All in Family: Offensive, Defensive Line

Every year, numerous players joining the NFL come from families rich in athletic tradition. In Part 2 of this three-part series, NFL Scouting introduces you to the players who had family members compete in collegiate or professional sports.


Tony Bergstrom

University of Utah Utes

Cousin Ryan Roberts played baseball for the Toronto Blue Jays (2006-07) and Texas (2008) before joining the Arizona Diamondbacks (2009-present) an an infielder.

Married to the former Jessica Kruger, the sister of current Utes Dave (defensive tackle) and Joe (defensive end) Kruger and former Ute Paul Kruger. Paul was selected in the second round of the 2009 draft and is a defensive end for the Baltimore Ravens.

David DeCastro

Stanford University Cardinal

DeCastro is from the Seattle area but his parents are South African and his father, Colin, and grandfather were rugby stars in that country.

Derek Dennis

Temple University Owls

His first cousin, Curtis Kelly, played basketball at Kansas State as a forward (2006-10), where he averaged 7.2 points per game (812 total), making 307-of-566 field goals (54.2 percent), 197-of-326 free throws (60.4 percent) while averaging 4.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocked shots per game (112 games).

Dennis' third cousin, Dexter Coakley, was one of the finest linebackers in NCAA Division I-AA history during his playing days at Appalachian State (1993-96) and had his jersey No. 32 retired by the school on April 19, 2005. Coakley set or tied six school records, earned a slew of personal accolades and helped lead Appalachian to 32 victories and two I-AA playoff appearances. He led the Apps with 141 tackles as a freshman in 1993 en route to Southern Conference Freshman of the Year honors.

Things only got better for the hard-hitting linebacker, both individually and for the Mountaineers. In 1994, he racked up 155 tackles to earn the first of three Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Year awards. Coakley capped his second-to-none collegiate career in 1996 by leading Appalachian in tackles for the third time with 166 while claiming his second straight Buck Buchanan Award. He remains the only two-time winner of I-AA football's most prestigious defensive honor and the only Mountaineer to garner All-American status for three years. He remains ASU's career leader in total tackles (616), solo tackles (350), assisted tackles (266), double-figure tackle games (38) and 20-tackle games (7).

Following the end of his career in the High Country, Coakley became the second-highest drafted player in Appalachian history when the Dallas Cowboys selected him in the third round (65th overall pick) of the 1997 draft. His impact in the NFL was as immediate as his impact at ASU, as he started all 16 games for the Cowboys as a rookie in ‘97. In 127 games as a pro, he posted 687 tackles, 10 interceptions, seven sacks and four forced fumbles and missed only one game in eight seasons due to injury. He earned Pro Bowl appearances in 1999, 2001 and 2003. After spending the first eight years of his professional career in Dallas, Coakley spent the 2005 and ‘06 seasons with the St. Louis Rams. He retired from the NFL in 2007.

Ben Jones

University of Georgia Bulldogs

When those opponents lined up to face Jones in 2011, they noticed something a bit different about the Bulldogs' offensive line leader: He had changed to jersey No. 60 for his final campaign. The center made the number change after the 2010 season and that has been his biggest thrill since he arrived in Athens. Jones had worn No. 61 his first three seasons because his coveted No. 60 was taken. When Clint Boling graduated last season, Jones made the switch. It means more to him than anyone will know. His father, Steve, was a standout prep and small-college football player, and his number was No. 60. Steve Jones was killed in a helicopter crash while working for his own forestry company when Ben was 10.

Matt Kalil

University of Southern California Trojans

Playing in the trenches seems to be the "family business" for the Kalils. Matt's father,

Frank was a center at Arkansas and Arizona and was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 1982 before playing for the United States Football League's Arizona Wranglers in 1983 and Houston Gamblers in 1984.

His brother, Ryan, was an All-American at Southern California, and is the starting center with the Carolina Panthers.

Peter Konz

University of Wisconsin Badgers

A relative, Robert Ferriani, played football at the University of Massachusetts.

Lucas Nix

University of Pittsburgh Panthers

Brother Nate was a teammate at the University of Pittsburgh, where he was a linebacker/defensive end (2006-10).

Matt Reynolds

Brigham Young University Cougars

Reynolds is yet another in a long line of family members with ties to the Cougars program, especially on their offensive line. His father, Lance, was an All-American honorable mention and All-Western Athletic Conference first-team selection as an offensive tackle for BYU in 1977. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1978 and spent that NFL season with the Philadelphia Eagles. He serves as the Cougars' associate head coach and running backs coach, where he just completed his 28th season in the program.

Matt's oldest brother, Lance Jr., was the starting center for BYU from 2001-05, earning team Offensive Lineman of the Year and All-Mountain West Conference honors as a senior.

Another older brother, Dallas, lettered with the Cougars from 2005-08, following Lance Jr. as the Cougars' center. As a senior, he earned All-MWC first-team and All-American third-team accolades in 2008, going on to play two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles on the practice squad (2009-10) and is presently a free agent.

Matt's younger brother, Houston, started 10 games alongside his brother at the left guard position in 2011, but battled shoulder injuries most of that campaign. Matt also dealt with shoulder problems that forced him to sit out 2011 spring drills.

Mitchell Schwartz

University of California at Berkeley Golden Bears

Based on his solid career, capped by a stellar performance throughout the week of practices leading up to the 2012 Senior Bowl, many scouts feel that Mitchell will soon join his older brother, Geoff, in the NFL. Geoff completed his college career as an offensive tackle for Oregon in 2007 and is in the NFL with Carolina after being drafted by the Panthers in the seventh round in 2008. He saw his first action with Carolina in 2009, playing in all 16 games with three starts and then started every game for the Panthers in 2010 before missing the entire 2011 campaign due to injury.


Jake Bequette

University of Arkansas Razorbacks

Jake Bequette
Beth Hall/US Presswire
Razorback football is an obsession in Arkansas, from the Ozarks to the Delta, and a rallying point for displaced Arkansans everywhere. Those fans have been blessed with seeing a jersey with the name "Bequette" on the back coming out of the huddle. The name has been etched in their minds since Jake's grandfather, the late George Bequette, starred as a two-way lineman from 1954-56 at Arkansas.

Razorbacks fans, university team notables and former head coaches Frank Broyles and Ken Hatfield were in attendance along with former Arkansas trainer Dean Weber in March 2011 at George's funeral in St. Genevieve, Mo. George was part of the famed "25 Little Pigs" team in 1954, lead by coach Bowden Wyatt, who in his second and final year at the helm,led the tough, raw-boned '25 Little Pigs' to eight victories and the host spot in the Cotton Bowl. It was a fabulous year, and overflow crowds at Little Rock and Fayetteville responded to their team's success.

Arkansas defeated Texas at Austin for the first time in 17 years and earned national respect with a stunning 6-0 upset of Ole Miss at Little Rock. Preston Carpenter scored the game's only touchdown on a 66-yard reception from Buddy Bob Benson on the famed "Powder River Play," with George delivering a devastating block in the backfield that took out a pair of defenders. The play became one of the most, if not the most, famous play in school history.

"My grandpa and I were very close and he obviously played here and started quite a legacy," Jake recalls. "I will always remember him in my heart and when I play. It was a very touching funeral service. He lived a very full life with no regrets and everyone he knew, he touched. There was a great turnout and anyone who ever met Big George never really forgot him. He was my grandpa and I loved him to death."

Jake's father, Jay (1980-82) excelled as a center for the university, going on to earn All-South-western Conference honors during his senior season.

Two years later, Jay's younger brother, Chris, joined the Arkansas program as an offensive tackle (1984-87), as he garnered Delbert Schwartz Outstanding Athletic Achievement Award honors in 1986, followed by being the 1987 recipient of the Jim Wellons Dedication Award.

Malik Jackson

University of Tennessee Volunteers

Twin brother, Marquis, is a junior defensive end at Texas Southern.

Chandler Jones

Syracuse University Orange

Chandler is another in a line of standout athletes in his family. He was preceded at Syracuse by his brother, Arthur, a defensive lineman for the Orange (2006-09) before joining the Baltimore Ravens as a fifth-round draft selection in 2010. Arthur ranks third in school annals behind Dwight Freeney (50.5, 1998-2001) and Duke Pettijohn (40.0, 1997-2000) with 38.5 tackles for losess.

Another brother, Jonathan Dwight Jones, is known as Jon "Bones" Jones, an American mixed martial artist who is the current UFC light-heavyweight champion. He entered the organization after fighting professionally for only four months after dropping out of Morrisville State College to pursue his professional career. At UFC 128, Jones defeated Mauricio Rua by TKO at 2:37 of Round 3 to become the youngest UFC champion ever. After an early flying knee that badly hurt the champion, Shogun was dominated throughout the three rounds. A body shot and knee to the head dropped the champion, causing the referee to swiftly step in and halt the bout.

Devon Still

Penn State University Nittany Lions

Cousin Art Still was an All-Pro defensive end, playing for the Kansas City Chiefs (1978-87) and Buffalo Bills (1988-89).

Another cousin, Levon Kirkland, was a linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks (1992-2002), earning All-Pro honors.

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Dave-Te Thomas has more than 40 years of experience scouting for the NFL. At NFL Scouting, Thomas handles a staff that evaluates and tests college players before the draft and prepares the NFL's official Draft Packet, which is distributed to all 32 teams prior to the draft.

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