Five former Co-Lin Wolves in the NFL
WESSON – The end of July ushers in the beginning of NFL training camps all around the nation. Look closely and a number of former Co-Lin football players will appear on rosters throughout the league. Former Co-Lin defensive lineman Nick Fairley is beginning his fourth season as a member of the Detroit Lions. The Lions are led by first-year head coach Jim Caldwell. Fairley, the 13th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, is entering the final year of his contract. The Mobile, Alabama, native has reportedly lost 30 pounds in the offseason in preparation for training camp, which begins on Monday in Allen Park, Michigan. Fairley suited up at Co-Lin in 2008 before going on to Auburn where he won the 2010 Lombardi Award and recorded five tackles, a sack and a forced fumble in Auburn’s 2011 BCS National Championship win.
Former Co-Lin linebacker Tim Dobbins is the gray beard of the Wolfpack alums in the NFL. Dobbins begins his ninth season in the league with a new team this year, the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons began training camp on July 25 in Flowery Branch, Georgia. The popular behinds the scenes television show that looks at training camp, HBO’s Hard Knocks, will film at Falcon’s camp this season. Dobbins is the only Co-Lin alum in the NFL who was not recruited to play in Wesson by current Co-Lin head coach Glenn Davis. Dobbins played at Co-Lin in 2002 and 2003 for former head coach David Poinsett. After graduation, Dobbins signed with Iowa State and was an All-Big 12 selection his senior season. He was selected in the fifth round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers. The Nashville, Tennessee, native spent four seasons with the Chargers, one season with the Miami Dolphins and three seasons with the Houston Texans.
Former Co-Lin defensive back DeQuan Menzie will also be trying to catch on with a new team in the NFC South as he begins training camp with the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers began camp on July 26 in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Menzie signed with the Panthers on Jan. 3. He was drafted in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. Menzie has also spent time as a member of the Detroit Lions. Menzie, who prepped in Columbus, Georgia, was a member of the 2012 BCS National Championship team at the University of Alabama. He was named an AFCA First Team All-American in 2011.
Menzie won’t have to look hard to find a friend on the Panthers as he is joined by his former Co-Lin teammate, Oscar Johnson. Johnson, an offensive lineman, is in his first year as a member of the Panthers after signing on Jan. 3. Johnson spent time in 2013 on the practice squad of the Tennessee Titans. The Crystal Springs native signed with Tennessee as an undrafted free agent after playing at Louisiana Tech. Johnson, competing for a position at tackle, is listed on the Panthers roster at 6-foot-6 and 345 pounds.
The final former member of the Wolfpack in the league is defensive lineman Kendrick Adams. Adams is in his first season with the New York Giants. The Giants began training camp on July 22 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Adams signed as an undrafted free agent with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2012 after playing at LSU. He has also spent time on the rosters of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions and, most recently, the Cleveland Browns. Adams came to Co-Lin as an Auburn signee out of Enterprise, Alabama. After not seeing much action as a freshman at tight end, Adams was moved to defensive end and saw his recruitment blossom. He started at defensive end in the 2012 BCS National Championship for the LSU Tigers.