Oct. 8, 2002

The University of Notre Dame had 38 of its former football players participating in the opening of National Football League play in 2002, according to figures released by the league based on opening-day active rosters. The Irish now have produced either the first- or second-highest total in that category for eight straight years.

The Irish led all Division I schools for five straight years from 1995 through ’99.

Notre Dame in 2002 (along with Michigan) had 38 former players on opening-day rosters, behind only the 39 by Florida and Florida State.

Here are the former Fighting Irish now active in the pros (R indicates rookie):

Atlanta Falcons
DB Allen Rossum

Baltimore Ravens
WR Javin Hunter R
DL Anthony Weaver R

Buffalo Bills
LB Anthony Denman
SS Tony Driver
DL Grant Irons

Chicago Bears
OG Mike Gandy
LB Bobbie Howard

Cincinnati Bengals
DB Jeff Burris
DT Oliver Gibson

Denver Broncos
QB Steve Beuerlein
LB Bert Berry
QB Jarious Jackson

Detroit Lions
CB Todd Lyght
TE John Owens R

Green Bay Packers
RB Tony Fisher R

Indianapolis Colts
P Hunter Smith

Miami Dolphins
C Tim Ruddy
FS Shawn Wooden

New England Patriots
FB Marc Edwards
WR David Givens R

New Orleans Saints
K John Carney

New York Giants
DT Lance Legree
OT Luke Petitgout
OG Mike Rosenthal
C Dusty Zeigler

Oakland Raiders
WR Tim Brown
QB Rick Mirer

Philadelphia Eagles
DT Paul Grasmanis
LB Tyreo Harrison R
DB Bobby Taylor

Pittsburgh Steelers
RB Jerome Bettis

San Diego Chargers
RB Joey Goodspeed

San Francisco 49ers
DL Jim Flanigan
DT Bryant Young

Tennessee Titans
LB Rocky Boiman R
P Craig Hentrich

Washington Redskins
DL Renaldo Wynn

Other players affiliated with teams include TE Jabari Holloway (Houston Texans injured reserve list), WR Raghib Ismail (Dallas Cowboys injured reserve), TE Dan O’Leary (signed by Pittsburgh Steelers since start of season), OL Kurt Vollers (Indianapolis Colts practice squad), DL Junior Bryant (San Francisco 49ers reserve/physically unable to perform list), DB Deke Cooper (Carolina Panthers practice squad) and DB Brock Williams (New England Patriots practice squad).