Former Youngstown State standouts Derek Rivers and Kevin Rader have landed on NFL rosters for the start of the 2020 season. Rivers will be in his fourth season with the New England Patriots while Rader is on the practice squad for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Rivers missed the 2017 and 2019 seasons because of an injury and played in six contests for the Patriots in 2018. He also saw action in the playoffs for the eventual Super Bowl Champion.
Rader has been part of the Steelers organization for two years, but will be in his first year as a member of the practice squad in 2020.
At YSU, Rivers ended his career with 41 sacks, 56.5 TFLs and 173 tackles in 49 games played. He broke the school record for sacks by 19 and ranked in the top five in FCS history in career sacks.
He is the second-highest draft pick in school history behind the legendary Ron Jaworski who was picked 37th in 1973. He was three spots ahead of Pete Lanzi who was picked 86th by the New York Giants in 1948.
Rader caught a career-high 22 passes for 272 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 11.1 yards per reception in 2017. He played in his final 38 games for the Penguins, starting 24 contests in his final two seasons. He had a memorable one-handed touchdown catch against Eastern Washington win one second remaining that lifted the Penguins to the FCS National Championship Game in 2016.