Brother Rice lineman joins 85 other CHSL players who’ve made it to the NFL

Members of the NFL’s 2011 draft class are pictured in this file photo. Throughout its history, 86 football players from the Detroit Catholic High School League have gone on to play professional football, including three who are currently in the league. (Marianne O'Leary | Wikimedia Commons CC-BY-2.0)

METRO AREA — Only one Catholic High School football player was selected in the recent National Football League draft.

Larry Borom, a 6-foot-6, 332-pound lineman from Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice, was drafted in the fifth round by the Chicago Bears. He signed a 4-year, $3,813,080 contract with the Bears to become the 86th CHSL player who has made it to the NFL ranks.

Two others are still playing. Tight end Allen Robinson from Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Prep recently signed a one-year contract worth $17.9 million to remain with the Chicago Bears, where he has played the last three years.

The other is defensive lineman Mike Danna from Warren De La Salle who inked a three-year $3.295 million contract with the Kansas City Chiefs. He played in Super Bowl LV in February that the Chiefs lost to Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

What follows is a lineup of the CHSL players who’ve made it to the pro football ranks, including their high school and college roots.

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Gordon Bowdell (1966) Wide receiver (Michigan State): Played one year, in 1971, for the Denver Broncos; caught one pass for a 19-yard gain. In three years at Michigan State (1968-1970), he caught 52 passes for 801 yards and five touchdowns.


Matt Baker (2001) Quarterback (North Carolina): Between signing as a free agent with the Houston Texans after the 2006 draft and 2009, he signed on with the Dallas Cowboys (third QB behind Tony Romo and Drew Bledsoe), New Orleans Saints, Arizona Cardinals, Miami Dolphins, and the Buffalo Bills, where he was placed on injured reserve and eventually became a free agent.

Larry Borom (2017) Offensive lineman (Missouri): A 6-foot-6, 332 pound lineman drafted by Chicago Bears in 2021 out of Missouri, where in three seasons he started 32 of 33 games. He was ranked the 16th-best tackle in the country and the Southeast Conference’s leading pass-blocker his senior year at Missouri. He signed a four-year, $3,813,080 contract including a $333,080 signing bonus, $333,080 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $953,270.

Brian Brennan (c.1980) Wide receiver (Boston College): Played for Cleveland Browns (1984-1991), Cincinnati Bengals (1992) and San Diego Chargers (1992). In 132 career games, he caught 334 passes for 4,336 yards and 20 TDs.

Jim Browne (c.1980) Running back (Northwestern, Boston College): Played in two games for the Oakland Raiders in 1987. In college, he averaged 3.7 yards for 127 carries and one TD.

Brad Cochran (1981) Defensive back (Michigan): Drafted by the Los Angeles Raiders in 1986, he signed a three-year contract with the Raiders, injured his back during the fourth pre-season game, ending his football career. At Michigan, he was a consensus 1985 All American.

Greg Collins (c.1969) Linebacker (Notre Dame): Appeared in career total of 38 games for the San Francisco 49ers (1975), Seattle Seahawks (1976), and Buffalo Bills (1977). He played on the 1973 Notre Dame national championship team under Ara Parseghian

Mel Farr Jr. (c.1984) Running back (UCLA): Played one year for the Los Angeles Rams in 1989. At UCLA, he scored four TDs running and two via a pass.

Mike Farr (c.1985) Wide receiver (UCLA): In 42 games with the Detroit Lions (1990-1992), he caught 69 passes for 714 yards and one touchdown. At UCLA, he caught 130 passes for 1,514 yards and two touchdowns.

Bob Kula (1985) Offensive tackle (Michigan State): Drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in 1990. He played two seasons with the Montreal Machine of the World League of American Football. At MSU, he was a 1989 consensus All American.

T. J. Lang (c.2005) Guard (Eastern Michigan): Played 119 games for Green Bay Packers (2009-2016), 19 for Detroit Lions (2017-2018). Selected for the Pro Bowl in 2016 and 2017. On Green Bay’s roster in XLV Super Bowl that the Packers beat Pittsburgh. 31-25.

Mike Lodish (c.1986) Defensive tackle, End (UCLA): Played 74 games for Buffalo Bills (1990-1994) and 92 games for the Denver Broncos (1995-2000). He played in six Super Bowls: four with Buffalo (XXV-VI-VII-VIII) and two with Denver (XXXII and XXXIII).

Pete Mitchell (c.1991) Tight end (Boston College): Played 80 games for the Jacksonville Jaguars (1995-1998; 2002), 20 for the New York Giants (1999-2000), and five for the Detroit Lions in 2001. In 114 regular season games, he compiled 279 receptions for 2,885 yards and 15 touchdowns. In 2000’s Super Bowl XXXV, he caught a pass for seven yards in the Giants’ 34-7 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

Steve Morrison (c.1990) Linebacker (Michigan): In 58 games with the Indianapolis Colts (1995-1998), he intercepted two passes, recovered four fumbles, had two sacks and 107 solo tackles. He intercepted seven passes at Michigan. Noteworthy: Barbara Morrison, Steve’s mother, says Steve was read his last rites on the day of his birth because he had the same lung disease that Patrick Kennedy, the son of United States President John F. Kennedy, died from. He was then put in an incubator where his mother could not touch him for 12 months. 

Gemara Williams (2001) Defensive back (Buffalo): Played in 2006-2008 with the New England Patriots in minimal duty as a kick returner and nickel back. He played in 2008-2009 in the Canadian Football League with the Montreal Alouettes and Edmonton Eskimos.


Joe DeLamielleure (1969) Guard (Michigan State): An All‑American at Michigan State, he played 13 seasons in the NFL: eight with Buffalo (1973-1979) and five with Cleveland (1980-1984). He became the first player ever to block for a 2,000-yard rusher (O. J. Simpson at Buffalo) and a 4,000-yard passer (quarterback Brian Sipe at Cleveland). He was named to the first team of the Pro Football Hall of Fame All 1970s Team. Noteworthy: he is also the first living NFL player to be tested and diagnosed with CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy).


Jeff Chadwick (c.1979) Wide receiver (Grand Valley State): He was never drafted by a National Football League team, but did play in 126 games over 10 NFL seasons for the Detroit Lions (1983-1989), Seattle Seahawks (1989-1991) and Los Angeles Rams (1992), catching 292 passes for 4,549 yards and 27 touchdowns. He was named to the 1983 NFL All-Rookie team.

Gary Danielson (c.1969) Quarterback (Purdue): Played for the Detroit Lions (1978-1984) and the Cleveland Browns (1985; 1987-1988). In 101 games, he completed 1,105 passes for 13,764 yards and 81 touchdowns. He led five fourth quarter comebacks and 11 game-winning drives. At Purdue in 1971, he led the Big Ten with a 57 percent completion rate and 10 touchdown passes. Noteworthy: He is currently working for CBS Sports as a college football commentator and previously held the same position for ABC Sports.

Tom Dohring (c.1986) Tackle (Michigan): He played in three games for the Kansas City Chiefs in 1992. At Michigan from 1987 to 1990, he started 34 consecutive games.


George Wilson Jr. (c.1961) Quarterback (Xavier University): In his one-year pro career in 1966 with the Miami Dolphins, he played in 14 games, completed 46 of 112 passes for 764 yards and 5 TDs, with 10 interceptions. He died August 6, 2011, at the age of  68. Noteworthy: At the time, the Dolphins’ head coach was his father, George Wilson, Sr. 


Paul Butcher (c.1981) Linebacker (Wayne State): He played in a total of 134 games for the Detroit Lions (1987-1988), Los Angeles Rams (1989-1992), Indianapolis Colts (1993-1994), Carolina Panthers (1995), and Oakland Raiders (1996).


Derrick Alexander (c.1989) Wide receiver (Michigan): Played for the Cleveland Browns (1994-1995), Baltimore Colts (1996-1997), Kansas City Chiefs (1998-2001) and Minnesota Vikings (2002). In 126 games, he caught 417 passes for 6,971 yards and 40 touchdowns. At Michigan, he caught 22 TD passes.


Larry Vargo (c.1958) Defensive back (Detroit Mercy): Played for the Detroit Lions (1962-1963), Minnesota Vikings (1964-1965), and New York Giants (1966). In 57 games, he made six interceptions and recovered three fumbles. He caught 12 TD passes in three years at Detroit Mercy.


Tom Beer (c.1962 ) Tight end (Houston): Played three years (1967-1969) for the Denver Broncos in the American Football League and three years (1970-1972) for the Boston/New England Patriots in the NFL. In 79 games, he caught 65 passes for 1,012 yards and four touchdowns. At Houston, he caught 48 passes for seven TDs.

Gary Nowak (c.1966) Defensive tackle (Michigan State): Played in six games for the San Diego Chargers in 1971. He died Dec. 7, 2017, at the age of 69.

John Charles “Jack” Simmons (1942) Offensive lineman (Detroit Mercy): Played in a total of 106 games for the Baltimore Colts (1948), the Detroit Lions (1949-1950), and the Chicago Cardinals (1951-1956). He died Sept. 17, 1978, at the age of 53. 


Dan Currie (c.1953) Linebacker (Michigan State): Played for the Green Bay Packers (1958-1964) and the Los Angeles Rams (1965-1966). In 118 games, he intercepted 11 passes, returning one for a TD. Between 1961 and 1963, he was named to seven First Team All Pro Teams. He was a 1957 Consensus All-America at Michigan State. 


George Goeddeke (c.1963) Guard, Tackle (Notre Dame): Played his entire 66-game (61 starts) pro career with the Denver Broncos (1967-1972). He was named to play in the 1969 Pro Bowl.


Alan Ball (c.2003) Defensive back (Illinois): Played for the Dallas Cowboys (2007-2011), Houston Oilers (2012), Jacksonville Jaguars (2013-2014), and Chicago Bears (2015). In 108 games, he intercepted six passes and made 194 solo tackles. He had 88 solo tackles and two interceptions in two years at Illinois.

Rodney Culver (c.1988) Running back (Notre Dame): Played for the Indianapolis Colts (1992-1993) and the San Diego Chargers (1994-1995). In 43 games, he rushed for 689 yards and 13 touchdowns. At Notre Dame, he rushed for 1,679 yards and 15 TDs.

Troy Kyles (c.1986) Wide receiver (Howard): Played in nine games for the New York Giants in 1990.

Lamar Mills (c.1989) Defensive end (Indiana): Played in 13 games for the Washington Redskins in 1994.


Connor Barwin (2005) Linebacker (Cincinnati): Played 10 years (2009-2018) with the Houston Oilers (4 years), Philadelphia Eagles (4) and a year each with Los Angeles Rams and New York Giants. Played in 142 games; 77 tackles for a loss, 96 assists, 56.5 sacks. Selected to 2014 Pro Bowl with the Eagles. At Cincinnati, he led the Big East with 11 sacks as linebacker in 2008.

Pat Heenan (c.1956), Defensive back (Notre Dame): Played in 12 games during two years with the Washington Redskins, 1960 and 1961. Noteworthy: He became the only players to begin his collegiate career in the “interhall” league, that is the intramural tackle football league at Notre Dame, and end their career in the NFL.

Bruce Maher (c.1955) Defensive back (Detroit Mercy): Played for the Detroit Lions (1960-1967) and New York Giants (1968-1969). In 136 games, he intercepted 22 passes and recovered four fumbles. At Detroit Mercy, he scored 15 TDs running and five via the pass. He died July 6, 2018, at the age of 80.

Bill O’Brien (c.1942) Running back (Detroit Mercy): Played in nine games for the Detroit Lions in 1974He died on May 8, 2005, at the age of 80.

Jim Pietrzak (c.1971) Center, tackle (Eastern Michigan): Played in 140 games (22 starts) for the New York Giants (1974-1979), New Orleans Saints (1979-1984) and Kansas City Chiefs (1987). At Eastern Michigan, he was named to three All-American teams in 1973 as an offensive tackle. He died April 5, 2018, at age of 65.

Geoffrey Pope (c.2002) Defensive back (Eastern Michigan, Howard): Played in 15 games with the New York Giants, Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles from 2007 to 2009. Noteworthy: Although he was inactive, he earned a Super Bowl ring with the Giants’ 17-14 victory in Super Bowl XLII over the heavily favored New England Patriots.

Ron Rice (1991) Defensive back (Eastern Michigan): Played in 79 games over six years (1996-2001) with the Detroit Lions. He intercepted 12 passes.

Walter (Tillie) Voss (c.1915) End: In the early days of the National Football League (founded in 1920), he played for nine teams between 1921-1929. He died Dec. 14, 1975, at the age of 78. Noteworthy: During his time with the Green Bay Packers (in 1924), Voss, along with Frank Hanny of the Chicago Bears, were the first players to be ejected in a game in league history after exchanging punches. 

George Winn (c.2008) Running back (Cincinnati): He originally signed with the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent in 2013. He has also played for the New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions (12 games in 2014), New York Giants and Indianapolis Colts. In four years at Cincinnati, he rushed for 1,710 yards and 15 TDs.


Mike Varty (c.1970) Linebacker (Northwestern): Played in a total of eight games for the Washington Redskins in 1974 and the Baltimore Colts in 1975.


Braylon Edwards (c.2001) Wide receiver (Michigan): Played for the Cleveland Browns (2005-2008), New York Jets (2009-2910, 2012), San Francisco 49ers (2011), and Seattle Seahawks (2012). In 112 games, he caught 359 passes and scored 40 TDs. At Michigan, he rushed for 3,541 yards and 39 TDs.

Julius Curry (c.1997) Defensive back (Michigan): Played in three games for the Detroit Lions in 2003. At Michigan, he was a punt returner, averaging 11.3 yards for 45 returns.

Markus Curry (c.1999) Defensive back (Michigan): Played in two games for the San Diego Chargers in 2006.

Bill DuLac (c.1969) Guard (Eastern Michigan): Played in 26 games for the New England Patriots 1974-1975.


Mark Campbell (c.1993) Tight end (Michigan): Played for the Cleveland Browns (1999-2001), Buffalo Bills (2003-2005) and New Orleans Saints (2006, 2008). In 111 games, he caught 146 passes for 1,356 yards (9.3 average) and 12 TDs. Noteworthy: Campbell was a tight end selection in 1993 as a Football Parade All-American. 


Vince Banonis (c.1939) Center (Detroit Mercy): Played 10 years in the NFL: Chicago Cardinals (1942, 1944, 1946-1950) and Detroit Lions (1951-1953). Named All Pro eight times. Played on three NFL champions: 1947 Cardinals, 1952 and 1953 Lions. He was an All American in 1940 at the University of Detroit. He died in 2010 at the age of 89.

Doug Brzezinski (c.1994) Guard (Boston College): Played for Philadelphia Eagles (1999-2002) and Carolina Panthers (2003-2004). He started at left guard for all 16 games as a rookie; he was named to the 1999 NFL All-Rookie team. He played for Carolina in Super Bowl XXXVIII.

Matt Godin (2013) Defensive Tackle (Michigan): He was signed by Houston in 2017, placed on injured reserve, cut in 2018. At Michigan (2013-2016), he played in 30 games.

Bob Ivory (c.1942) Guard (Detroit Mercy): He appeared in three games for the Detroit Lions in 1947. He died Feb. 25, 1989, at the age of 65.

Mike Martin (2008) Defensive tackle (Michigan): In 46 games for the Tennessee Titans (2012-2015), he had four sacks and 12 QB hits. At Michigan, he recorded 70 solo tackles and 10 sacks.

Mark Messner (c.1983) Linebacker (Michigan): He appeared in four games for the Los Angeles Rams in 1989. He was a 1988 Consensus All-America at Michigan.

Brett Petersmark (c.1982) Center (Eastern Michigan): Played three games for the Houston Oilers in 1987. He was starting center for three years at Eastern Michigan.

Mike Varajon (c.1982) Running back (Toledo): In three games for the San Francisco 49ers in 1987, he carried the ball 18 times for 82 yards.

Jeff Wiska (c.1977) Guard (Michigan State): Played one game for the Cleveland Browns in 1986 and three games for the Miami Dolphins in 1987.

Paul Rudzinski (c.1974) Linebacker (Michigan State): He had two starts in 33 games for the Green Bay Packers (1978-1980) with one interception.

Greg Marx (c.1968) Defensive end (Notre Dame): He had no starts in 14 games with the Atlanta Falcons in 1973. He was a 1972 Consensus All-America at Notre Dame. He died Oct. 5, 2018, at the age of 68.

Bill Wightkin (c.1945) End (Notre Dame): In a 94-game career with the Chicago Bears (1950-1957), he caught 13 passes for 213 yards (16.4 average) and two TDs. At Notre Dame (1947-1949), he caught 31 passes for 565 yards (18.2 average) and two touchdowns. He died Jan. 25, 1997, at the age of 69.


Dave Bowens (1995) Defensive end (Eastern Illinois): Played for the Denver Broncos (1999), Green Bay Packers (2000), Miami Dolphins (2001-2006), New York Jets (2007-2008) and Cleveland Browns (2009-2010). In 167 games, he recorded four interceptions (two returned for TDs), eight fumble recoveries, 38.5 sacks, 245 solo tackles, and 34 QB hits.

Filmel Johnson (c.1988) Defensive back (Illinois): Played in two games for the Buffalo Bills in 1995.

Scott Kowalkowski (c.1986) Linebacker (Notre Dame) : He had a 158-game career with the Philadelphia Eagles (1991-1992) and the Detroit Lions (1994-2001). He intercepted one pass and recovered four fumbles.

Grant Mason (2001) defensive back (Michigan): Played in five games for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2007.

Leonard Renfro (c.1988) Defensive tackle (Colorado): Played in 23 games for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1993 and 1994. He was named to the 1993 NFJ All-Rookie team.

Allen Robinson (c.2011) Wide receiver (Penn State): He was drafted in the second round of the 2014 NFL draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he played for four years (2014-2017). He was selected to the 2015 Pro Bowl. Traded to the Chicago Bears (2018-2020) on a three-year, $42 million contract. In an 88-game career, he has caught 457 passes for 5,999 yards and 39 TDs. At Penn State, he led the Big Ten in receptions, yardage, and touchdowns, Noteworthy: He re-signed with the Bears for 2021 for a one-year, $17.9 million contract.

Sam Rogers (c.1988) Linebacker (Colorado): He had a 133-game NFL career playing for the Buffalo Bills (1994-2000), San Diego Chargers (2002) and Atlanta Falcons (2002-2003). He was named to the 1994 NFL All Rookie team.

Dion Sims (2009) Tight end (Michigan State): Played in 78 games for the Miami Dolphins (2013-2016) and the Chicago Bears (2017-2018). He caught 91 passes for 888 yards and nine TDs. In three years at Michigan State, he caught 59 passes for 707 yards and eight touchdowns.

Morgan Trent (2004) Defensive back (Michigan): In a 36-game career with the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars (2009-2011), he intercepted three passes and made five QB hits. In three years at Michigan, he had eight interceptions.


Tom Birney (c.1972) Kicker (Michigan State): Played 1979 and 1980 with the Green Bay Packers. He made 13 of 21 field goal attempts and 21 of 28 extra point attempts. At Michigan State (1974 and 1976), he was the punter, averaging 38 yards on 44 punts.


Fred Arbanas (c.1957) Tight End (Michigan State): He was drafted by the American Football League’s Dallas Texans (later the Kansas City Chiefs) in the 1961 AFL Draft and by the National Football League’s St. Louis Cardinals in the 1961 NFL Draft. He signed with the Texans for the 1961 season, but he missed that season due to ruptured disks in his back. In December 1964, he was brutally attacked by two men on a Kansas City sidewalk and lost sight in one eye. In his career as a tight end, he caught 198 passes for 3,101 yards and 34 touchdowns. He played in Super Bowl IV for Kansas City. He died April 16, 2021, at the age of 82.

Jack Clancy (c.1962) Wide receiver (Michigan): Played 36 games for the Miami Dolphins in 1967 and 1969 and the Green Bay Packers in 1970. He caught 104 passes for 1,401 yards and five TDs. He caught 10 TD passes in three years at Michigan.

Roger Donnahoo (c.1955) Defensive back (Michigan State): Played as safety for 14 games for the New York Titans in 1960. He intercepted five passes.

Archie Matsos (c.1952) Linebacker (Michigan State): Played for the Buffalo Bills (1960-1962), Oakland Raiders (1963-1965), Denver Broncos (1966) and San Diego Chargers (1966). In 95 games, he intercepted 22 passes, returning one for a touchdown.

Norm Masters (c.1951) Tackle (Michigan State): Played his entire 104-game career with the Green Bay Packers from 1957 to 1964. At MSU, he was a 1955 Consensus All American. He died April 15, 2011, at the age of 76.


Mike Haggerty (c.1963) Tackle (Miami, Fla.): Played in a total of 60 games for the Pittsburgh Steelers (1967-1970), New England Patriots (1971) and Detroit Lions (1973).

Jim Seymour (c.1964) Wide receiver (Notre Dame): In 31 games for the Chicago Bears (1970-1972), he caught 21 passes for 385 yards (18.3 average) and five touchdowns. He scored 16 passing TDs at Notre Dame. He died March 29, 2011, at the age of  64.

Paul Seymour (c.1968) Tight end (Michigan): In a 69-game career entirely with the Buffalo Bills (1973-1977), he caught 62 passes for 816 yards (13.2 average) and three touchdowns. He was a 1972 Consensus All-America at Michigan.

Bill Simpson (c.1958) Defensive back (Michigan State): Played for the Los Angeles Rams (1974-1978) and the Buffalo Bills (1980-1982). In 108 games, he intercepted 43 passes and recovered 10 fumbles. He was selected for the 1974 NFL All-Rookie team. He died Dec. 16, 2019, at the age of 79.


Mike Jolly (c.1976) Defensive back (Michigan): His 34-game career was played for the Green Bay Packers (1980-1983). As a cornerback at Michigan, he started 35 of 36 games. He was selected first-team All-Big Ten Conference player in both 1978 and 1979. Noteworthy: He attended Dearborn Sacred Heart High School for three years and one year at Aquinas High School. 


Chris Godfrey (1976) Offensive lineman (Michigan): Played in total of 65 games for the New York Jets (1980), New York Giants (1984-1987) and Seattle Seahawks (1988). He was the starting right guard for the Giants in Super Bowl XXI. Noteworthy: He founded the organization “Life Athletes” promoting Christianity and pro-marriage family values.

Mike Danna (2014) Defensive lineman (Central Michigan, Michigan): Played in 13 games for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2020 recording 2.5 sacks and 16 solo tackles. On COVID-19 reserve in January 2021, he was activated in time to play in Super Bowl LV. He played three years at Central Michigan, transferred to Michigan for his senior year. Noteworthy: Signed a three-year, $3.295 million contract in 2021.

Keith Karpinski (1984) Linebacker (Penn State): Played for the Detroit Lions in 1989. 

Jerry McCabe (1983) Linebacker (Holy Cross): Played in three games for the New England Patriots in 1987 and three for the Kansas City Chiefs in 1988. At Holy Cross, his 386 career total tackles were the second-most in school history at the time of his graduation in 1986.

John Sokolosky (1974) Center (Wayne State): He appeared in 11 games for the Detroit Lions in 1978. He died October 17, 2013, at the age of 57.

Robert Ziolkowski (1962) Tackle (Iowa): He was drafted in 1967 by the Green Bay Packers out of Iowa, traded to the Detroit Lions. Unable to play due to knee injury. He died April 3, 2020, at the age of 75. 


Dave Gagnon (c.1969) Running back (Ferris State): In 13 games for the Chicago Bears in 1974, he caught four passes for 20 yards and rushed once for 15 yards.