clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Tracking Former Wake Forest Football Players in the NFL by Coach

New, 4 comments

With the NFL Draft this weekend I take a look at former Wake Forest football coaches and their success at sending players to the next level

Clemson v Wake Forest Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

With the NFL Draft having been this past weekend, I thought it would be neat to track the number of players that each former Wake Forest football coach has sent to the next level.

Jessie Bates III and Duke Ejiofor were drafted this weekend, adding to this growing list of Deacons in NFL history.

Note: In order for a player to qualify as having played for a coach in this article, the player must have played at least two years for that coach. As an example, Kevin Johnson is credited to Jim Grobe, not Dave Clawson.

Note: The format of the draft has changed quite a bit over the years, as will be seen below by the rounds in which some players were drafted.

Note: In the 1940s drafted players had the option to return to school, so Jim Duncan is listed more than once.

D.C. “Peahead” Walker (1937-1950): 42 Players Drafted, 3 Undrafted Free Agents

Wake Forest Head Football Coach Peahead Walker
Wake Forest Magazine
  • Lou Trunzo, Guard, 1939, Brooklyn Dodgers, 15th round, 135th overall pick
  • Rupert Pate, Guard, 1940, Chicago Cardinals, 20th round, 181st overall pick
  • John Pendergast, Center, 1941, Cleveland Rams, 10th round, 84th overall pick
  • Tony Gallovich, Wingback, 1941, Cleveland Rams, 8th round, 64th overall pick
  • John Jett, End, 1941, Detroit Lions, 7th round, 55th overall pick
  • Jim Ringgold, Back, 1941, Pittsburgh Steelers, 4th round, 27th overall pick
  • Frank Kapriva, Guard, 1942, Pittsburgh Steelers, 20th round, 181st overall pick
  • Carl Givler, Guard, 1942, Chicago Cardinals, 13th round, 114th overall pick
  • John Polanski, Fullback, 1942, Detroit Lions, 11th round, 95th overall pick
  • Pat Preston, Tackle, 1943, Chicago Bears, 17th round, 159th overall pick
  • Bill Stanford, Center, 1944, Chicago Bears, 10th round, 95th overall pick
  • Red Cochran, Back, 1944, Chicago Cardinals, 8th round, 66th overall pick
  • George Owen, Guard, 1944, Pittsburgh Steelers, 5th round, 41st overall pick
  • Russ Perry, Back, 1945, Cleveland Rams, 27th round, 279th overall pick
  • Fred Grant, Back, 1945, Chicago Cardinals, 22nd round, 220th overall pick
  • Nick Sacrinty, Back, 1945, Chicago Bears, 17th round, 172nd overall pick
  • Elmer Barbour, Back, 1945, New York Giants, 1st round, 10th overall pick
  • Pride Ratteree, Guard, 1946, Chicago Cardinals, 19th round, 171st overall pick
  • Charles Garrison, Guard, 1946, Pittsburgh Steelers, 18th round, 163rd overall pick
  • Dave Harris, End, 1946, Detroit Lions, 5th round, 38th overall pick
  • Elmer Jones, Guard, 1946, New York Giants, 2nd round, 15th overall pick
  • Otis Sacrinty, Back, 1947, Washington Redskins, 27th round, 248th overall pick
  • Harry Dowda, Defensive Back, 1947, Washington Redskins, 19th round, 168th overall pick
  • Dick Brinkley, Back, 1947, New York Giants, 18th round, 164th overall pick
  • Ulysses Cornogg, Tackle, 1947, Philadelphia Eagles, 10th round, 80th overall pick
  • Bob Leonetti, Guard, 1947, Philadelphia Eagles, 9th round, 71st overall pick
  • Dick Wede,l Guard, 1948, Chicago Cardinals, 24th round, 225th overall pick
  • Jim Duncan, Defensive End, 1948, Chicago Bears, 23rd round, 212th overall pick
  • Ed Royston, Guard, 1948, New York Giants, 9th round, 75th overall pick
  • Tom Fetzer, Back, 1949, New York Giants, 22nd round, 215th overall pick
  • Jim Lail, Back, 1949, Boston Yanks, 22nd round, 213th overall pick
  • Bernie Hanula, Tackle, 1949, Chicago Cardinals, 6th round, 60th pick
  • Red O’Quinn, Defensive Back, 1949, Chicago Bears, 3rd round, 31st overall pick
  • Tom Palmer, Defensive Tackle, 1950, Chicago Cardinals, 17th round, 217th overall pick
  • Ed Bradley, Guard, 1950, Chicago Bears, 16th round, 206th overall pick
  • Jim Duncan, Defensive End, 1950, Cleveland Browns, 9th round, 117th overall pick
  • Bill Gregus, Back, 1951, Chicago Bears, 9th round, 108th overall pick
  • Bill George, Linebacker, 1951, Chicago Bears, 2nd round, 23rd overall pick
  • Jim Staton, Defensive Tackle, 1951, Washington Redskins, 2nd round, 21st overall pick
  • Ed Kissell, Defensive Back, 1952, Pittsburgh Steelers, 30th round, 354th overall pick
  • Ed Listopad, Guard, 1952, Chicago Cardinals, 19th round, 219th overall pick
  • Bill Miller, Back, 1952, Chicago Bears, 11th round, 128th overall pick
  • Anthony Rubino, Guard, Undrafted Free Agent, Signed by Detroit Lions, 1943
  • Gil Meyer, Defensive End, Undrafted Free Agent, Signed by Baltimore Colts, 1947
  • Clem Crabtree, Tackle/Guard, Undrafted Free Agent, Signed by Detroit Lions, 1940

Tom Rogers (1951-1955): 17 Players Drafted

Former Wake Forest Football Coach Tom Rogers
Wikipedia
  • Jack Lewis, End, 1953, Chicago Bears, 29th round, 342nd overall pick
  • Clyde Pickard, Guard, 1953, Chicago Bears, 25th round, 294th overall pick
  • Bill Link, Guard, 1953, Washington Redskins, 20th round, 232nd overall pick
  • Tom Donahue, Center, 1953, Chicago Cardinals, 19th round, 220th overall pick
  • Larry Spencer, Back, 1953, Detroit Lions, 12th round, 146th overall pick
  • Bob Gaona, Tackle, 1953, Pittsburgh Steelers, 5th round, 53rd overall pick
  • Joe Koch, Back, 1953, Chicago Bears, 4th round, 41st overall pick
  • Lou Hallow, Center, 1955, Los Angeles Rams, 26th round, 307th overall pick
  • Nick Maravic, Back, 1955, Philadelphia Eagles, 17th round, 201st overall pick
  • Ed Stowers, End, 1955, New York Giants, 15th round, 176th overall pick
  • Bob Bartholomew, Tackle, 1956, Cleveland Browns, 30th round, 360th overall pick
  • Gerry Huth, Guard, 1956, New York Giants, 24th round, 285th overall pick
  • John Parham, Back, 1956, Philadelphia Eagles, 24th round, 281st overall pick
  • Nick Consoles, Defensive Back, 1956, Philadelphia Eagles, 18th round, 209th overall pick
  • John Niznik, End, 1957, Philadelphia Eagles, 29th round, 338th overall pick
  • John Ladner, End, 1957, San Francisco 49ers, 24th round, 284th overall pick
  • Billy Ray Barnes, Halfback, 1957, Philadelphia Eagles, 2nd round, 19th overall pick

Paul Amen (1956-1959): 7 Players Drafted

Former Wake Forest Football Coach Paul Amen
The Howler, 1959
  • Frank Thompson, Tackle, 1958, Cleveland Browns, 26th round, 312th overall pick
  • Neil MacLean, Back, 1958, Philadelphia Eagles, 26th round, 304th overall pick
  • George Johnson, Tackle, 1958, Pittsburgh Steelers, 20th round, 236th overall pick
  • Pete Manning, Defensive Back, 1960, Chicago Bears, 8th round, 93rd overall pick
  • Wayne Wolff, Guard, 1961, Cleveland Browns, 10th round, 129th overall pick
  • Bob McCreary, Tackle, 1961, San Francisco 49ers, 5th round, 65th overall pick
  • Norm Snead, Quarterback, 1961, Washington Redskins, 1st round, 2nd overall pick

Billy Hildebrand (1960-1963): 3 Players Drafted

Former Wake Forest Football Coach Billy Hildebrand is lifted in the air by his players after a win.
Digital Forsyth
  • Kent Martin, Tackle, 1962, Chicago Bears, 15th round, 203rd overall pick
  • Bill Hull, Defensive End, 1962, Chicago Bears, 3rd round, 35th overall pick
  • Karl Sweetan, Quarterback, 1965, Detroit Lions, 18th round, 249th overall pick

Bill Tate (1964-1968): 6 Players Drafted, 1 Undrafted Free Agent

Former Wake Forest Football Coach Bill Tate with two of his players.
Digital Forsyth
  • John Snow, Tackle, 1967, New Orleans Saints, 15th round, 368th overall pick
  • Lynn Nesbitt, Guard, 1967, Chicago Bears, 14th round, 361st overall pick
  • Ken Henry, Wide Receiver, 1968, St. Louis Cardinals, 7th round, 177th overall pick
  • Bob Grant, Linebacker, 1968, Baltimore Colts, 2nd round, 50th overall pick
  • Fred Summers, Defensive Back, 1969, Cleveland Browns, 4th round, 98th overall pick
  • Ed George, Tackle, 1970, Pittsburgh Steelers, 4th round, 80th overall pick
  • Brian Piccolo, Running Back, Undrafted Free Agent, Signed by Chicago Bears, 1966

Cal Stoll (1968-1971): 3 players drafted, 1 Undrafted Free Agent

Former Wake Forest Football Coach Cal Still
Wikipedia
  • Win Headley, Center, 1971, Green Bay Packers, 8th round, 193rd overall pick
  • Ed Bradley, Linebacker, 1972, Pittsburgh Steelers, 4th round, 88th overall pick
  • Kenneth Garrett, Running Back, 1973, St. Louis Cardinals, 8th round, 188th overall pick
  • Jim Clack, Center/Guard, Undrafted Free Agent, Signed by Pittsburgh Steelers, 1971

Tom Harper (1972): 2 Players Drafted

No photo available.

Chuck Mills (1973-1977): 4 Players Drafted, 2 Undrafted Free Agents

Former Wake Forest Football Coach Chuck Mills
wakeforestsports.com
  • Dave LaCrosse, Linebacker, 1977, Pittsburgh Steelers, 10th round, 271st overall pick
  • Bill Armstrong, Defensive Back, 1977, Cleveland Browns, 8th round, 213th overall pick
  • Steve Young, Tight End, 1978, Houston Oilers, 10th round, 266th overall pick
  • Larry Tearry, Center, 1978, Detroit Lions, 4th round, 109th overall pick
  • Clark Gaines, Fullback, Undrafted Free Agent, Signed by New York Jets, 1976
  • Jack Dolbin, Wide Receiver, Undrafted Free Agent, Signed by Denver Broncos, 1975

John Mackovic (1978-1980): 5 Players Drafted, 1 Undrafted Free Agent

Former Wake Forest Football Coach John Mackovic
wakeforestsports.com
  • Syd Kitson, Guard, 1980, Green Bay Packers, 3rd round, 61st overall pick
  • Carlos Bradley, Linebacker, 1981, San Diego Chargers, 11th round, 300th overall pick
  • Billy Ard, Guard, 1981, New York Giants, 8th round, 221st overall pick
  • Rich Baldinger, Tackle, 1982, New York Giants, 10th round, 270th overall pick
  • Kenny Duckett, Wide Receiver, New Orleans Saints, 3rd round, 68th overall pick
  • Jimmy Hargrove, Running Back, Undrafted Free Agent, Signed by Cincinnati Bengals, 1981

Al Groh (1981-1986): 9 Players Drafted, 2 Undrafted Free Agents

Former Wake Forest Football Coaches Al Groh (right) and Jim Grobe (left)
Brian A. Westerholt, Getty Images
  • Ronnie Burgess, Defensive Back, 1985, Green Bay Packers, 10th round, 266th overall pick
  • Harry Newsome, Punter, 1985, Pittsburgh Steelers, 8th round, 214th overall pick
  • Tony Garbarczyk, Defensive Tackle, 1986, Buffalo Bills, 11th round, 278th overall pick
  • Gary Baldinger, Defensive End, 1986, Kansas City Chiefs, 9th round, 229th overall pick
  • Topper Clemons, Running Back, 1986, Dallas Cowboys, 8th round, 212th overall pick
  • Greg Harris, Guard, 1987, Green Bay Packers, 9th round, 228th overall pick
  • Paul Kiser, Guard, 1987, Atlanta Falcons, 6th round, 153rd overall pick
  • Darryl McGill, Running Back, 1988, Washington Redskins, 8th round, 221st overall pick
  • Greg Scales, Tight End, 1988, New Orleans Saints, 5th round, 112th overall pick
  • Steve Hammond, Linebacker, Undrafted Free Agent, Signed by New York Jets, 1988
  • James Brim, Wide Receiver, Undrafted Free Agent, Signed by Minnesota Vikings, 1987

Bill Dooley (1987-1992): 8 Players Drafted, 1 Undrafted Free Agent

Former Wake Forest Football Coach Bill Dooley
Winston-Salem Journal
  • A.J. Greene, Defensive Back, 1989, New York Giants, 9th round, 245th overall pick
  • David Braxton, Linebacker, 1989, Minnesota Vikings, 2nd round, 52nd overall pick
  • Mike Elkins, Quarterback, 1989, Kansas City Chiefs, 2nd round, 32nd overall pick
  • Tony Mayberry, Center, 1990, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 4th round, 108th overall pick
  • Ricky Proehl, Wide Receiver, 1990, Phoenix Cardinals, 3rd round, 58th overall pick
  • Michael McCrary, Defensive End, 1993, Seattle Seahawks, 7th round, 170th overall pick
  • John Henry Mills, Tight End, 1993, Houston Oilers, 5th round, 131st overall pick
  • Ben Coleman, Tackle, 1993, Phoenix Cardinals, 2nd round, 32nd overall pick
  • Walter Rasby, Tight End, Undrafted Free Agent, Signed by Pittsburgh Steelers, 1994

Jim Caldwell (1993-2000): 4 Players Drafted, 5 Undrafted Free Agents

Former Wake Forest Football Coach Jim Caldwell
wakeforestsports.com
  • Desmond Clark, Tight End, 1999, Denver Broncos, 6th round, 179th overall pick
  • Reggie Austin, Defensive Back, 2000, Chicago Bears, 4th round, 125th overall pick
  • Dustin Lyman, Linebacker, 2000, Chicago Bears, 3rd round, 87th overall pick
  • Fred Robbins, Defensive Tackle, 2000, Minnesota Vikings, 2nd round, 55th overall pick
  • Thabiti Davis, Wide Receiver, Undrafted Free Agent, Signed by New York Giants, 2000
  • Kelvin Moses, Linebacker, Undrafted Free Agent, Signed by New York Jets, 2001
  • Jay Williams, Defensive End, Undrafted Free Agent, Signed by St. Louis Rams, 1995
  • Joe Zelenka, Tight End/Center, Undrafted Free Agent, Signed by San Francisco 49ers, 1999
  • George Coghill, Defensive Back, Undrafted Free Agent, Signed by Denver Broncos, 1998

Jim Grobe (2001-2013): 23 Players Drafted, 9 Undrafted Free Agents

Georgia Tech v Wake Forest Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
  • Montique Sharpe, Defensive Tackle, 2003, Kansas City Chiefs, 7th round, 230th overall pick
  • Ovie Mughelli, Fullback, 2003, Baltimore Ravens, 4th round, 134th overall pick
  • Calvin Pace, Defensive End, 2003, Arizona Cardinals, 1st round, 18th overall pick
  • Eric King, Defensive Back, 2005, Buffalo Bills, 5th round, 156th overall pick
  • Ryan Plackemeier, Punter, 2006, Seattle Seahawks, 7th round, 239th overall pick
  • Steve Vallos, Tackle, 2007, Seattle Seahawks, 7th round, 232nd overall pick
  • Josh Gattis, Defensive Back, 2007, Jacksonville Jaguars, 5th round, 150th overall pick
  • Steve Justice, Center, 2008, Indianapolis Colts, 6th round, 231st overall pick
  • Kenneth Moore, Wide Receiver, 2008, Detroit Lions, 5th round, 136th overall pick
  • Jeremy Thompson, Defensive End, 2008, Green Bay Packers, 4th round, 102nd overall pick
  • Stanley Arnoux, Linebacker, 2009, New Orleans Saints, 4th round, 118th overall pick
  • Chip Vaughn, Defensive Back, 2009, New Orleans Saints, 4th round, 116th overall pick
  • Alphonso Smith, Defensive Back, 2009, Denver Broncos, 2nd round, 37th overall pick
  • Aaron Curry, Linebacker, 2009, Seattle Seahawks, 1st round, 4th overall pick
  • Chris DeGeare, Guard, 2010, Minnesota Vikings, 5th round, 161st overall pick
  • Brandon Ghee, Defensive Back, 2010, Cincinnati Bengals, 3rd round, 96th overall pick
  • Josh Bush, Defensive Back, 2012, New York Jets, 6th round, 187th overall pick
  • Joe Looney, Guard, 2012, San Francisco 49ers, 4th round, 117th overall pick
  • Kyle Wilber, Linebacker, 2012, Dallas Cowboys, 4th round, 113th overall pick
  • Chris Givens, Wide Receiver, 2012, St. Louis Rams, 4th round, 96th overall pick
  • Tommy Bohanon, Fullback, 2013, New York Jets, 7th round, 215th overall pick
  • Michael Campanaro, Wide Receiver, 2014, Baltimore Ravens, 7th round, 218th overall pick
  • Kevin Johnson, Defensive Back, 2015, Houston Texans, 1st round, 16th overall pick
  • Chris Barclay, Running Back, Undrafted Free Agent, Signed by New Orleans Saints, 2007
  • Tyson Clabo, Tackle, Undrafted Free Agent, Signed by Atlanta Falcons, 2006
  • Chris Davis, Wide Receiver, Undrafted Free Agent, Signed by New York Jets, 2007
  • Josh Harris, Running Back, Undrafted Free Agent, Signed by Pittsburgh Steelers, 2014
  • Kenny Okoro, Defensive Back, Undrafted Free Agent, Signed by Washington Redskins, 2014
  • John Stone, Wide Receiver, Undrafted Free Agent, Signed by Oakland Raiders, 2003
  • Jyles Tucker, Linebacker, Undrafted Free Agent, Signed by San Diego Chargers, 2007
  • Nikita Whitlock, Defensive Tackle/Fullback, Undrafted Free Agent, Signed by New York Giants, 2014
  • Quintin Williams, Defensive Back, Undrafted Free Agent, Signed by Miami Dolphins, 2004

Dave Clawson (2014-Present): 3 Players Drafted, 3 Undrafted Free Agents

Belk Bowl - Texas A&M v Wake Forest
Wake Forest Football Coach Dave Clawson
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
  • Marquel Lee, Linebacker, 2017, Oakland Raiders, 5th round, 168th overall pick
  • Jessie Bates III, Safety, 2018, Cincinnati Bengals, 2nd round, 54th overall pick
  • Duke Ejiofor, Defensive End, 2018, Houston Texans, 6th round, 177th overall pick
  • Josh Banks, Defensive Tackle, Undrafted Free Agent, Signed by New York Giants, 2017
  • K.J. Brent, Wide Receiver, Undrafted Free Agent, Signed by Oakland Raiders, 2016
  • Brandon Chubb, Linebacker, Undrafted Free Agent, Signed by Los Angeles Rams, 2016

It is likely that in the coming days Cam Serigne will be added to the list of undrafted free agents, and John Wolford and Jaboree Williams also have a chance at making a training camp roster. Look for guys like Greg Dortch to continue to add to this ever growing list within the next few years.