The ultimate goal for many parents is to see their children successfully follow in their footsteps. For retired professional athletes, that means watching their sons or daughters grow up and play the same sport. Some famous father-son combinations in sports include Ken Griffey Sr. and Jr. in baseball and Gary Payton and new Golden State Warriors star Gary Payton II. Of course, this isn’t just about the parent/child connection. Uncles, aunts, and grandparents can also pass down their craft to the younger members of their families.
The sport of football has the same bloodlines, and the evidence is present in the class of 2022. These recruits have familiar last names and skills that resemble their famous fathers, uncles, and grandfathers. Here is a sneak peek at who could meet or possibly surpass the previous generation’s achievements on the gridiron. The names listed below are in alphabetical order, not ranking.
Photo via: https://www.widerightnattylite.com/2021/4/9/22373998/3-star-quarterback-rocco-becht-commits-to-iowa-state
Rocco Becht – Son of former TE Anthony Becht
Rocco has committed to Iowa State and is the son of 11 year veteran Anthony Becht, who played for five teams in that span. The number 30 ranked QB almost became a second-generation WVU Mountaineer, but Iowa State successfully swayed him over.
Brett Davis – Son of OL Antone Davis
The younger Davis is a successful quarterback, but his dad played for seven seasons as a pro in the role of an offensive lineman. They will both have SEC connections. Antone played for Tennessee while Brett will take his talents to South Carolina.
Owen McCown – Son of Josh McCown, nephew of Luke McCown
Josh McCown may be recognized as one of the most well-traveled veterans in sports, having played quarterback for 12 teams in 18 seasons. Owen, who will be going to school at Colorado is also the nephew of five team player Luke McCown. If Owen’s potential stands in the pros, he won’t have to worry much about moving himself.
Cole Pennington has some big shoes to fill at Marshall because his dad went to the same school, and he was a Heisman Trophy finalist in 1999. Chad is also Cole’s current coach at Lexington Sayre School in Kentucky. Cole is a top 100 prospect, and won’t be too far away from home if he needs guidance.
The son with the most pressure maybe this young man. His dad is only a Super Bowl winning quarterback, former MVP, and current Hall of Famer Kurt Warner. As of right now, he hadn’t committed to a school, but he has generated interest from numerous programs including Marshall, Hawaii, and Northern Colorado.
Other Prominent Offensive Players
TE Mason Taylor – Son of Defensive End Jason Taylor, nephew of Linebacker Zach Thomas
Taylor is an offensive player who has sat under the learning tree of two legendary defensive players. Father Jason and uncle Zach Taylor were teammates in Miami. Mason’s brother, Isaiah is playing safety at Arizona, but he will be on the other side of the ball at LSU next year.
TE Jake Johnson – Son of Quarterback Brad Johnson
Brad Johnson won a championship as the starting quarterback in Tampa almost 20 years ago. Son Jake will actually be lining up as a tight end alongside the previously mentioned Taylor as a LSU Tiger in 2022. At 6’5″ and around 225 pounds, Jake Johnson could be a problem for defenses as both a receiver and blocker.
RB Eden James – Son of Edgerrin James
Edgerrin James was an intense and powerful running back for Indianapolis in the early years of the Peyton Manning era. He was a former Offensive Rookie of the Year, and has been enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Son Eden is a three-star back that can hit the line hard and be elusive, which will be great assets when he takes handoffs at Howard next year.
Ahmad Bradshaw has two rings to his credit as the ball carrier for New York. As a former member of the Thundering Herd, he is likely rooting for his son, Xavian, to accept an offer from Marshall to play college ball there. As of right now, he hadn’t made a final decision. At 6 feet tall and 185 pounds, he can see over the line and move quickly when necessary.
WR Rex Haynes – Son of CB Mike Haynes
At 6’4″, Rex Haynes is a gifted receiver from Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego, CA. He’s currently contemplating four offers that are on the table for him. His father is Mike Haynes, who was a part of a championship team in 1983 and resides in both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame.
Prominent Defensive Players
DB Zion Branch – Srandson of WR Cliff Branch
The defensive side of the field will also be graced by next-generation and next level talent. Among them is Zion Branch, who is the grandson of a champion wide receiver. There are many schools in competition for Zion’s services. Right behind him is younger brother Zachariah, who is a wide-out in the class of 2023.
There are numerous Power Five schools vying to recruit this young man. Even though his last name is Little, he’s been a big-time player for Plantation American Heritage in Florida. His father was an undrafted player who spent seven seasons with three teams (New Orleans, Green Bay, Cleveland) in the pro ranks.
LB Micah Pollard – Son of TE Marcus Pollard, nephew of WR Braylon Edwards
Micah Pollard is all too familiar with being successful in football thanks to both his father and uncle. They were both offensive players, while Micah is a standout linebacker. Michigan won his services starting next year, and he will be chasing quarterbacks in Ann Arbor while hoping to eventually advance to the next level.
CB Bobby Taylor Jr. – Son of DB Bobby Taylor Sr.
Fans at Texas A&M are excited about their future thanks to this young man’s acceptance to join their school. His work at Katy in Texas made him a favorite statewide. His father has over 100 games of experience as a pro, compiling over 300 tackles along the way, 19 interceptions, and 2 defensive touchdowns along the way.
Wiggins Jr. is currently in Maine, but he will go to Arizona next year. He has experience on both sides of the ball as a defensive lineman and wide receiver. His 6’5″ frame makes him a valuable weapon for the coaches and a dual-threat for the opposing teams. His father played college in Georgia and for six teams in the pros as a tight end. He secured a ring in New England in 2001.