A look at the college connections between the Texans and Dolphins.
Let's head back to campus.
My background is in collegiate football, so I legitimately look forward to seeing the college connection list each week. It is always fun for me to think back about current NFL players back in their college days, both to see if they turned out how I thought and also to reminisce on some of the great teams of the past.
Think about it.
The main connection, which you will read about below, features two top defensive lineman. Go back to 2007 (through 2009) and imagine being an offensive lineman and having to face Ndamukong Suh and Jared Crick for 60 minutes. Or to have to try and contain an LSU offense with Alfred Blue and Jarvis Landry (and Odell Beckham for that matter). That's a tall order.
As I mentioned, the Crick/Suh connection is probably the most recognizable when you examine the Texans and Dolphins roster. The two played together at Nebraska from 2007-09. Crick has blossomed into a three-down player for head coach Bill O'Brien, while Suh is widely recognized as one of the best interior lineman in the league. The two have combined for 371 tackles and over 40 sacks (Suh is responsible for 36 of them). The pair will once again share a field on Sunday in Miami.
Blue and Landry provided the week's best picture, thanks to the hard work of LSU sports information star Jake Terry. Terry found a great photo from 2012, with Blue and Landry celebrating in the end zone after a Bayou Bengal touchdown. You can see the picture below.
Perhaps the most unique connection this week happened right down the road in College Station. Texans punter Shane Lechler was not only a teammate of now Dolphins head coach Dan Campbell, but was actually roommates back in their time as Aggies. As you can read in this great profile by John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, Lechler and Campbell were a part of a pretty famous foursome (at least in the sports world) that shared quarters while at Texas A&M. Below is the team picture from that season, with really bad circles (that's on me) drawn around the now Houston punter and Miami head man.
The rest of this week's connections are below.
-- Texans LB Brian Cushing played at USC with Dolphins TE Jordan Cameron (2007-08)
-- Texans TE C.J. Fiederowicz played at Iowa while Dolphins Senior Offensive Assistant Ken O'Keefe and Assistant Defensive Line Coach Charlie Bullen coached there (2009-11)
-- Texans Defensive Line Coach Paul Pasqualoni coached at Syracuse while Dolphins Assistant Linebackers Coach David Corrao coached there (2000-03)
-- Texans C Ben Jones and LB Akeem Dent played at Georgia with Dolphins S Reshad Jones (2007-09)
-- Texans WR Jaelen Strong played at Arizona State with Dolphins G Jamil Douglas (2013-14)
-- Texans Assistant Special Teams Coach Doug Colman coached at Coastal Carolina while Dolphins WR Matt Hazel was there (2012-13)
-- Texans DT Brandon Dunn played at Louisville with Dolphins WR DeVante Parker (2011-13)
-- Texans S Lonnie Ballentine played at Memphis with Dolphins CB Bobby McCain (2011-13)
-- Texans WR Keith Mumphery and LB Max Bullough played at Michigan State with Dolphins CB Tony Lippett (2012-14) and TE Dion Sims (2010-12)
-- Texans LB John Simon played at Ohio State with Dolphins TE Jake Stoneburner (2009-12)
-- Texans Linebackers Coach Mike Vrabel was coaching at Ohio State while Simon and Stoneburner played there (2011-12)
-- Texans S Eddie Pleasant played at Oregon with Dolphins LB Spencer Paysinger (2008-10)