Junior Aumavae, a 2004 Palmer High graduate who has flirted with the NFL since 2010, is making a run at a roster spot with the New York Jets.
Aumavae, 27, signed a three-year contract with the Jets in March, but he still has to survive two roster cuts this fall to make the Jets' 53-man roster and officially become an NFL player.
Aumavae recorded two tackles -- one for a loss -- for the Jets last weekend in a 37-13 preseason win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The 6-foot-2, 310-pound nose tackle also recorded a tackle in the Jets' first preseason game, a 26-17 loss to the Detroit Lions.
NFL teams will make their first preseason cuts Tuesday, reducing rosters to a maximum of 75 players. On Aug. 31 the roster will be reduced to 53.
In 2010, Aumavae survived the first cut on the Dallas Cowboys roster to make the 80-man preseason squad, but he didn't survive the final cut. He had another shot with the Cowboys in the spring of 2012, but was cut prior to training camp.
Aumavae has since played in the Arena Football League for the Green Bay Blizzard, performing well enough to establish connections with the coaching staff of the Green Bay Packers. Those connections led to a rigorous training program at Don Beebe's House of Speed in Green Bay, Wis., where Aumavae shed 30 pounds and later earned a tryout with the Jets.
Aumavae played NCAA Division II football with Western Washington for three seasons. When the school dropped its football program, Aumavae went to Minnesota State-Mankato for his final season.
Aumavae helped Palmer win a Railbelt Conference title in 2003 and was named first-team all state on offense and defense after his junior and senior seasons.
Three Alaskans played in the NFL last season -- Daryn Colledge of North Pole is an offensive lineman with Arizona, Chris Kuper of Dimond is an offensive tackle with Denver and Zack Bowman of Bartlett is a defensive back with Chicago.
If Aumavae makes the final roster, he'd be the 11th Alaskan to play in the league, joining a list that also includes Mao Tosi, Reggie Tongue, Travis Hall, Shane Bonham, Mark Schlereth, Tom Neville and Rocky Klever,