Virginia alumnus Chris Canty #99 of the New York Giants will be one of two former Hoos on the field today, along with Danny Aikens of the New England Patriots.
Happy Super Bowl Sunday! Today is a great day because, regardless of which team you're pulling for, at the end of the day, one former Wahoo will earn his first Super Bowl ring. For the New York Giants, that would be defensive tackle Chris Canty, and for the New England Patriots, we're looking at long snapper Danny Aiken.
So far this season, Canty has recorded career high 47 tackles, 31 of which were all by himself. He has also recorded 4.0 sacks and caused one safety. He has started all 16 games this season. In the last matchup between the Giants and the Patriots, Canty recorded 3 tackles (2 solo).
Canty was originally drafted in the fourth round in the 2005 draft by the Dallas Cowboys, where he spent his first four seasons, earning a starting role his rookie year. In his junior year at Virginia, Canty earned second-team All-ACC honors and was named the Lineman of the Year in Virginia. Canty's senior season was cut short due to ACL, MCL and PCL injuries in his left knee. Through four games, he had 30 tackles, seven tackles for losses, one sack and a forced fumble.
In his rookie season this year, Aiken has played in all 16 games, recording five tackles (2 solo, 3 assisted). It's hard to find much out there on how a long snapper has done on the season -- the answer is, he must be doing alright if there's no news on him. He has snapped on all punts, field goals and extra points in 13 of 16 games.
Aiken went undrafted last year, but eventually signed as a rookie free agent with the Buffalo Bills, where he practiced during the offseason. He was released by the Bills on September 3, before Bill Belichick and company picked him up the next day. While at Virginia, Aiken played in all 49 games of his college career and made four tackles his senior season, against USC, Florida State, Miami and Virginia Tech.
Speaking of Virginia Tech, neither the Giants nor the Pats have a Hokie on their roster.
Have a good time today, stay safe, and as always, Go HOOS!
...and the Giants!