FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (WJHL) — Former Tusculum University cornerback Dee Alford has been named to the 53-man roster for the Atlanta Falcons, team officials announced on Tuesday.

The Falcons’ 90-man roster was trimmed down to the NFL-mandated 53-player limit by 4 p.m. on Tuesday. Alford was one of 10 defensive backs retained by Falcons’ head coach Arthur Smith, who is going into his third year in Atlanta.

Alford is entering his second year with the Falcons following a 2022 rookie season which saw him post 25 tackles, one sack and seven passes defended in his 16 outings.

During the 2023 preseason, he made two starts against Miami and Cincinnati in the secondary and also saw action on special teams. In the Miami game, he recorded a 79-yard punt return for a touchdown in a 19-3 win over the Dolphins.

The Griffin, Georgia product signed as a free agent with Atlanta in spring 2022 following a championship season with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League. He led the Blue Bombers with four interceptions and was second on the club with 48 tackles. He was named to the All-CFL Divisional Team and helped Winnipeg to an 11-3 record and won the Grey Cup title for a second straight season. Alford was also tabbed to the CFL All-Star Team and was named the Bombers’ Most Outstanding Rookie.

During his Tusculum career (2016-2019), Alford garnered All-South Atlantic Conference honors on three occasions including first-team accolades during his senior season. He was also tabbed to the 2019 D2CCA All-Super Region 2 Team.

He led the conference with 20 passes defended (T4th in NCAA II) including his team-best five interceptions (3rd SAC / 25th in NCAA II) and 15 pass break-ups. His passes defended tally was the second most in a TU single-season, while his five interceptions were tied for second as well. He returned those five picks for 122 yards which are the second-most in school history.