Every draft season, there are players that emerge on the draftable player listing that had either fathers, uncles, stepfathers, brothers that have played professional football in the NFL or CFL, or other family members in sports. Quite a few players joining the National Football League come from families rich in athletic tradition. Here is a list of current NFL players who had or have family members compete at either the collegiate or professional levels.
SAM BRADFORD-Oklahoma/St. Louis Rams
Father, Kent Bradford was an Oklahoma University offensive lineman (1977-78).
JIMMY CLAUSEN-Notre Dame/Carolina Panthers
Older brothers, Rick and Casey, both played quarterback at the University of Tennessee, and had good collegiate careers.
COLT MCCOY-Texas/Cleveland Browns
Father, Brad, played safety at Abilene Christian. Brad McCoy was roommates with Longhorn WR Jordan Shipley’s father, Bob. Brother, Chance, is a junior wide receiver at Abilene Christian. Grandfather, Burl McCoy, a member of the Abilene Christian University Sports Hall of Fame for his exploits both as an athlete and as the former women’s basketball coach.
THE WIDE RECEIVERS
RILEY COOPER-Florida/Philadelphia Eagles
Father, Larry, played baseball at Oklahoma State.
CARLTON MITCHELL-South Florida/Cleveland
Father, Carl, played professional basketball in Europe. Mother, Angela, is a “cut-man” for professional boxer, Antonio Tarver.
JORDAN SHIPLEY-Texas/Cincinnati Bengals
Father, Bob, and grandfather, Richard Felts, both played at Abilene Christian. Bob was roommates with Longhorns QB Colt McCoy’s father, Brad, at Abilene Christian. Uncle, Steven Shipley, is the second-leading receiver in Texas Christian history.
GOLDEN TATE-Notre Dame/Seattle Seahawks
Father, Golden Tate, Jr., played wide receiver at Tennessee State, a fifth-round pick of Indianapolis Colts in 1984 NFL draft as the 120th overall selection.
BLAIR WHITE-Michigan State/Indainapolis Colts
Mother Vicki (LeFevre) earned All-American swimming honors at Michigan State.
ROB GRONKOWSKI-Arizona/New England Patriots
Brother, Gordie, was selected in the 49th-round of the 2006 Major League Baseball draft by the Los Angeles Angels. Brother, Dan, currently plays tight end for the Detroit Lions after a four-year career at Maryland (2005-08). Brother, Chris, was a teammate of Dan’s at Maryland before transferring to Arizona. Playing H-Back/Fullback for the Wildcats (2008-09). His great-grandfather, Ignatius Gronkowski, was a member of the 1924 U.S. Olympic cycling team in Paris
DENNIS PITTA-Brigham Young/Baltimore Ravens
Father, Dennis, played middle linebacker for California from 1968-1969.
MICKEY SHULER-Penn State/Miami Dolphins
Father, Mickey Sr, a standout tight end for the Penn State, earning letters from 1975-77. He was selected by the New York Jets in the third round of the 1976 NFL Draft and enjoyed a highly successful career with the Jets (1978-89) and Philadelphia Eagles (1990-91).
TOBY GERHART-Stanford/Minnesota Vikings
Father Todd an All-Conference running back at Cal State Fullerton (1981-84) before played professional football for the Denver Gold of the United States Football League (USFL) from 1985-86 and appearing in camp with the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings (1986) and Houston Oilers (1987).
THE OFFENSIVE TACKLES
BRUCE CAMPBELL-Maryland/Oakland Raiders
Father, Bruce, was an area high school legend in basketball that ultimately starred at Providence College in the 1970s. He was selected by the New Jersey Nets in the eighth round of the 1978 NBA Draft and is a member of the Providence Athletics Hall of Fame. He played professional hoops overseas.
RODGER SAFFOLD-Indiana/St. Louis Rams
Father, Rodger, played football at the University of Iowa in the mid-1970s.
ED WANG-Virginia Tech/Buffalo Bills
Parents, Nancy and Robert Wang, were both members of the Chinese Olympic team in the 1970s.
THE OFFENSIVE GUARDS
JOHN JERRY-Mississippi/Miami Dolphins
Oldeer brother, Peria was an All-SEC and All-American defensive tackle at Ole Miss (2004-08). He was selected in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons. Cousin, Dwayne Rudd, was an All-American linebacker at Alabama (1994-96) and was selected in the first round of the 1997 NFL Draft by Minnesota, playing for the Vikings (1997-2000), Cleveland (2001-02) and Tampa Bay (2003). Their cousin, Derek Pegues, was an All-Southeastern Conference defensive back at Mississippi State (2005-08). Their cousins, linebacker Eddie Strong (1998-2002) and running back Toward Sanford (1999-2002) both played at Ole Miss. Toward’s brother, defensive back Jamarca Sanford (2005-08) played on the Rebel defense.
THE DEFENSIVE TACKLES
TYSON ALUALU-California/Jacksonville Jaguars
Became the fourth family member to play college football, joining uncle, Tupu Alualu (Hawai’i), and cousins Ben Alualu (Arizona) and Tyrone Alualu (Laney College).
THE INSIDE LINEBACKERS
JOSH HULL-Penn State/St Louis Rams
Younger brother, Ethan, is a redshirt sophmore offensive lineman for Penn State Lions.
BRANDON SPIKES-Florida/New England Patriots
Cousin of San Francisco 49ers linebacker Takeo Spikes. Takeo played linebacker for Cincinnati (1998-2002), Buffalo (2003-06), Philadelphia (2007) and San Francisco (2008-present) after an All-American career at Auburn University.
THE OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS
RODDRICK MUCKELROY-Texas/Cincinnati Bengals
Brother, Kendrick, played linebacker at Kilgore Junior College. Cousin, Joe King, was an offensive lineman at Oklahoma State (1988-90) and played in the National Football League with Cincinnati (1991), Cleveland (1991) and Tampa Bay (1992-93).
SEAN WEATHERSPOON-Missouri/Atlanta Falcons
Cousin of former WNBA star Teresa Weatherspoon.
JAVIER ARENAS-Alabama/Kansas City Chiefs
Cousin of Gilbert Arenas, a shooting guard for the Washington Wizards in the National Basketball Association.
DEVIN MCCOURTY-Rutgers/New England Patriots
Twin brother, Jason was a teammate, cornerback at Saint Joseph’s High School and Rutgers. Jason was selected in the sixth round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans.
WALTER MCFADDEN-Auburn/Oakland Radiers
Brother, Bryant, was an All-Atlantic Coast Conference cornerback at Florida State, selected in the 2005 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, then signed with Arizona as a free agent in 2009.
NATE ALLEN-South Florida/Philadelphia Eagles
Father, Jackie, played professional basketball in Europe.
ERIC BERRY-Tennessee/Kansas City Chiefs
Father, James, was a three-year starter, four-year letterman, and 1981 team captain for the Tennessee.
MORGAN BURNETT-Georgia Tech/Green Bay Packers
Older brother, Cam, starred for in-state rivals, Georgia, from 1998-2002 and his cousin, Bruce Thornton, was also a star defensive back for the Bulldogs (1999-2003) before going on to play for Dallas and Jacksonville in the National Football League.
MYRON LEWIS-Vanderbilt/Tampa Bay
Brother, Hanik Milligan, was a two-time All-Conference USA safety at Houston, drafted in the sixth-round (pick 188 overall) by the San Diego Chargers in 2003. He went on to play for the San Diego (2003-2005), Arizona Cardinals (2006) and St. Louis Rams (2007). Hanik was named to the Pro Bowl roster as a special teams performer while with the Chargers in 2005. Another brother, Hamin Milligan, attended Garden City Community College, winning NJCAA All-American honors before transferring to the University of Houston. He has played for five different teams in the Arena Football League: the San Jose SaberCats (2003), the Arizona Rattlers (2003-2004), the Chicago Rush (2004), the Dallas Desperados (2005-2006), and the Georgia Force (2007-present).
TAYLOR MAYS-Southern California/San Francisco 49ers
Father, Stafford Mays, was a defensive lineman at Washington in 1978 and 1979 and played in the NFL with the St. Louis Cardinals (1980-86) and Minnesota Vikings (1987-88).
DONOVAN WARREN-Michigan/New York Jets
Godfather is former Southern California All-American and All-Pro safety Mark Carrier, who roamed the sidelines for the Chicago Bears (1990-1996), Detroit Lions (1997-1999) and Washington Redskins (2000). Carrier was an assistant coach at Arizona State University (2004-2005) and the Baltimore Ravens (2006-2009) before joining good friend Rex Ryan on his staff with the New York Jets (2010-present). Uncle, Chucky Miller, a former standout at Polytechnic High, went on to star at UCLA before playing defensive back for the Indianapolis Colts (1988) and Detroit Lions. Father, Alvin Warren, is a former receiver at New Mexico State (1987-90), where he ranks eighth in school history with 130 receptions for 1,780 yards.
THE KICKING SPECIALISTS
ZOLTAN MESKO-Michigan/New England Patriots
Father is a former professional bowler.
LEIGH TIFFIN-Alabama/Cleveland Browns
His father, Van Tiffin, handled place-kicking duties for Alabama from 1983-86 as is one of the school’s most successful kickers. Van ranks fourth in school history in scoring by a kicker, totaling 312 points, as he joined Leigh (385), Phillip Doyle (339, 1987-90) and Michael Proctor (326, 1992-95) as the only kickers in school history to score 300 or more points in a career.