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Former Buckeyes continue careers in 2012 NFL season

Courtesy of MCT

The 2012 Ohio State football team will be playing Central Florida at noon on Saturday, but they will not be the only Buckeyes in gridiron action this weekend. Many OSU alumni will play prominent roles for NFL teams who play their season-opening games on Sunday or Monday.

There are 37 former Buckeyes playing for 20 different NFL teams.

New York Giants center Jim Cordle, a 2010 OSU graduate, was the first Buckeye alumnus to be active for an NFL regular-season game this season. Cordle did not start on the offensive line, but was on the 53-man active roster for the Giants’ season-opening loss to the Dallas Cowboys Wednesday.

Many other Buckeyes will play more significant roles for their respective NFL teams.

These former Ohio State players could make their most significant mark on the 2012 NFL season with the defensive backs they have sent to the league. Of the 37 Buckeyes in the NFL, eight of them play in the secondary and six are listed on their team’s depth chart as starters: Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Nate Clements, Philadelphia Eagles free safety Kurt Coleman, Carolina Panthers cornerback Chris Gamble, New Orleans Saints free safety Malcolm Jenkins, San Francisco 49ers strong safety Donte Whitner and Minnesota Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield.

Another former OSU defensive back, New England Patriots defensive back Nate Ebner, will be among the four members of the 2011 Buckeyes football team set to begin their inaugural NFL seasons. Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Mike Adams, a second-round draft pick, and Houston Texans wide receiver DeVier Posey, a third-round draft selection, are also rookies making their debuts on Sunday, along with Jacksonville Jaguars center Mike Brewster, who went undrafted.

All four rookies are listed as reserves on their team’s depth charts, but depending on each game’s circumstances, they could see playing time. Another player from last year’s Buckeyes team, running back Daniel “Boom” Herron, was drafted in the sixth round by the Bengals, but he failed to make the team’s 53-man roster.

Many other prominent players with OSU ties can be seen in action this weekend as well. The New York Jets have two offensive starters, wide receiver Santonio Holmes and center Nick Mangold, who were also teammates for the Buckeyes from 2002-2005.

Another member of the 2006 draft class from OSU, A.J. Hawk, starts at inside linebacker for the Green Bay Packers, while Arizona Cardinals running back Chris “Beanie” Wells and St. Louis Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis were both members of the 2009 draft class after successful careers for the Buckeyes.

Whether you watch an NFL game this on Sunday afternoon, Sunday night or Monday night, chances are good that a Buckeye will be on the field.

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