NFL Training Camps Start with Crimson Feel

Photo courtesy of Houston Texans.
Photo courtesy of Houston Texans.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Eight former Harvard football players have reported for the National Football League's training camps, which started over the weekend and will continue to open this week.

Overall, 20 former Ivy Leaguers are on NFL rosters, the most for the conference since 2009. Harvard has the most with eight, followed by Cornell (four) and Brown, Columbia, Penn and Princeton (two each).

Cameron Brate '14 (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Desmond Bryant '09 (Cleveland Browns), Jacob Dombrowski '12 (Buffalo Bills), Ryan Fitzpatrick '05 (Houston Texans), Kyle Juszczyk '13 (Baltimore Ravens), Kevin Murphy '12 (Minnesota Vikings), Nnamdi Obukwelu '14 (Indianapolis Colts) and Tyler Ott '14 (New England Patriots) will all suit up for their respective teams this week.

Brate signed an undrafted free agent contract with Tampa Bay. A tight end from Naperville, Ill., Brate concluded his four-year stint with the Crimson as fourth in program history with 18 touchdowns. He picked up recognition as a two-time All-Ivy League first team selection, a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, and the FCS All-New England team.

Bryant  enters training camp 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.

Punter Dombrowski  signed with the Buffalo Bills. A first team All-Ivy League selection as a senior, Dombrowski appeared in 31 career games (2009-12) for the Crimson, booting 146 punts for 5,839 yards. A native of Gaylord, Mich., Dombrowski was a unanimous All New-England selection by the New England Football Writers Association in 2012 after averaging 44.0 yards per punt.

Fitzpatrick enters training camp with the Houston Texans after being drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL Draft. In 2004, Fitzpatrick earned Ivy League MVP honors 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 National Football League Draft by the Ravens. During his four years in Cambridge, the Medina, Ohio native established new career records for tight end 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.

Murphy signed a free agent contract with the Minnesota Vikings as an offensive tackle. The San Clemente, Calif., native started every game in his final two seasons and picked up honors as a second team All-America selection by Beyond Sports Network, a New England Football Writers Association All-New England team member and a first team All-Ivy League selection.

Obukwelu signed an undrafted free agent contract with Indianapolis. Obukwelu, who hails from Brockton, Mass., was a three-time All-Ivy pick and was the recipient of the 75th annual George "Bulger" Lowe Award, "New England Heisman Trophy," as the top defensive player of the year in the region. Over the course of his Harvard career, Obukwelu recorded 109 tackles, 21 tackles for a loss, and 9 sacks in 39 games.

Ott signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Patriots. Ott, a native of Tulsa Okla., served as the primary long snapper for one of the top special teams units in the Ivy League. He finished his senior season with 15 catches for 188 yards and four touchdowns and became the fifth Crimson football player ever to participate in the Senior Bowl.

Preseason games start Sunday, August 3 when the Buffalo Bills face the New York Giants at the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio at 8 p.m. Preseason continues through August 28, with teams making their final cuts to reach the 53-man roster limit later that week.


Cameron Brate '14

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tight End

Desmond Bryant '09

Cleveland Browns

Defensive Tackle

Jacob Dombrowski '12

Buffalo Bills


Ryan Fitzpatrick '05

Houston Texans


Kyle Juszczyk '13

Baltimore Ravens


Kevin Murphy '12

Minnesota Vikings

Offensive Tackle

Nnamdi Obukwelu '14

Indianapolis Colts

Defensive Tackle

Tyler Ott '14

New England Patriots

Long Snapper