|Randall Cunningham has a son entering the college athletic ranks, although he’ll
pursue a track career instead of football.
As a lifelong sports fan, I’m always intrigued by athletes’ sons maturing into young men. Will they be better or worse than their dad? Bigger or smaller? Will they go to the same school or forge their own path? This is the third in a yearly series (2012, 2013). If you have any other father-son combos to add to the list for 2014, let me know and I’ll add them to the post.
Dillon Bates – OLB – Ponte Vedra Beach (FL) Ponte Vedra: Bates is a 6’3″, 220 lb. player who chose Tennessee over offers from Alabama, Florida, Ohio State, Texas, and many others. He’s a 247 Composite 4-star, the #7 outside linebacker, and #95 overall and played in the Under Armour All-American Game last Friday. His father Bill was a Dallas Cowboys safety from 1983-1997 and ended his career with 667 tackles, 18 sacks, and 14 interceptions. He was also a four-year starter at Tennessee in college.
Orlando Brown, Jr. – OT – Suwanee (GA) Peachtree Ridge: Brown is a 6’8″, 338 lb. player who chose Tennessee over offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, South Carolina, Texas, and USC, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #37 offensive tackle, and #449 overall. Brown recently played in the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl. His father, nicknamed “Zeus,” was an offensive tackle for the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens from 1993-2005. He was also a participant in an ugly incident as a member of the Browns, when he was hit in the eye by a penalty flag and then pushed an official to the ground. The elder Brown died of complications from diabetes.
Randall Cunningham II – QB – Las Vegas (NV) Bishop Gorman: Cunningham is a 6’5″, 185 lb. player with offers from Arizona State, Baylor, Kansas State, LSU, Mississippi State, Syracuse, UNLV, and Utah. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #17 dual-threat quarterback, and #576 overall. As a senior in 2013, he completed 116/204 passes for 1,773 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions; he also ran 167 times for 1,424 yards and 14 touchdowns. However, he has accepted a track scholarship to USC due to his abilities as a high-jumper, so his future football career is in question. His father attended UNLV and was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1985 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. He threw for 29,979 yards, 207 touchdowns, and 116 interceptions with the Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys, and Baltimore Ravens from 1985-2001.
Allen Dawson – S – Fort Lauderdale (FL) Pine Crest: Dawson is a 6’0″, 190 lb. prospect who enrolled early at Boston College. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #2 prep school safety, and the #16 prep school recruit nationally (prep school prospects are rated separately from high school recruits). Dawson is the step-son of former Michigan running back Chris Howard, who attended the famed John Curtis High School, which has produced a ton of college players out of Louisiana. Howard rushed 418 times for 1,876 yards (4.5 yards/carry) and 17 touchdowns from 1994-1997 and caught 60 passes for 429 yards (7.2 yards/catch) and 3 touchdowns. He went on to be a 5th round pick by the Denver Broncos and had a short career with the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he had 41 carries for 123 yards and 1 touchdown, plus 5 catches for 37 yards. Fumbling problems cut his career short after the 2000 season. Howard also was married to actress Gabrielle Union (who starred in Bring It On and Love and Basketball) from 2001-2006
Naijiel Hale – CB – Bellflower (CA) St. John Bosco: Hale is a 5’11”, 175 lb. prospect who chose Arizona over offers from Cal, Nebraska, Utah, and Washington, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 4-star, the #23 cornerback, and the #314 player overall. As a junior in 2012, he had 50 tackles and 4 interceptions. Now he’ll be playing for former Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez. His father, Nate Dogg, was a rapper who collaborated with Snoop Dogg, Warren G, and Dr. Dre. He also had his fair share of legal troubles and then died of complications from multiple strokes in 2011. I get that Nate Dogg wasn’t a famous athlete, but I couldn’t help including him.
Marlon Humphrey – CB – Birmingham (AL) Hoover: Humphrey is a 6’1″, 175 lb. prospect who chose Alabama over offers from Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, and numerous others. He’s a 247 Composite 5-star, the #3 cornerback, and the #12 player nationally. As a senior in 2013, he had 35 tackles and 3 interceptions. Humphrey’s father is Bobby Humphrey, a former Crimson Tide running back who was taken in the first round of the 1989 NFL Supplemental Draft by the Denver Broncos. He had 2,857 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns for the Broncos and Miami Dolphins before off-the-field troubles drove him out of the game. Bobby was such a good football player that he was in Tecmo Super Bowl.
Gelen Robinson – DE – St. John (IN) Lake Central: Robinson is a 6’2″, 232 lb. prospect who chose Purdue over offers from Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Vanderbilt, and a few others. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #26 strongside end, and #618 overall. As a junior in 2012, he had 95 tackles, 47 tackles for loss, and 13 sacks. His father Glenn Robinson attended Gary (IN) Roosevelt and earned a scholarship to Purdue where he averaged 27.5 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.8 steals, and 1 block per game, and he hit 38.5% of his three-pointers. He was the #1 overall pick by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1994 NBA Draft and went on to an 11-year pro career with the Bucks, Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers, and San Antonio Spurs. For his professional years, he averaged 20.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.2 steals, and 0.6 blocks, and he hit 34% of his threes. Gelen’s brother Glenn Robinson III is a sophomore basketball player at Michigan, where he’s averaging 13.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1 steal, and 0.3 blocks per game this season.
Quentin Tartabull – S – Mission Hills (CA) Bishop Alemany: Tartabull is a 5’11”, 190 lb. prospect who chose Cal over offers from Hawaii and Minnesota. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #63 safety, and the #773 prospect overall. As a junior in 2012, he had 125 tackles and 6 sacks. His father, Danny Tartabull, was a second baseman, outfielder, and designated hitter for the Seattle Mariners, Kansas City Royals, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Chicago White Sox, and Philadelphia Phillies from 1984-1997. He was a career .272 batter with a .368 on-base percentage, 262 home runs, and 925 runs batted in. An all-star in 1991, he finished #5 in Rookie of the Year voting in 1986 (losing to Jose Canseco), #12 in MVP voting in 1991 (losing to Cal Ripken, Jr.), and #17 in the MVP race in 1987 (losing to George Bell). Unfortunately, Danny has been in trouble for failing to pay $276,000 in child support for Quentin and his brother Zach. Quentin’s grandfather (and Danny’s father) Jose Tartabull was also a MLB player who had 2 home runs, 107 RBI’s, and 81 stolen bases for the Kansas City Athletics, Boston Red Sox, and Oakland Athletics from 1962-1970. A throw by Jose in the American League Championship Series inspired a novel called Tartabull’s Throw.