The wait is over. Flashback Friday is back, baby. This week’s topic was inspired by a trip I took on Wednesday. I was in Cambridge, right near Harvard. And so, having been around the campus, I was able to see up close just how beautiful it is. And some of what all the hubbub is really about.
It also got me thinking about Ryan Fitzpatrick. He played for the Crimson for four years, and then entered the NFL Draft. And he was selected in the seventh round by the Rams in 2005. He is still in the league today.
So, let’s talk about a few of the Harvard athletes around the pros. About their college careers.
Let’s start with the guy I discussed in the beginning of this article. Fitzmagic has bounced from team to team over the course of his NFL career. But, he did attend just one college. Harvard, of course. He was a two-year starter for the Crimson, backing up Neil Rose from 2001-02.
He had five starts in that span, though. He threw for 1,155 yards and eight TD’s across five starts in 2002. He ran for an additional 523 yards and five scores, not throwing a single interception. So, it was a no-brainer that he would take the reins the following season.
In 2003, Fitz threw for 1,770 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also got picked off eight times in his seven starts during that junior campaign. The Crimson finished with a 7-3 mark.
And as a Senior in 2004, he lit the league on fire. He was elected as the Ivy League Player of the Year, also taking home the George H. “Bulger” Lowe award. Fitz threw for 1,986 yards and 13 touchdowns, with six picks. The team went 10-0 and won the Ivy League championship.
All in all, he had 5,234 yards, 39 TD’s, and 15 INT’s. He ran for 1,487 yards and 16 touchdowns across 365(!) carries. He was fantastic. Now, he’s in year 17 in the NFL.
A lot of people (claim to) know the story of Jeremy Lin. Four years at Harvard, and then cut by two NBA teams within two years. He signed a contract with the Knicks, and then found his place in the league. He won a title in Toronto. And that was that. But, let’s talk about the days before he was sleeping on Landry Shamet’s couch in NY.
Lin was primarily a backup during his freshman year in 2006-07, averaging 5-3-2 for the Crimson. In year two, he saw more opportunities. He averaged 13-5-4, stepping his game up with the added opportunity.
Junior year was his best, without a doubt. Lin put up 18-6-4, shooting 50% from the floor and 40% from three across 28 appearances. The 40 threes he made were the most out of any of his campaigns for Harvard.
His senior year saw Lin average 16-4-4, making an impressive 52% of his attempts. He averaged 32 minutes per game. The minute stats are not available from his first three seasons.
Lin’s pro career is now over, but he had quite the journey. Linsanity forever.
Kyle Juszczyk has two Z’s in his last name, a claim that many people cannot stake. I’m fortunate to have one in my first name, but this man is flaunting it. He played four years of tight end at Harvard, before being drafted by the Baltimore Ravens.
Across his four years, Juice was a popular player. He put up career totals of 125 receptions, 1,576 yards, and 22 touchdowns. He played under Tim Murphy and was a unanimous First-Team All-Ivy League selection.
When he caught a touchdown pass from Jimmy Garoppolo in the 2020 Super Bowl, he became the first Harvard alumnus to do so. In all he has 15 career regular season touchdowns. Three rushing and 12 receiving. He got a nice payday last spring, receiving $27 million as part of a five-year deal with San Fran.
Thank You for Reading!
I hope you enjoyed this piece as much as I enjoyed being inside the Harvard Bookstore. Going to college in Massachusetts, I frequented Boston. But I was never really in Cambridge. Let me just say, it’s incredible to be on the campus of Harvard.
And you can bet your leftover popcorn you forgot to finish at the movie theater last night that there will be plenty of Flashback Friday pieces on Knup Sports coming your way soon.