KANSAS CITY, Mo. — From Topeka to Webb City to Raytown to Blue Springs and KCMO, five local football players will be joining the NFL for the 2021 season.
A lot of work is ahead of these young men as they look to make their mark and find a place on their respective rosters. Here, we highlight each of their careers from high school through college and wish all of them luck as they represent the area at the next level!
Zach Davidson – Tight End – Central Missouri
Minnesota Vikings – Round 5 Pick 168
Zach Davidson graduated from Webb City High School in 2016 before signing on to play for the University of Central Missouri Mules. Davidson was the Webb City High School special teams player of the year in both 2014 and 2015. In high school and at UCM, Davidson split his time as a punter.
In his first season playing at UCM in 2017, Davidson set a team record of 44.3 yards per punt which was good enough for second in the country. He followed that up with a 42.8 yards per punt in 2018. In 2019, he earned five First-Team All-American awards as a tight end and finished top 10 in the NCAA in touchdowns (15) and yards per catch (22.35).
Zach was our special teams player of the year in both 2014 and 2015. He was a spectacular punter in high school with a big time leg. As a senior he broke on to the scene as a TE with limited action in a handful of games. His progress since graduating high school has been outstanding. We are extremely proud and excited for Zach.Webb City High School Head Coach John Roderique
Davidson joins an offense powered by Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen and Kirk Cousins who will be looking for a new tight end to replace Kyle Rudolph who signed with the New York Giants this offseason.
Wyatt Hubert – Defensive End – Kansas State
Cincinnati Bengals – Round 7 Pick 235
Coming out of high school in 2017, Wyatt Hubert was the second ranked player in the state of Kansas by ESPN and 29th strong side defensive end in the nation by Rivals. The Shawnee Heights Thunderbirds product went on to play for Bill Snyder at Kansas State University.
During his career as a Wildcat, Hubert finished eighth in school history in sacks with 20. He earned First Team All-Big 12 honors in 2019 and 2020 and was an honorable mention for Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and Defensive Lineman of the Year in the same in the same years.
Wyatt was a phenomenal football player at Shawnee Heights High School, but he was even more valuable for who he was as a person and leader. Wyatt earned this opportunity to play at the highest level because of his drive. He was the hardest worker in the weight room, on the practice field and certainly the best player on the field every Friday night. Voted defensive player of the year in the Centennial League and All State, Wyatt dominated on both sides of the ball.
The best part of Wyatt was how he acted around others. He treated his teammates like friends, always trying to motivate and make them the best because he genuinely wanted that to happen.. His peers admired him as an athlete, most likely because Wyatt never thought he was better than anyone else. A lot of people were proud on Saturday when Wyatt was drafted, because he was a great friend and caring person to them.Shawnee Heights High School Head Coach Jason Swift
Hubert heads to Cincinnati, who drafted K-State defensive end Jordan Willis in the third round of the 2017 draft, where he will look for his place along a defensive line that boasts Sam Hubbard, Trey Hendrickson and Khalil McKenzie.
Jabril Cox – Linebacker – LSU
Dallas Cowboys – Round 4 Pick 115
When Jabril Cox suited up for the Raytown South Cardinals, he was literally all over the field. A three year starter, Cox was a dual-threat quarterback who also played receiver, linebacker, safety and corner. He collected a hand full of all-conference and all-district honors at both linebacker and quarterback. Cox was a four year starter on the varsity basketball team.
When he finished high school, Cox took his talents to North Dakota State where the team went 45-1 during his three years there. The Bison won three FCS National Championships during his time in North Dakota.
Cox was named a first team FCS All-American twice while collecting 258 tackles, 14 sacks and six interceptions. In 2018, he was named the Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
In 2020, Cox joined the LSU Tigers as a grad transfer and started in all 10 games. He finished the season with 58 tackles, third on the team, and three interceptions. In his first game in Tiger Stadium, Cox returned an interception 14 yards for a touchdown.
The Dallas Cowboys add Cox to a linebacker core of Leighton Vander Esch, Jaylon Smith and the No. 11 overall pick in the 2021 draft Micah Parsons out of Penn State.
William Bradley-King – Defensive End – Baylor
Washington Football Team – Round 7 Pick 240
William Bradley-King graduated from Hogan Preparatory Academy as the 28th best player in the state of Missouri, Class 3A All-State recognition and a letterman in Track & Field and Wrestling. He was recruited by Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri and Rutgers, but ultimately decided to take his talents to Arkansas State.
In three years with the Red Wolves, Bradley-King collected 89 tackles and 15.5 sacks. He was named to the First Team All-Sun Belt Conference after 2019 season where he played in all 13 games and finished with career highs in tackles (49), tackles for loss (13.5), sacks (8.5) and forced fumbles (3).
Bradley-King made his way to the Baylor Bears as a graduate transfer for the 2020 season. In nine games with the Bears, he collected 31 tackles and 3.5 sacks which earned him All-Big 12 Honorable Mention.
In his first start for the Bears against West Virginia, Bradley-King tallied 6 tackles, 2 tackles for loss and one sack. He would go on to start the rest of the season.
We knew he had it in him after his freshman season but the question mark was how bad did he want it and how much work was he willing to put in. He answered that question with three years of tireless work on and of the field as well as in the classroom. He continued to answer that question throughout his college years. Will’s never quit and never give up attitude has helped him persevere to a well deserved and earned spot in the NFL. I wish Will the best in his journey in the NFL and cherish the privilege and honor I was given to be a small part of his journey. Life is made up of multiple blessings and one of mine was when William Bradley-King showed up at 1221 East Meyer Blvd. July of 2012.Hogan Preparatory Academy Head Coach Phil Lascuola
Bradley-King joins a young and surging defense in Washington where he’ll play alongside Montez Sweat, Jon Bostic, Daron Payne, Landon Collins, No. 19 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft Jamin Davis and 2020 Pro Bowl selection Chase Young.
Briley Moore – Tight End – Kansas State
Tennessee Titans – Undrafted Free Agent
As a senior, Briley Moore helped lead the Blue Springs South Jaguars to a basketball and football state championship and a 14-0 record in football. A multi-letter athlete, Moore earned First Team All-State honors his senior season where he collected 37 catches for 672 yards and 15 touchdowns.
After high school, Moore made his way to the University of Northern Iowa. With the Panthers, Moore started producing in his sophomore season. That year he caught 38 passes for 494 yards.
He followed that up with a 39 catch, 536 yards, 4 touchdown season as a junior earning him a spot on the All-Missouri Valley Conference honorable mention. His career high 96 yards and a touchdown came against North Dakota State who was then coached by current Kansas State University head coach Chris Klieman.
That game must have left an impact on Klieman as after missing the 2019 season with injury, Moore transferred to Kansas State in 2020 to play under him.
In one season in Manhattan, Moore made his impact felt as he bounced back from injury. Playing in nine games with seven starts, Moore earned Second Team All-Big 12 honors and recorded the most catches by a Wildcat tight end since 2012 and most yards by a tight end since 2014. He had 78 receiving yards against Texas Tech which was the most by a Wildcat tight end since 2014.
Briley played on our 2015 State Championship team at Blue Springs South. He was a WR/TE and LB for us and was an important part of our team’s success. Briley was a great student-athlete. He not only excelled on the field, but also in the classroom. He was very driven to succeed at everything he did. Briley was a mature young man of high character and integrity. He was a leader, committed, humble, and passionate. He has worked hard to get to this point, and the Jaguar family wishes him the best of luck.Blue Springs South High School Coach Mike Fansher
Moore went undrafted in 2021, but signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Tennessee Titans. In Nashville, he will play behind Anthony Ferkser as he tries to make his way up the ranks and earn playing time in the run heavy offense led by Ryan Tannehill and 2020 rushing leader Derrick Henry.
*All photos provided by coaches, AP Images and Getty Images