Aug. 10, 2009
Eighteen former University of Cincinnati football players are in training camps with NFL teams, including eight members of UC's 2008 BIG EAST Championship squad.
Connor Barwin (Houston Texans), Trevor Canfield (Arizona Cardinals), Kevin Huber (Cincinnati Bengals), Mike Mickens (Dallas Cowboys), DeAngelo Smith (Dallas Cowboys), and Brandon Underwood (Green Bay Packers) made up a school-record class of six NFL draft picks following the 2008 campaign.
Adam Hoppel (Cleveland Browns) and Corey Smith (Kansas City Chiefs) both inked free-agent deals after the 2009 NFL Draft.
Antonio Chatman starts his seventh NFL season and fourth with the Cincinnati Bengals, joining Huber in training camp in Georgetown, Ky. Huber, a fifth-round pick and the first specialist taken in the 2009 draft, is the lone punter in camp and will also serve as the holder for kicker Shane Graham.
John Bowie is back for his third season with the Oakland Raiders after spending the 2008 season on injured reserve.
Digger Bujnoch and Troy Evans are both in camp with the New Orleans Saints. Bujnoch spent his first NFL season with the New York Giants and Cincinnati Bengals while Evans enters his eighth NFL season and is one of the Saints' top special teams players and a 2008 team captain.
Tyjuan Hagler is in his fourth season with the Indianapolis Colts after re-signing with the team in the offseason.
Brent Celek and Trent Cole have become mainstays with the Philadelphia Eagles. Celek is penciled in as the starting tight end for the Eagles in his third NFL season. He had a team-high 19 catches for 151 yards and a team-high three touchdowns during the 2008 postseason. Cole has emerged as one of the top pass rushers in the NFL, tallying nine sacks along with98 tackles in 2008.
Andre Frazier won a Super Bowl ring with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2008, and is coached by former UC assistant Mike Tomlin. Frazier has 42 tackles and a pair of sacks entering his sixth NFL season.
Haruki Nakamura goes into his second season with the Baltimore Ravens as a backup safety and key special teams player. He played in all 19 games as a rookie finishing third on the team with 14 special teams tackles. He also had seven tackles and half a sack during the Ravens' 2008 playoff run.
Mike Wright enters his fifth season with the New England Patriots. Wright has made 53 appearances and seven starts for the Patriots, recording 108 tackles.
NFL stalwart Jason Fabini retired in the offseason after an 11-year career with the New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys, and Washington Redskins. Fabini has been serving an internship with the Kansas City Chiefs offensive staff during the summer of 2009.