The Super Bowl feels like the perfect time to take a look at some of the NFL players who made a name for themselves on the lacrosse field as high school athletes.
For years, the 'Chris Hogan played lacrosse meme' was all over Twitter, and Hogan’s notoriety in the lacrosse community is well known after he stared at Penn State before moving on to the NFL.
But Hogan is not the only NFL player to play lacrosse. While most stories feature those who played in college, LaxRecords.com is looking at the current crop of NFL players who played in high school.
Let’s start with Hogan. The Carolina Panthers wide receiver is a 2006 graduate of Ramapo (N.J.) where he earned all-state honors in football and lacrosse. His high school totals are incomplete, but according to Mike Kinney of the Newark Star-Ledger, Hogan had at least 160 career points. As a senior, Hogan missed seven games and still put up 45 goals and 21 assists. Hogan’s junior-year stats are incomplete due to a coaching change and difficulty verifying information, but he had at least 40 goals and 15 assists. He scored 35 goals and dished out five assists as a sophomore.
Steven Hauschka just finished his 12th season in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills. The placekicker has made 86 percent of his field-goal attempts with five teams. Hauschka was primarily a soccer player at Needham (Mass.) and never played football for the Rockets. He went on to play at Middlebury College where he was cut from the varsity soccer team. He picked up football while also playing lacrosse. Hauschka played one season with NC State's football team before being signed by Minnesota in 2008.
Sam Hubbard made 39 tackles and six sacks for the Cincinnati Bengals during his rookie year in 2018 and posted 76 tackles and 8.5 sacks during his sophomore campaign. Before he reached the NFL Hubbard starred at another school in Cincinnati. Hubbard was a star at Archbishop Moeller (Ohio), earning all-star honors during several lacrosse camps during his first three seasons. The midfielder scored 101 points on 69 goals and 32 assists in his Moeller career, placing him among the program’s Top 25 scorers. Before accepting a scholarship to play for Urban Meyer at Ohio State, Hubbard was committed to playing lacrosse at Notre Dame. After he committed to Ohio State, Hubbard opted to skip his senior lacrosse season to focus on putting on weight to move from safety to linebacker.
"The interesting thing about Sam is he was always considered a lacrosse player that played football until his breakout Junior year in football," Nathan Reed, the head lacrosse coach at Moeller during Hubbard's playing days said. "Sam came into high school and just really wanted to be one of the guys. He was a Freshman that played on the varsity team. We switched his position from attack to midfield and it was exciting to see him mature into a dominant player. Sam has all of the physical tools you could ever want from a midfielder. He was big, strong, fast and had great soft hands."
“Sam has a tremendous senior year in football and had a tough decision to make after the football season was over. I thought he was going to play and we were going to set up a situation that would allow him to focus on lifting and getting ready for Ohio State and playing his season year. In the end, the best decision was made and Sam had a great career at Ohio State,” Archbishop Moeller head coach Sean McGinnis said. “I did see him shoot a hand full of times when our practices were getting started. He definitely had a shot that was hard to stop! Sam is always gracious when it comes to talking with younger players too. It’s so great to have him back in our community and playing for his hometown team!”
Micah Kiser was a midfielder for Gilman (Md.) before playing for the Las Angeles Rams and in college at Virginia. Kiser played with Ryan Tucker in high school and was named Inside Lacrosse’s Man of the Session during the 2012 Nike Blue Chip Sophomore camp. He earned Big School All-State honors as a junior in 2011.
Chris Long was close to appearing in his third-straight Super Bowl after winning back-to-back titles with the Patriots in 2017 and the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018. Long is the son of NFL Hall of Famer Howie Long who stared with the Oakland Raiders, but after Howie’s NFL career, the family moved to Charlottesville, Va. where Chris played football and lacrosse for St. Anne’s-Belfield (Va.). Long played defense for STAB during his sophomore and junior seasons (2002 and 2003). He went on to focus on football where he played at the University of Virginia.
Kyle Lauletta was a fourth-round pick of the New York Giants in 2018 and appeared in two games. The quarterback threw for more than 10,000 yards while at the University of Richmond. Lauletta was a two-sport star at Downingtown East (Pa.), earning All-Chesmont League and All-Southeastern PA League honors in football. He threw for 5,243 yards and 64 touchdowns in two years as the Cougars starting quarterback. Lauletta has lacrosse in his veins. His uncle Lance Lauletta played lacrosse at Bucknell from 1977 to 1980 and Kyle was not too bad himself. Lauletta’s complete high school stats are unavailable. The midfielder had several games where he was the headliner. He scored the game-winning goal in an 8-7 win over Henderson (Pa.) on April 24, 2012 - a game in which he scored three goals and an assist. He also scored three goals in a four-overtime game against Springfield-Delco (Pa.) on April 2, 2011 - a game in which his brother Trey scored the game-winner.
Nick O’Leary is in his fifth NFL season and completed his second season with Miami in 2019. He attended Florida State, but the tight end played both football and lacrosse at William T. Dwyer (Fla.). He was a top-rated recruit in both sports, and according to the Sun-Sentinel, Maryland’s Dave Cottle recruited him and wanted him to play both sports for the Terrapins.
“I don’t believe there’s a better lacrosse player in the state of Florida,” said Chris Heide, a former player in New York who started the lacrosse program at Dwyer eight years ago when the sport was still in its infancy in Florida. “Right now he’s playing because he likes it and it’s fun for him. He’s so big, so fast, so coordinated, and he shoots as hard as I do. He’s turned into this very good lacrosse player, and he makes everybody around him better.”
Past NFL Players Who Played Lacrosse
This story at LaxAllStars.com was used as the starting point for this list
Key: Player, High School, College, Pro Career
Jim Brown, Manhasset (N.Y.), Syracuse, Cleveland
An NFL Hall of Famer and arguably the most famous man to ever wear a lacrosse jersey.
Stan Cherry, Edmondson-Westside (Md.), Morgan State, Baltimore Colts
A member of the "Ten Bears" - Morgan State's lacrosse team in the 1970s.
Alex Collins, South Plantation (Fla.), Seattle
Collins played one year of lacrosse at South Plantation.
Mike D’Amato, Brooklyn Tech (N.Y.), Hofstra, New York Jets
Played one season with the New York Jets in 1969 and won Super Bowl III.
Joe Ehrmann, Riverside (N.Y.), Syracuse, Baltimore Colts/Detroit
Played with the Baltimore Colts for eight seasons, earning a Pro Bowl selection in 1978.
Chas Gessner, Good Counsel (Md.), Brown, New England/Tampa Bay/New York Jets/Seattle
Won a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots in 2003. Was a two-time Walter Payton Award finalist at Brown.
Jason Kelce, Cleveland Heights (Ohio), Cincinnati, Philadelphia
Kelce was a two-time all-league selection on the gridiron and the league defensive MVP as a senior.
Patrick Kerney, Taft School (Conn.)/Princeton Day (N.J.), Virginia, Atlanta/Seattle
Kerney played 11 seasons in the NFL with Atlanta and Seattle. He led the NFL in sacks in 2007 with 14.5
Will Yeatman, Rancho Bernardo (Calif.), Notre Dame/Maryland, New England, Miami, Houston Texans
Yeatman was a teammate of Hogan's at the 2006 Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Classic. An All-CIF selection, Yeatman totaled 331 points in his high school career, which places him 6th all-time on California's scoring list.
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