Football / Sports

CMU vs. MSU: producing NFL talent the last decade

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, left, races pass Baltimore Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb, right, to catch a 58-yard pass by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the fourth quarter in AFC playoff action at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, January 15, 2011. The Steelers’ rallied for a 31-24 victory over the Ravens. (Gene Sweeney Jr./Baltimore Sun/MCT)


Over the past ten years, both Central Michigan and Michigan State have had their fair share of football players drafted into the National Football League. Here’s a look at some of those big names to step into the limelight:

CMU

Since 2002, 19 former Chippewas have been on an NFL roster.

Currently, there are 12 former CMU football players in the NFL, including two 2012 Pro Bowlers: Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown and San Francisco 49ers left tackle Joe Staley.

Staley has established himself as one of the NFL’s top offensive tackles. He has started in every game he has appeared in since being drafted No. 28 overall in the 2007 NFL Draft.

Brown has made a name for himself by returning kicks and coming up with clutch receptions. He came up with two big receptions in the 2011 playoffs to send Pittsburgh to the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl XLV had 15 Mid-American Conference players, led by four Chippewas including Brown, linebacker Frank Zombo, defensive end Cullen Jenkins and cornerback Josh Gordy.

Jenkins spent his first seven season in Green Bay, before going to the Philadelphia Eagles for the 2011-12 season as one of the top free agent defensive ends.

Gordy was mainly on the practice squad with the Packers before heading to St. Louis where played in 14 games (nine starts) and had 3 interceptions. He was recently traded and is now with the Indianapolis Colts.

Zombo helped a banged up Green Bay defense make it to the Super Bowl in 2010. He earned a start in the championship game and came up with sack on Steelers quarterback Ben Rothlesburger.

Some other former CMU players competing in the NFL are linebackers Nick Bellore and Matt Berning with the New York Jets, punter Brett Hartmann with the Houston Texans, offensive linemen Colin Miller and Rocky Weaver with the Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints tight end Tory Humphery and Miami Dolphins corner Vince Agnew.

Offensive lineman Adam Kieft also played three season with the Bengals, as did guard Scott Rehberg, who ended his career in Cincinnati.

Center Drew Mormino was drafted in the 2007 NFL Draft along with Staley, and played with the Miami Dolphins and San Diego Chargers. He has not played since 2009.

Quarterback Kent Smith played with the Oakland Raiders and Tennesse Titans, before becoming an offensive coordinator at Sylvania Northview High School in Ohio.

MSU

Michigan State has seen its share of success as well with its players being drafted into the NFL. Some of them have gone on to have successful NFL careers – others not so much.

It seems like the higher a Spartan is drafted, the more likely they will become a bust.

Wide Receiver Charles Rogers was the number two overall pick in the 2003 draft by the Detroit Lions. Some experts called him the next Randy Moss, but Rogers flamed out after an injury and drug filled three-year career.

Quarterback Drew Stanton was drafted in the second round by the Detroit Lions in 2007. Many thought he would replace Joey Harrington at quarterback but Stanton only started four games, going 2-2 in his Lions career. Now he’s the backup quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts.

Wide Receiver Derrick Mason (1997-2011) was the only player in NFL history with 10,000 receiving yards and 5,000 return yards. Mason played the majority of his career for the Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans.

Wide Receiver Plaxico Burress (2000-present) has had success playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants. In Super Bowl XLII, Burress caught the game-winning touchdown pass.

Muhsin Muhammad (1996-2009) played his most successful years as a Carolina Panthers wide receiver. He holds the record for longest touchdown reception (85 yards) in a Super Bowl.

Kicker Morten Andersen (1982-2007) is the all-time leading scorer in NFL history. He holds over 15 NFL records, including most games played and most game-winning field goals.

Linebacker Julian Peterson (2000-present) has been selected to five pro bowls and been named all-pro three times in his career with the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions.

After the success of MSU’s back-to-back 11 win season, six players were drafted in the 2011 NFL draft.

 

 

 

A new NFL season is here and many former Central Michigan athletes have come and gone into the league over the last 10 seasons.

Since 2002, 19 former Chippewas have been on an NFL roster.

Currently, there are 12 former CMU football players in the NFL, including two 2012 Pro Bowlers: Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown and San Francisco 49ers left tackle Joe Staley.

Staley has established himself as one of the NFL’s top offensive tackles. He has started in every game he has appeared in since being drafted No. 28 overall in the 2007 NFL Draft.

Brown has made a name for himself by returning kicks and coming up with clutch receptions. He came up with two big receptions in the 2011 playoffs to send Pittsburgh to the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl XLV had 15 Mid-American Conference players, led by four Chippewas including Brown, linebacker Frank Zombo, defensive end Cullen Jenkins and cornerback Josh Gordy.

Jenkins spent his first seven season in Green Bay, before going to the Philadelphia Eagles for the 2011-12 season as one of the top free agent defensive ends.

Gordy was mainly on the practice squad with the Packers before heading to St. Louis where played in 14 games (nine starts) and had 3 interceptions. He was recently traded and is now with the Indianapolis Colts.

Zombo helped a banged up Green Bay defense make it to the Super Bowl in 2010. He earned a start in the championship game and came up with sack on Steelers quarterback Ben Rothlesburger.

Some other former CMU players competing in the NFL are linebackers Nick Bellore and Matt Berning with the New York Jets, punter Brett Hartmann with the Houston Texans, offensive linemen Colin Miller and Rocky Weaver with the Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints tight end Tory Humphery and Miami Dolphins corner Vince Agnew.

Offensive lineman Adam Kieft also played three season with the Bengals, as did guard Scott Rehberg, who ended his career in Cincinnati.

Center Drew Mormino was drafted in the 2007 NFL Draft along with Staley, and played with the Miami Dolphins and San Diego Chargers. He has not played since 2009.

Quarterback Kent Smith played with the Oakland Raiders and Tennesse Titans, before becoming an offensive coordinator at Sylvania Northview High School in Ohio.

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