These days, when most people think about college football programs that churn out big stars, they don’t always think about the military academies. That was not always the case though as in the 1950’s and before both Army and Navy had big name players playing for them. The United States Naval Academy in Anapolis, Maryland has a rich football history. Though mostly known for being a running team, they have had some decent passers too. Here is a look at the only three quarterbacks ever to play for Navy and then to go on and be chosen in the NFL Draft.
George Welsh – 1956 – Cardinals – 16th Round
George Welsh would become an assistant coach under Rip Engle and then Joe Paterno at Penn State during the 1960’s and early 1970’s. In 1973 he would return to Navy and become the head football coach. After becoming the winningest coach in Navy history, Welsh would move on to coach the University of Virginia in 1982. He would stay there 19 seasons and leave there also as the winningest coach in school history. Shortly after he retired from coaching he would be voted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Tom Forestal – 1958 – Colts – 20th Round
Tom Forestal was taken in the 20th round by the Baltimore Colts, a team who at the time had Johnny Unitas at quarterback. Forestal never saw any playing time in the NFL.
Roger Staubach – 1964 – Cowboys – 10th Round
After serving his service committment, Roger Staubach joined the Dallas Cowboys in 1969 and was instrumental in putting the team on the map. He would make the Pro Bowl six times and be the face of the franchise during the 1970’s. Staubach would lead the team to five Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl VI in 1972 and Super Bowl XII in 1978. Staubach retired following the 1979 season and was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.