Former Red Wolves Blake Grupe & Kirk Merritt join Demario Davis on Saints 53-man roster

New Orleans Saints place kicker Blake Grupe (19) is seen after an NFL preseason football game...
New Orleans Saints place kicker Blake Grupe (19) is seen after an NFL preseason football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Aug. 27, 2023, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)(Tyler Kaufman | AP)
Published: Aug. 29, 2023 at 2:17 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 29, 2023 at 5:42 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

NEW ORLEANS (KAIT) - Three former Arkansas State standouts will remain on the same NFL squad.

The Saints traded kicker Will Lutz to the Broncos on Tuesday. That move means that Blake Grupe will be the New Orleans starting kicker to open the season. Grupe made 5 of 6 field goals in the Saints preseason, his longest was a 50 yarder on August 27th vs. the Texans. The Missouri native played at Notre Dame in the 2022 season. Grupe is the Arkansas State all-time leader with 64 field goals and 354 points. He connected on 74 percent of his attempts.

Former Red Wolves wide receiver Kirk Merritt also lands on the Saints initial 53-man roster. He lined up at running back, wide receiver, and at kickoff return during training camp and the preseason. He had 1 reception for 8 yards along with 1 return for 13 yards on August 20th vs. the Chargers. The Louisiana native signed with New Orleans in 2022 after starting his NFL career with the Dolphins.

The Saints roster is headlined by A-State Hall of Honor selection and Pro Bowl linebacker Demario Davis. #56 enters his 12th season in the NFL. He earned AP All-Pro honors in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022. Last season was a banner season for Davis, recording 109 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 6 pass deflections, 1 interception, & 1 fumble recovery. He’s the first player in New Orleans history to record triple digit tackles in five straight seasons.

The Saints kick off the season September 10th at home vs. the Titans.