C.J. Saunders is officially on an NFL roster.
The former Ohio State wide receiver signed with the Carolina Panthers on Tuesday.
A former Ohio State walk-on who earned a scholarship from the Buckeyes in 2018, Saunders has not played a football game in either of the last two years. He missed the entire 2019 season with a knee injury, then served as a student coach for Ohio State in 2020 after the NCAA denied his appeal for a sixth year of eligibility.
Undeterred, Saunders participated in Ohio State's March pro day with hopes of earning an opportunity to play in the NFL. His first opportunity came last month at the Atlanta Falcons' rookie minicamp. And now, Saunders has an actual 90-man roster spot in Carolina, where he'll compete to earn a spot on the Panthers' regular season roster in training camp and the preseason.
Saunders caught 27 passes for 294 yards and a touchdown as a backup wide receiver in 2017 and 2018 and was a team captain for the Buckeyes in 2019.