Pro Athletes and Their Spawn: 2017 Edition

Tag: pro athletes and their spawn

31Mar 2017
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Pro Athletes and Their Spawn: 2017 Edition

Derrick Brooks (image via Tampa Bay Times)

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In what has become a yearly tradition, I tried to keep track of some noteworthy players’ sons in the 2017 recruiting class. Several former Detroit Lions have sons who are matriculating into the world of college football, and there are many others, too. You can also check out former years’ posts (2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012)

DeCalon Brooks – LB – Tampa (FL) Gaither: Brooks is a 5’11”, 197 lb. outside linebacker who signed with the Florida State Seminoles. He turned down offers from Illinois, Iowa, and Louisville to become a Seminole. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #52 inside linebacker, and #1174 overall. He is the son of former Florida State linebacker Derrick Brooks, who was a 1st round pick (#28 overall) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1995 and played through 2008. He’s now in the Pro Football Hall of Fame after making 11 Pro Bowls, 1715 tackles, 13.5 sacks, 25 interceptions, and 7 total touchdowns throughout his career.

Germane Crowell – CB – Winston Salem (NC) Carver: Crowell is a 6’3″, 180-pounder who enrolled early at Virginia. He’s a 3-star, the #41 athlete, and #557 overall, and he spurned offers from the likes of Georgia and Notre Dame to attend his dad’s alma mater. The elder Germane Crowell was a 2nd round pick (#50 overall) of the Detroit Lions in 1998. He caught 184 passes for 2,722 yards and 16 touchdowns during a five-year career with the Lions. He was the head coach at Carver and amassed a 33-18 record over the past several years, but he resigned in December of 2016.

Luther Elliss (image via Detroit Lions)

Christian Elliss – LB – Littleton (CO) Valor Christian: Elliss is a 6’3″, 215 lb. prospect who signed with Idaho. He’s a 2-star, the #207 outside linebacker, and #3067 overall. For more on his bloodlines, see the Noah Elliss entry below.

Noah Elliss – DT – Littleton (CO) Valor Christian: Elliss is a 6’4″, 330 lb. prospect who signed with Mississippi State. He’s a 3-star, the #23 defensive tackle, and #344 overall. Alabama, Auburn, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and USC also offered Elliss, so the choice of Mississippi State was odd. Furthermore, Michigan was in need of defensive tackles, so I thought it was possible that the Wolverines would extend an offer, especially considering where his “dad” spent his NFL career. Luther Elliss played his college ball at Utah before becoming a 1st round pick (#20 overall) of the Detroit Lions in 1995. A two-time Pro Bowler for the Lions, he made 331 tackles and 29 sacks during a ten-year career, the last season of which he played for the Denver Broncos. Noah is actually Luther Elliss’s biological nephew, but Luther adopted him.

Hit the jump for a gaggle of more players and their dads.

read more

28Jan 2016
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Pro Athletes and Their Spawn: 2016 Edition

Mike Alstott 580x

Mike Alstott (image via

I have always been infatuated with pro athletes and their kids’ athletic careers. Maybe it started when I watched Ken Griffey, Jr. play baseball with his dad, but it amazes me sometimes when people who are some of the best athletes in the country – or even the world – have kids who grow up to follow in their footsteps. So for the last several years, I have compiled lists of players who have accomplished athletes as fathers. I’m sure there are others out there that I have not come across, but below is a list of thirteen prospects for the class of 2016 who had standout athletes for dads. You can see past versions by clicking on the year (2015, 2014, 2013, 2012)

Griffin Alstott – QB – St. Petersburg (FL) Northside Christian: Alstott is a 6’2″, 200 lb. quarterback with a lone offer from Appalachian State. He’s a 247 Sports 3-star, the #18 dual-threat QB, and #580 overall. He is the son of former Purdue and Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back/fullback Mike Alstott, who was Purdue’s career touchdown leader after he finished his college career in 1995 and averaged 5.6 yards/carry as a 6’1″, 240 lb. bruiser. He became a 2nd round pick of the Buccaneers, playing his whole career there from 1996-2006. He had over 5,000 yards rushing, over 2,000 yards receiving, and a total of 71 touchdowns while winning a Super Bowl and going to six Pro Bowls.

Hit the jump for more.

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30Jan 2014
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Pro Athletes and Their Spawn: 2014 Edition

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.

5Feb 2013
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Pro Athletes and Their Spawn: 2013 Edition

David Robinson (#50, posterizing Gerald Wilkins) was always one of my favorite basketball
players, and now his son is going to play for Notre Dame

It’s always interesting to me to see the kids of pro athletes and celebrities grow up (see last year’s edition).  What do the children of the privileged choose to do with their lives?  Well, at least for these few athletes, they have chosen to pursue college football careers:

Keith Byars II – RB – Boca Raton (FL) Boca Raton: Byars is a 5’10”, 205 lb. running back who picked Purdue over offers from Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Rutgers, and Vanderbilt, among others.  The elder Byars was an Ohio State Buckeye who went on to a successful career as a running back/fullback/tight end – now commonly referred to as an H-back – with the Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, and New York Jets.  He ended his career with 3,109 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns, but his bigger impact was in the passing game, where he had 610 catches for 5,661 yards and 31 touchdowns.  He won a Super Bowl with the Patriots after the 1997 season and then spent a year with the Jets before retiring.

Berkley Edwards – RB – Chelsea (MI) Chelsea: Edwards is a 5’9″, 185 lb. running back who picked Minnesota over offers from Cal and numerous Mid-American Conference teams.  As a senior this past season, he had 234 carries for 1,394 yards and 21 touchdowns.  His father Stan played running back at Michigan before continuing his career with the NFL’s Detroit Lions and Houston Oilers.  He ended his career after the 1987 season with a total of 149 carries for 533 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 52 catches for 436 yards and 1 touchdown.  Berkley’s older brother is former Michigan wide receiver Braylon Edwards, who has played for the Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, and Seattle Seahawks.

Torii Hunter, Jr. – WR – Prosper (TX) Prosper: Hunter is a 6’0″, 172 lb. receiver who chose Notre Dame over offers from Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, and West Virginia, among others.  As a senior this past season, he had 71 catches for 1,235 yards and 14 touchdowns.  Unfortunately, he broke his femur during practices for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.  The elder Hunter was a first round pick by the Minnesota Twins in 1993.  He has played 16 seasons in the major leagues, first with the Twins and then with the Los Angeles Angels; this off-season he was acquired by the Detroit Tigers.  His lifetime numbers include 1,986 hits, 297 homeruns, 1,143 runs batted in, 186 stolen bases, and a career batting average of .277.  He’s a five-time all-star and a nine-time Gold Glove winner.

Ray Lewis III – RB – Lake Mary (FL) Lake Mary Prep: Lewis is a 5’10”, 192 lb. back who committed to Miami last March.  As a junior in 2011, he had 177 carries for 2,312 yards and 29 touchdowns.  Lewis played in the Semper Fi All-American Bowl.  His father Ray was a first round draft pick by the Baltimore Ravens in 1996 and is likely Hall of Fame-bound as a middle linebacker.  He ended his career on Sunday night by winning a second Super Bowl; his career statistics include 1,336 total tackles, 41.5 sacks, 31 interceptions, and 3 touchdowns.

Jonathan McCrary – QB – Ellenwood (GA) Cedar Grove: McCrary is a 6’4″, 200 lb. quarterback who picked Vanderbilt over offers from Florida State, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio State, and Tennessee, among others.  As a senior in 2012, he completed 203/270 passes for 2,927 yards, 28 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions; he also ran 45 times for 317 yards and 7 touchdowns.  His father Greg McCrary was a backup tight end for the Atlanta Falcons, Washington Redskins, and San Diego Chargers from 1975 to 1981, totaling 22 catches for 228 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Corey Robinson – WR – San Antonio (TX) Christian: Robinson is a 6’4″, 195 lb. receiver who picked Notre Dame over offers from Iowa and Kansas, among others.  As a senior in 2012, he had 67 catches for 1,414 yards and 20 touchdowns.  His father David Robinson was a 7’1″, 235 lb. basketball player who was the #1 overall pick out of Navy in 1987.  He played his entire career for the San Antonio Spurs and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.  The elder Robinson’s career accomplishments include 20,790 points (21.1 per game), 10,497 rebounds (10.6 per game), and a career field goal percentage of .518.  He won NBA Championships in 1999 and 2003, his final year in the league.

Shane Tripucka – P – Allen (TX) Allen: Tripucka is a 6’3″, 210 lb. prospect with a lone offer from Sam Houston State.  However, Rutgers has shown recent interest, as offers to specialists frequently come late in the process.  Tripucka was selected for the Under Armour All-America Game.  His uncle Kelly was a #12 overall pick by the Detroit Pistons out of Notre Dame in 1981; he led Notre Dame in scoring during each of his four seasons.  In a ten-year career with the Pistons, Utah Jazz, and Charlotte Hornets, he averaged 17.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 3.0 assists; Kelly was a two-time NBA all-star.  Shane’s brother Travis was recently signed by the New York Jets as a long snapper after playing college football at UMass.