While the status of the NFL season is always hanging in the balance due to potential COVID-19 spikes or cases, the season has started with little to no COVID-19 impact. This has given us some sense of normalcy. Several Charlotte alumni have made a recent impact in the NFL in just the first couple weeks of the season. Charlotte has had four players drafted in its history, most recently Alex Highsmith and Cameron Clark in April of 2020.
Larry OgunJobi, Defensive Tackle, Cleveland Browns
A savvy four-year veteran, Larry OgunJobi had an outstanding week one performance against the Baltimore Ravens. OgunJobi was after the ball every snap accounting for three solo tackles and one forced fumble. His time with the Browns has been largely successful with a total of 121-tackles and 12-sacks. OgunJobi and the Browns have a week three matchup with The Washington Football Team. OgunJobi graduated from Charlotte in 2017.
Alex Highsmith, Linebacker, Pittsburgh Steelers
The 23-year-old rookie linebacker was a highly sought after player out of college. Alex Highsmith had a senior season for the record books at Charlotte in the 2019-2020 season leading the 49ers to their first bowl appearance ever. In his NFL debut, Highsmith and the Pittsburgh defense held Giants superstar running back Saquon Barkley to only six yards rushing. Alex accounted for one solo tackle in route to the victory.
Nate Davis, Offensive Tackle, Tennessee Titans
Nate Davis was selected as a late third round draft pick in the 2019 NFL draft. His impact was immediate and took over the starting right guard job in week five of the 2019-2020 NFL season. Davis and the Titans offensive line have had huge success in both the run game and passing game. He blocks for one of the league's top rushers in Derrick Henry, and gives quarterback Ryan Tannehill time in the pocket to make the right pass.
Other Notable Niners
Undrafted free agent, Benny LeMay was signed by the Cleveland Browns after the draft concluded and has been a member of the practice squad and practiced with the team during training camp. LeMay has two phenomenal running backs to learn from as he progresses in his career in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.
Fourth-round draft pick, Cam Clark will look to make an impact for the New York Jets on the offensive line. Clark said, “I just want to come in and attack what Coach Pollack wants me to improve on,” Clark told reporters during training camp. Clark just graduated from Charlotte in 2020.
The future of these alumni is very bright and shows the promising future of the Charlotte Football program.