All in the family: Defensive linemen

The defensive linemen break beyond the athletic fathers, as two DL prospects claim sisters that played college basketball. We look at nine defensive line prospects with strong athletic bloodlines preceding them.

Aaron Donald: Pittsburgh Panthers

His brother, Archie, played linebacker at Toledo, where he recorded 424 tackles (181 solos) with five sacks, 15 stops-for-loss, five interceptions, 11 pass deflections, a pair of forced fumbles and a fumble recovery, as his career tackle totals rank sixth in Mid-American Conference history, leading the league with 146 tackles as a senior (2006-10). Their cousin, Ed Tinker, was a teammate of Aaron's at Pittsburgh (2012-13), appearing in five games as a Panther. He finished his career with six receptions for 77 yards and one touchdown.

James Gayle: Virginia Tech Hokies

His uncle, Shaun Gayle, played 12 seasons, 11 for the Chicago Bears (1984–1994) and one for the San Diego Chargers (1995). He was a member of the Bears squad that won Super Bowl XX in 1985. He was also a member of the "Shuffling Crew" in the "Super Bowl Shuffle" video. He owns the distinction of returning the shortest punt for a touchdown in NFL history, when he returned a punt five yards for a touchdown vs. the New York Giants in the Bears 1985 divisional playoff victory. He is currently working as a guest NFL analyst for Sky Sports in the United Kingdom.

Jackson Jeffcoat: Texas Longhorns

His father, Jim, was a standout defensive lineman for the Dallas Cowboys (1983-94) and Buffalo Bills (1995-97), and is the current assistant coach/defensive line coach at The University of Colorado. Jackson's twin sister, Jacqueline, plays basketball for Texas State after first red-shirting in 2012-13 at the University of Oklahoma. Another sibling, Jaren, played basketball for Norwich University.

Cassius Marsh: UCLA Bruins

His father, Curtis Marsh, Sr., was a wide receiver in the National Football League for three seasons, playing for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Pittsburgh Steelers before concluding his career playing for the Saskatchewan Roughriders. His older brother, Curtis Marsh Jr., is a cornerback for the Philadelphia Eagles, acquired from free agency on 11/5/13. He was originally drafted by the Eagles in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft, but was released at the end of the 2013 preseason and signed by the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals later waived him and he rejoined the Eagles.

Josh Mauro: Stanford Cardinal

His brother, Joe, played quarterback at Northwestern. His stepbrother, Nathan, played football at Harding and another stepbrother, Darrick, played football at Blinn, Florida A&M and Harding.

Trent Murphy: Stanford Cardinal

His older sister, Kayli, played basketball at St. Mary's (Mesa, Az.) High School and later played forward and center for the Arizona State women's basketball team from 2006-10. In four seasons at ASU, she appeared in 128 games, starting 61 contests, including 57 of her final 61 appearances. She scored 578 points (4.52 ppg), making 241-of-473 field goals (.510) and 95-of-154 free throws (.617). She collected 556 rebounds (4.3 avg; 197 offensive/ 359 defensive), as she handed out 106 assists, had 51 blocked shots and 121 steals while playing for coach Charli Turner Thorne. As a senior, she averaged 7.34 points per game, hitting on 89-of-180 field goals (.494) and 57-of-86 free throws (.663), placing second on the team with 196 rebounds (6.1 avg) and tying for second with 42 steals.

Kelcy Quarles: South Carolina Gamecocks

Kelcy's father, Buddy, played at South Carolina from 1984-87 for head coach Joe Morrison.

Will Sutton: Arizona State Sun Devils

His father, Mickey, played defensive back and punt returner for the Los Angeles Rams (1986-1988), the Green Bay Packers (1989), the Buffalo Bills (1989) and the Rams (1990).


Dave-Te' Thomas has more than 40 years of experience scouting for the NFL. With the NFL Draft Report, 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. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.

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