Three Former Crimson Standouts on NFL Opening Day Rosters
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Three former Harvard football standouts earned spots on active rosters as the National Football League kicks off this weekend. Desmond Bryant '09 (Cleveland Browns), Ryan Fitzpatrick '05 (Houston Texans) and Kyle Juszczyk '13 (Baltimore Ravens) will all suit up for their respective teams.
Additionally, Cameron Brate '14 and Nnamdi Obukwelu '14 earned selections to the practice squads of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Indianapolis Colts, respectively.
The three Crimson players are among 12 Ivy League standouts in the NFL, the most since 2006 when the conference was represented by 13 players.
Bryant enters the season – his sixth in the NFL – as a defensive tackle for the Cleveland Browns. He was signed by the Oakland Raiders as an undrafted free agent in 2009. As a senior, Bryant earned second team All-Ivy League honors and played in 32 games in four seasons as a member of the Crimson.
Fitzpatrick enters his 10th season in the league with the Houston Texans. Fitzpatrick, drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL Draft, earned Ivy League MVP honors in 2004 and lead Harvard to a perfect 10-0 record and the Ivy League Championship. He ranks second on Harvard's career list for pass completions, touchdowns, yards passing and pass completion percentage and is the first quarterback in Harvard history to rush for over 1,000 yards in a career.
Juszczyk was selected in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Ravens. During his four years in Cambridge, the Medina, Ohio native established new career records for tight ends in receptions (125, sixth all-time), receiving yards (1,576, seventh all-time) and touchdown receptions (22, third all-time). He was a two-time All-American at tight end and H-Back for the Crimson and a three-time All-Ivy selection.