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Former Lacrosse Players In The NFL

Chris Hogan played lacrosse at Penn State University for four years, but his athletic journey was far from over. Instead of vying for a spot in Major League Lacrosse, Hogan went back to school, and played football at Monmouth University, a smaller D1 school that has produced NFL players like Miles Austin. Now, Hogan is making waves on the Buffalo Bills’ roster in the National Football League himself. ESPN’s Mike Rodak brings us a more in-depth version of the above story, where he names a couple more former college lacrosse players who made in in the NFL. But let’s go even MORE in-depth…

Which NFL stars are former lacrosse players?

Will Yeatman – Notre Dame to Maryland, lots of college lacrosse and time at attack, and some college football as well. Now he’s a second string Tackle for the Miami Dolphins. Yeatman played tight end in college, but has put on some serious mass (he is now listed at 315 pounds) so he could even be used as an eligible lineman.

Steven Hauschka – Hauschka played lacrosse and football at Middlebury before moving on to play football at NC State. He was undrafted in 2008, but made the Vikings, and is now a staple in the league as a 6’4″ place kicker.

Chas Gessner – Played football and lacrosse at Brown, where he was an All American. Won a Super Bowl ring as a rookie with the Patriots in 2003, and played for three other NFL teams in his career, as well as NFL Europe.

Jim Brown – Brown obviously hasn’t been in the league for quite a while now, but he’s a legend in both sports, and should always be mentioned in posts like this!

Patrick Kerney – Kerney retired in 2010 after 11 season in the NFL. He played lacrosse at Virginia for a season or two before focusing on football. Kerney is more of a football player who also played lacrosse, and less of a lacrosse player who also played football, if that makes any sense. The difference is that he chose to pursue football over lacrosse in college, and that’s about it.

Doug Shanahan – Shanny didn’t end up making the New York Jets roster, but it was really close to being a hometown boy makes good story. After starring for Hofstra on the lacrosse field (where he won the first Tewaaraton Award) and the football field, Shanahan barely missed the last cut for the Jets. In college, Doug was unreal to watch, and dominated at the 1-AA level.

Joe Ehrmann – Barney Ehrman currently plays for the Bayhawks in the MLL. His father, Joe, was a letterman in lacrosse at Syracuse and an All American football player, before going on to play for the Colts for 13 seasons.

Stan Cherry – Cherry is known in the lacrosse community as one of the Ten Bears from Morgan State’s D1 team, but he went on to play for the Colts and Jets.

Mike D’Amato – From jsheehan83: Hofstra University’s Mike D’Amato played football and lacrosse in college before becoming the 10th round draft pick of the New York Jets in 1968. He was a member of the Jets only NFL Championship team in Super Bowl III. (D’Amato was an All American lacrosse player at Hofstra, and is one of a very small number of people to be a D1 college lacrosse All-American AND a Super Bowl Champion. Chas Gessner is another).

I also wouldn’t mind seeing someone go the OTHER way… from Football to Lacrosse!

Football players have made the jump to other sports, like Rugby… so could one do the same thing in lacrosse? Tim Tebow has been hanging out with some lacrosse players lately. Maybe he’ll be one of the first? A guy I’d love to see come back to the sport of lacrosse is Evan Royster, currently a RB for Washington.

If you’re looking for a couple more NFLers with lacrosse pedigrees, look no further than Todd Sauerbraun (Ward Melville HS player and NFL punter). Rich Mauti played in the league for New Orleans, and was a midfielder at Penn State where he was an All American in 1977. Frank Quayle played in the NFL in the 70s, and was a lacrosse player at UVA as well.

Colts star player John Mackey lettered in lacrosse at Syracuse. According to the old birds on LaxPower, even the mighty Joe Cowan thought about giving the NFL shot! Thanks to Bob Leary for throwing a couple of new names my way, and helping me out with this list.

Joe Cowan for Hop, against Navy, in 1967 Photo courtesy: Johns Hopkins
Joe Cowan for Hop, against Navy, in 1967 Photo courtesy: Johns Hopkins

Can YOU think of any NFL players with a heavy lacrosse connection? We hit a lot of them, but I’m sure I missed a couple! Bill Belichik played lacrosse and football at Wesleyan University before becoming a legend of a head coach… if we open it up to things like that, how many more guys can YOU add?