Little Brothers Looking To Make Name For Themselves


We often hear about how the NFL is like a brotherhood.

On Sundays, guys will do whatever it takes to come out victorious, but when they step outside those lines, they’ll tell you how closely connected players are around the league.

To take things even further, there are actual real blood brother connections in the league right now. Having said that, let’s take this time to acknowledge incoming rookies who currently have brothers on an active roster.

Kendall Fuller, CB, Washington Redskins – Kendall was the fourth Fuller to play at Virginia Tech and now he will be the fourth one to play in the NFL.

Vincent played seven seasons, while Corey and Kyle currently play for Detroit and Chicago respectively.

Before tearing his ACL back in September, many had Kendall pinned as a first round selection, but that injury hurt his stock a bit. However, he should be ready to go pretty soon. 

“I’ll definitely be good by training camp,” Fuller said confidentially. “Right now they’re just taking it slow, so [doctors] can see where I’m at for themselves. But I’m moving along quick.”

After the huge acquisition of cornerback Josh Norman, there isn’t much pressure on Fuller to come in and be the man right away.

Head coach Jay Gruden has a plan set in mind.

“I think [Fuller] is big enough to play corner, but we also think he’s got a skillset to play nickel, which is very important,” Gruden stated. “Ideally, we’d like to keep him at nickel, and keep Bashaud Breeland outside.

“If he can play outside, we can move Breeland inside to nickel. I think he’s got a skillset where he can play both corner and nickel, which is very important nowadays to be versatile.”

Nick Martin, OG, Houston Texans – Just like his brother Zack, Nick will be playing in Texas, but in Houston not Dallas. 

“We talked before this, (but) I honestly don’t have too much time to talk to him right now,” Nick speaking on his older brother. “I’m working a lot. But, yeah, any questions that I have, I obviously talk to him about it.”

The Texans selected Nick with the 50th overall pick in the second round.

With Ben Jones leaving for Tennessee, Nick is expected to compete with Tony Bergstrom for the starting center position. With that being said, Houston is hopeful Nick can be like his brother, who has made the Pro Bowl each of his first two seasons.

“There’s a lot of opportunities,” Martin stressed. “At the end of the day, it’s a job, and it falls on you to study and keep up with that.”

Carl Nassib, OLB, Cleveland Browns – Considering his older brother, Ryan, is a quarterback, it makes sense as to why Carl chases quarterbacks down for a living.

Coming out of high school, Carl wasn’t looked at as this elite guy. Matter of fact, Carl was a walk-on at Penn State.

Despite his status, Carl always believed he would be in the NFL one day, which was totally absurd to former Penn State head coach and current Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien.

“You could see that he had good instincts. This is how smart I am, I questioned how important football was to him. He said to me, ‘Football is really important to me. I’m going to play pro football.’ I said to him, ‘Are you kidding me? You’re going to play pro football? You need to be concerned about playing at Penn State, forget about pro football.’ He proved me wrong,” O’Brien admitted.

Carl used those words as motivation.

“A lot of players would go crying to their parents, but I didn’t even tell my parents. I was kind of embarrassed to tell my parents because I had never been yelled at like that in a long time. I have such a high respect for Bill O’Brien,” Nassib continued.

“I always had dreams of playing in the NFL since as long as I can remember. A lot of people did not agree with that and that never deterred me from my dream. Bill O’Brien told me what he thought, I kept working hard and I never let it phase me.”

With training camp right around the corner, it’ll be interesting to see how these younger siblings develop over time.

About Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels is an NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has several years of experience covering the NFL and NCAA football. He's the radio color commentator for Lincoln University football. Mark's work has been featured on Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports and Yard Barker.