hakeem_nicks

Doug Kapustin/MCT

Tar Heels on the offensive in the NFL

Every college football athlete wants to make the transition from playing on Saturdays to playing on Sundays. The hard work of these former Tar Heels has allowed them to make that leap.

Connor Barth of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is the older brother of current University of North Carolina Tar Heel Casey Barth. Connor is a career 80 percent field goal kicker but has connected on seven of eight field goals so far this season.

Jason Brown of the St. Louis Rams has made his mark on the National Football League by starting 80 consecutive games. That is the fifth longest streak among active centers.

Jesse Holley has been a reality television star, the backup point guard on the 2005 men’s basketball team that won the National Championship and is now a wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys. Holley had three receptions for 96 yards in a Cowboys’ overtime victory against the San Francisco 49ers.

Greg Little did not play at all last year, but that didn’t stop him from being drafted in the second round by the Cleveland Browns. Little has improved over the course of the early season including a season-high six reception 57 yard performance Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. Little has yet to reach the end zone this season.

Arguably the best Tar Heel wide receiver in the NFL, Hakeem Nicks of the New York Giants already has 24 receptions for 347 yards on the season. He is currently on pace to have career-highs in both of those categories.

After playing in four games over the past two years with the Atlanta Falcons, Garrett Reynolds has started all four games of this year. He is another Tar Heel offensive linemen that shows promise in the NFL.

Speaking of offensive linemen, Jeff Saturday of the Indianapolis Colts is the longest tenured Tar Heel -playing 13 seasons in the NFL. Saturday has gone to five Pro Bowls, been selected to the All-Pro team four times and won a Super Bowl in 2007.

Johnny White had a breakout season with the Tar Heels in 2010 after suspensions ravished the backfield. The Buffalo Bills drafted him in the fifth round of the NFL Draft. However, White won’t get much playing time behind Fred Jackson and former ACC star, C.J. Spiller.

Look out next week to find out how defensive standouts have managed to perform in the NFL.

Have a question about where a former Tar Heel athlete might be now? Leave your suggestion in the comment box below and I will try to find out what they have been up to.


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