Princeton In The Pros
From the earliest days of the pro game through today’s National Football League, Princeton has always been well-represented in professional football. And while Princeton is better known for placing its graduates in a variety of other professional careers, the NFL still looks at the best of the Orange and Black.
That legacy was enhanced over the last your years. In 2012, Mike Catapano was drafted with the first pick in the seventh round by the Kansas City Chiefs. Catapano was coming off a season when he became Princeton's seventh player to win the Bushnell Cup; he was the Ivy League's second Defensive Player of the Year.
One year later, Caraun Reid became Princeton's highest draft pick of the modern draft era (since 1970) when he was picked in the seventh round by the Detroit Lions. Reid scored a touchdown during his 2015 season on Monday Night Football.
Reid's distinction as the highest pick of the modern era lasted two seasons. Seth DeValve was chosen in the fourth round of the 2016 draft (Pick #138) by the Cleveland Browns after turning several heads at his impressive Pro Day.
Over the last 15 years, seven Princeton players (DL, Mike Catapano, QB Jeff Terrell, LBs Zak Keasey and Justin Stull, DB Jay McCareins, TE Jon Dekker and OL Ben Brielmaier) signed NFL contracts, while two others were invited to mini-camps (QB Matt Verbit and DB Brandon Mueller).
Princeton alumni of the mid-1890s had a hand in the first professional game played in Latrobe, Pa., in 1895. Since then 29 Tiger players have seen action in or been drafted by the professional ranks (see list below), including alums Keith Elias and Jason Garrett and, most recently, Keasey, who played for both the Washington Redskins and the San Francisco 49ers.
Garrett, the 1988 Ivy League Player of the Year while a quarterback at Princeton, was a long-time member of the Dallas Cowboys, where he earned two Super Bowl rings. He also earned NFL Player of the Week honors after a Thanksgiving 1994 game in which he directed the Cowboys to a comeback win over Green Bay. He saw considerable action his last two years in Dallas when Hall of Fame starter Troy Aikman was hurt, and he signed a free agent contract with the Giants prior to the 2000 season, when he returned to the Super Bowl with his new team. Garrett is now the head coach in Dallas; he was named interim coach during the 2010 season, then earned the full-time job after leading the team to five late-season wins. Jason's brother John, another former Princeton standout, also coaches in the National Football League.
Princeton head coach Bob Surace certainly knows what it takes to play at the professional level. Prior to his tenure at Princeton, he spent eight seasons as an assistant coach with the Cincinnati Bengals; seven of those seasons were with former NFL Coach of the Year Marvin Lewis. Surace, who played with the Garrett brothers and was part of the 1989 Ivy League championship team, helped Cincinnati to a pair of playoff appearances and the 2009 AFC North title.
PRINCETON IN PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL
Carl Barisich ’73
Bob Beattie ’25
Hank Bjorklund ’72
Ben Brielmaier ’06
Michael Carr ’95
Mike Catapano '13
Karl Chandler ’74
Cris Crissy ’81
Jon Dekker ’06
Brad Dinsmore ’25
Ted Drews ’25
Eric Drieband ’86
Keith Elias ’94
Pat Flaherty ’23
Jason Garrett ’89
John Garrett ’88
Judd Garrett ’90
Charlie Gogolak ’66
Bob Hews ’70
Bob Holly ’82
Albert “Red” Howard ’25
Cosmo Iacavazzi ’65
Zak Keasey ’05
Stas´ Maliszewski ’66
Keith Mauney ’70
Tim McCann ’69
Jay McCareins ’06
Frank McPhee ’53
Dennis Norman ’01
Chip Nuzzo ’87
Chisom Opara ‘03
Frank Perantoni ’46
Bob Perina ’43
John Raveche ’01
Caraun Reid '13
Justin Stull ’06
Jeff Terrell ’07
Ross Tucker ’01
Bill Winters ’76
PRINCETON FOOTBALL HISTORY IN THE NFL DRAFT
|Seth DeValve||2016||4||138||Cleveland Browns|
|Caraun Reid||2014||5||158||Detroit Lions|
|Mike Catapano||2013||7||207||Kansas City Chiefs|
|Dennis Norman||2001||7||222||Seattle Seahawks|
|Judd Garrett||1990||12||327||Philadelphia Eagles|
|Jon Schultheis||1983||7||182||Philadelphia Eagles|
|Bob Holly||1982||11||291||Washington Redskins|
|Cris Crissy||1981||12||323||New England Patriots|
|Carl Barisich||1973||11||281||Cleveland Browns|
|Hank Bjorklund||1972||12||299||New York Jets|
|Bob Hews||1970||6||156||Kansas City Chiefs|
|Keith Mauney||1970||15||376||Atlanta Falcons|
|Charlie Gogolak||1966||1||6||Washington Redskins|
|Cosmo Iacovazzi||1965||20||275||Minnesota Vikings|
|Frank McPhee||1953||13||147||Chicago Cardinals|