TYLER, Texas - There are currently 2 John Tyler alumni playing in the NFL (Jeremy Lane and Teddy Williams). When the 2017 season begins, that number could increase exponentially.

5 former Lions were either drafted or signed with NFL teams this week. And on Monday night, the JT community got together to pray for their safety and success and wish them the best in the NFL.

The Lions have always had strong community support and these players have seen that support throughout their college careers. But having that many people turn out to pray for them and cheer them on still gives those Lions a special feeling.

New Panthers wide receiver Fred Ross says, "These are the people that have been supporting us since we were younger and all playing together and it means a lot for them to still be here for us and support us.

Justice Liggins, who has been invited to the Cardinals minicamp, adds. "They've been supporting us since we were little, since high school, and it's just a blessing to have everyone here at one time."

Their former coach, Ricklan Holmes, was part of the group supporting the players. He's been behind them every step of the way and says, "For them to have all of this support and all of this family and all this love as they get ready to go to the next part of their life, it's an amazing deal."

All of the players will be heading off to their respective rookie minicamps in the next few weeks.