NFL Training Camps Open with 17 Former Football Ivies Vying for Roster Spots
PRINCETON, N.J. -- The Ivy League boasts 17 former standouts vying for spots on the active rosters of the 32 National Football League teams as training camps kicked off this week for the 2013-14 season.
Former Harvard star Ryan Fitzpatrick, making his debut for the Tennessee Titans after being the primary starter for the Buffalo Bills since 2010, enters his ninth season as the most-tenured veteran among the former Ancient Eight gridiron greats after fellow former Crimson star Matt Birk retired on the heels of winning Super Bowl XLVII with the Baltimore Ravens. Birk played 15 seasons in the NFL with the Ravens and Minnesota Vikings.
Two-time Super Bowl champions Kevin Boothe (Cornell) and Zak DeOssie (Brown) return to the New York Giants, while Desmond Bryant (Harvard) and Colin Cloherty (Brown) join new teams in their fifth seasons, signing with the Cleveland Browns and Atlanta Falcons, respectively.
Six rookie Ivy Leaguers, Brandon Copeland (Penn), Kyle Juszczyk (Harvard), JC Tretter (Cornell), Mike Catapano (Princeton), Josh Martin (Columbia) and Luke Tasker (Cornell), look to make their team's 53-man active rosters. In April, Juszczyk, Tretter and Catapano became the Ivy League's first trio selected in the same NFL Draft since the League boasted consecutive seventh-round draft picks in 2001. Copeland, Martin and Tasker signed undrafted free agent deals shortly after the draft.
James Develin (Brown) and Greg Van Roten (Penn) were able to elevate from practice squads last season and report to camp this year looking to solidify their roles on active rosters. Jeff Adams (Columbia) and Kevin Murphy (Harvard), practice squad players a year ago, were also given training camp invites for the second-straight year. Bryan Walters (Cornell) is back with the Seattle Seahawks after spending time with the Seahawks and Vikings last season.
Andrew Starks (Princeton) signed a three-year, free agent deal with Chicago Bears on Aug. 2 after being invited to the team's rookie mini-camp in May on a tryout basis.
The NFL season begins on Sept. 5, when the Denver Broncos play host to the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens.
IVY LEAGUERS ON 2013 NFL TRAINING CAMP ROSTERS
Jeff Adams, Columbia - Miami Dolphins (2nd Season)
Kevin Boothe, Cornell - New York Giants (8th Season)
Desmond Bryant, Harvard - Cleveland Browns (5th Season)
Mike Catapano, Princeton - Kansas City Chiefs (1st Season)
Colin Cloherty, Brown - Atlanta Falcons (5th Season)
Brandon Copeland, Penn - Baltimore Ravens (1st Season)
Zak DeOssie, Brown - New York Giants (7th Season)
James Develin, Brown - New England Patriots (4th Season)
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Harvard - Tennessee Titans (9th Season)
Kyle Juszczyk, Harvard - Baltimore Ravens (1st Season)
Josh Martin, Columbia - Kansas City Chiefs (1st Season)
Kevin Murphy, Harvard - Minnesota Vikings (2nd Season)
Andrew Starks, Princeton - Chicago Bears (1st Season)
Luke Tasker, Cornell - San Diego Chargers (1st Season)
JC Tretter, Cornell - Green Bay Packers (1st Season)
Greg Van Roten, Penn - Green Bay Packers (2nd Season)
Bryan Walters, Cornell - Seattle Seahawks (4th Season)