Eight Crimson Alumni Competing in the NFL

Cameron Brate makes a first down motion against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Photo courtesy of Matt May/Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After the 1919 regular season, Harvard football won the Rose Bowl over Oregon to cap an unbeaten campaign. That same year, the National Football League kicked off its inaugural season.

A century later, the entities converge with eight Crimson football alumni playing in the country's most popular professional sports league. The former Crimson compete for eight different teams, and represent the most alumni competing in the NFL across both Ivy League and FCS programs.

Cameron Brate '14
6-5 | 245 | TE
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

Cameron Brate, a native of Naperville, Ill., is in his sixth season in the NFL. In the Buccaneers' opening game against the 49ers, Brate was targeted twice and caught both passes, a seven-yard grab while adding a one-yarder. Brate also caught a pair of touchdown passes, but both were negated by offensive penalties. The Buccaneers fell to San Francisco, 31-17 in Tampa Bay. While at Harvard, Brate was a unanimous selection to the All-Ivy League first team in 2014 and a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, an award given to the college football player with the best combination of academics, community service and on-field performance.

Ben Braunecker '16
6-3 | 247 | TE
Chicago Bears

After completing his career with the Crimson in 2015, Ben Braunecker was signed as undrafted free agent by the Chicago Bears. In 2019, the former molecular and cellular biology concentrator is in his fourth season, all in Chicago. In three-plus seasons, Braunecker has played in 37 games while starting four. He also was a contributor in last year's thrilling Chicago-Philadelphia playoff game, catching both of his targets. A native of Ferdinand, Ind., Braunecker led Harvard in 2015 with 48 receptions for 850 yards and eight touchdowns.

Nick Easton '15
6-3 | 303 | C
New Orleans Saints

Nick Easton, a two-time first-team All-Ivy League selection in 2013 and 2014, plays center for the New Orleans Saints. He came to New Orleans after playing the previous three seasons for the Minnesota Vikings. He played 23 games for the Vikings before signing a four-year, $24-million free-agent contract in March 2019. At Harvard, in addition to being selected for the All-Ivy League team, Easton was named to the AP FCS All-America third-team.

Anthony Firkser '17
6-2 | 246 | TE
Tennessee Titans

A former applied mathematics concentrator at Harvard, Anthony Firkser has been targeted 20 times with 19 receptions as he begins his second season on the Tennesse Titans 53-man roster. Last December, Firkser caught his first career touchdown in a 26-22 Titan victory over the New York Jets. He completed the season with 225 total yards receiving. For the Crimson, Firkser was a three-time All-Ivy selection and has etched his name in the record books, sitting at sixth in program history with 14 career touchdown receptions and finished his career with 1,559 receiving yards, good for eighth most in Harvard history. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick '05
6-2 | 228 | QB
Miami Dolphins

The longest tenured Harvard alumnus in the NFL, Ryan Fitzpatrick is in his 15th season in the league. He has played for eight teams over that span, and is now the starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins. The former Crimson quarterback is the only player in NFL history to have thrown a touchdown pass for eight different teams. Furthermore, Fitzpatrick became the first player in NFL history to throw for 400 or more yards in three straight games in 2018. Fitzpatrick has played in 142 games since 2005, starting 127 and has thrown 191 touchdowns and nearly 30,000 yards. The former economics concentrator competed for the Crimson from 2001-2004, leading Harvard to a perfect 10-0 record his senior season culminating in an Ivy League championship. Fitzpatrick was named the Ivy League Player of the Year after his senior season.

Kyle Juszczyk '13
6-1 | 240 | FB
San Francisco 49ers

Kyle Jusczyk is the starting fullback for the San Francisco 49ers in 2019. After playing four seasons in Baltimore, Juszcyzk was arguably the top fullback on the 2017 free agent market, culminating in a contract with the 49ers worth $21 million, the largest fullback contract in NFL history. In his six-plus seasons in the NFL, Juszczyk has played in 95 games, starting 57. A three-time Pro-Bowl selection from 2016-2018, Juszcyk is one of the premier fullbacks in the National Football League. While at Harvard, Juszczyk was a three-time All-Ivy League selection and was unanimously tabbed to first team in 2012. The former economics concentrator was a two-time All-America selection and ranks third in career touchdown receptions (22). His fourth-round selection in the 2013 NFL draft matches the highest selection for a Crimson player all-time, equaling the mark set by Isaiah Kacyvenski.

Tyler Ott '14
6-3 | 253 | LS
Seattle Seahawks

Tyler Ott, plays on special teams as the long snapper for the Seattle Seahawks. The Tulsa, Okla., native begins his fifth season in the NFL and has played in 37 games, including all 32 over the past two seasons. While at Harvard, Ott played both tight end and long snapper, and was invited to the 2013 Senior Bowl.

Adam Redmond '16
6-6 | 300 | C/G
Dallas Cowboys

An All-Ivy selection in 2015, Adam Redmond is in his third season in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys. After entering the league as an undrafted free agent with the Indianapolis Colts, Redmond moved to Dallas in 2018. The Strongsville, Ohio native has seen action in 14 games the past two seasons. Redmond started the team's final preseason game against Tampa Bay in 2019. Redmond played in 31 games with the Crimson and was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team in addition to receiving the William Paine LaCroix Trophy, given to the Harvard football player who, by his enthusiasm for the game and by his sportsmanship, loyalty, and team spirit most nearly demonstrates those qualities characteristic of Bill LaCroix.