Ex-Wildcats take stock of NFL season; make playoff picks

Jan 7 2011 - 8:58pm

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Their seasons may not have panned out the way they originally hoped, but these Wildcats are still clawing through the NFL.

Just ask Tim Toone, Marcus Mailei and J.D. Folsom.

The former Weber State football stars won't be on the field for this year's playoffs, but all are still members of their respective teams.

"It's nice to get the first season over with," said Toone, a receiver for the Detroit Lions, who is currently rehabbing a broken leg.

"It was pretty stressful learning the ropes. So, next year I will know what's what and be able to get out on the field have more fun this time around."

Toone was selected as the final pick in the 2010 NFL Draft -- also known as Mr. Irrelevant -- but suffered a fractured leg during a preseason practice. He is still on Detroit's injured reserve roster and hopes to be back on the field with his team in March.

"It's (leg rehab) going well. I was in a cast for four weeks, but I'm cutting and running a lot now."

Mailei is in the same boat as Toone, nursing an injury that forced him to sit out the season.

The former All-Big Sky fullback -- who earned a Super Bowl ring with the New Orleans Saints last year -- suffered a knee injury early in the season, but that hasn't kept him from studying the game off the field.

"I feel like I played the whole season," Mailei said. "I've been watching a lot of film, so I've taken in a ton of metal reps."

Unlike Toone and Mailei, Folsom has enjoyed a healthy NFL season. But it hasn't exactly been smooth sailing for the second-year linebacker.

Currently under contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Folsom bounced around NFL practice squads in 2010, including two stints apiece with the Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins. He also spent time with the Chicago Bears and Arizona Cardinals, all in just one season.

"The travel is definitely the hardest thing," Folsom said. "It's hard on the family. I mean, the money is good, but my wife (Micah, a former WSU volleyball standout) is pregnant with our second child, so that's been tough."

Although these Wildcats aren't participating in the playoffs, they weren't afraid to chip in on how they think the postseason will pan out.

All three picked road winners for today's games, with the New York Jets traveling to Indianapolis and the Saints visiting the Seattle Seahawks.

As for the Super Bowl XLV champion, the former Wildcats weren't exactly on the same page.

"I'm not a huge fan of the Jets," Folsom said. "I know the (New England) Patriots are good too, but I don't think anybody is as good as the Atlanta Falcons right now."

Toone disagreed.

"The Patriots just look unstoppable right now. Based off everything I've heard, I don't think anyone will beat 'em."

Naturally, Mailei's loyalties sit with New Orleans.

"I'm pulling for the (Baltimore) Ravens a bunch," Mailei said. "My boy Haloti Ngata is tearing it up over there, but I'm still definitely going with the Saints to repeat."

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