most shockingly of all, former Tech wide receiver DeAndre Smelter reached an injury settlement with the 49ers just one year after being selected in the fourth round of the draft. That's just immensely disappointing for all parties.
  • Wide receiver Darren Waller was suspended for a violation of the substance abuse policy, but has a decent chance to make the roster in Baltimore.
  • D.J. White, a sixth-round pick by the Kansas City Chiefs, made the active roster.
  • Wide receiver Stephen Hill was cut by the Carolina Panthers. His NFL career seems all but over at this point.

Having started off with football much earlier than most, Tech defensive backs Lance Austin, Lawrence Austin, and A.J. Gray see the field like a game of principals as much as anything. For Gray and the Austin twins, whose fathers were both coaches, things have appeared to come a little bit easier so far. That's evident in everything from Gray's solid play since his  freshman season last year to Lance Austin's fantastic play that made the Miracle on Techwood Drive possible. All three have been invaluable pieces for Tech's secondary so far this season, and hopefully they'll be able to continue contributing all year long.

College football's first week featured a number of cupcake-level losses that tend to more or less signal the end of a season before it even begins, but just how finished are the power five schools that lost their warmup games? Washington State lost to an always-tough Eastern Washington team, but their season was more or less over when they looked down and saw that Mike Leach was still coaching their team. Mississippi State and Northwestern, with losses to South Alabama and Western Michigan, respectively, are significantly more doomed. The doomdest of all the doomed, however, is unquestionably UVA. The Hoos kicked off the season with a 17-point blowout loss... to the FCS's Richmond Spiders. Yikes, Bronco.

Have a great weekend!