Coveting a Lombardi Trophy? Then draft a center from Boston College.
The Eagles have produced four centers who started in Super Bowls – John Fitzgerald, Tom Nalen, Damien Woody and Dan Koppen. Fitzgerald and Koppen started three Super Bowls apiece, Nalen two and Woody one. They collected six championship rings in those nine starts.
Fitzgerald won in 1978 with the Dallas Cowboys, Nalen in back-to-back seasons with the Denver Broncos in 1998-99, Woody with the New England Patriots in 2002 and Koppen also with the Patriots in 2004-05. In addition, Fitzgerald and Woody won second rings in backup capacities. That’s eight Super Bowl rings for four Boston College centers.
A ninth Super Bowl ring was won by another Boston College player who snapped the football – Steve DeOssie. He was one of the greatest long snappers in NFL history and won his ring with the New York Giants in 1990. He played 12 seasons.
Nalen played 14 seasons, started 188 games and went to five Pro Bowls. Woody played 12 seasons, started 166 games and went to a Pro Bowl. So did Hoppen, who played 10 seasons and started 132 games. Fitzgerald was the only one of the fraternity who did not go to a Pro Bowl. He started 109 games.
The list of great centers from Boston College does not end there. Don Macek played 14 seasons with the San Diego Chargers and was the offensive starting point at center during the Air Coryell era. He started 150 games and was voted to San Diego’s 50th anniversary team. He also has been enshrined in the franchise’s Hall of Fame.
Woody was a first-round pick, Macek a second, Fitzgerald a fourth, Koppen a fifth and Nalen a seventh.
Nalen would pencil in at center on the all-time Boston College NFL team. The Eagles have two Hall of Famers on the team – defensive tackles Ernie Stautner and Art Donovan. That position is the deepest in talent at Boston College. In addition to the two Hall of Famers, the Eagles have produced Pro Bowlers Fred Smerlas and Joe Nash plus first-round draft picks Chris Hovan and BJ Raji.
Here is the all-time Boston College NFL team:
QB—Matt Ryan, 2016 NFL MVP
HB—Troy Stradford, 1987 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year
FB—Alan Miller, Pro Bowl, 140 catches, 21 touchdowns
WR—Jim Colclough, Pro Bowl, 283 catches, 39 touchdowns
WR—Brian Brennan, 9 seasons, 334 catches, 20 touchdowns
TE—Mark Chmura, 3 Pro Bowls, 188 catches, 17 touchdowns
T—Anthony Costanzo, 10 seasons, 144 starts
T—Marc Colombo9 seasons, 95 starts
G—Chris Snee, 4 Pro Bowls, 10 seasons, 141 starts
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G—Ron Stone, 3 Pro Bowls, 12 seasons, 142 starts
C—Tom Nalen, 5 Pro Bowls, 14 seasons, 188 starts
DE—Larry Eisenhauer, 4 Pro Bowls, 9 seasons, 44 sacks
DT—Ernie Stautner, Hall of Fame
DT—Art DonovanHall of Fame
NT—Fred Smerlas, 5 Pro Bowls, 14 seasons, 153 starts
OLB—Bill Romanowski, 2 Pro Bowls, 16 seasons, 1,118 tackles
MLB—Luke Kuechly, 7 Pro Bowls, 8 seasons, 1,092 tackles
*-OLB—Harold Landry, Pro Bowl, 4 seasons, 31 sacks
*-CB—Anthony Brown, 6 seasons, 57 starts, 9 steals
*-CB—Isaac Yiadom, 4 seasons, 20 starts, 1 steal
*-S—Justin Simmons, Pro Bowl, 6 seasons, 21 steals
*-S—John Johnson, 5 seasons, 63 starts, 11 steals
K—Fred Steinfort, 7 seasons, 311 points, 63 FGs
KR—Kelvin Martin, 10 seasons, 261 punt returns, 3 touchdowns
ST—Vinny Ciurciu, 8 seasons, 15 ST tackles for Vikings in 2007
LS—Steve DeOssie, 12 seasons, Super Bowl ring