By NAN Sports Editor
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Sept. 3, 2021: The 2021 NFL football season is just around the corner – Sept. 9th to be exact as the teams begin an 18-week schedule to the 2022 Super Bowl. How many Caribbean players are in the NFL this year? Here’s a look at the Caribbean born foreign players this season.
1: Rakeem Nuñez-Roches
Rakeem Nuñez-Roches was born in Belize and plays as a backup nosetackle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the defending Super Bowl champions. Nuñez-Roches migrated with his family from Belize to Alabama when he was eight years old. He attended Central High School in Phenix City, Alabama where he started to play football.
He was later named an Alabama Top 50 player. Nuñez-Roches played at the University of Southern Mississippi from 2011 to 2014 where he majored in biological sciences. Following the 2014 season, he decided to forego his final year of eligibility and entered the 2015 NFL Draft. He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the sixth round (217th overall) in 2015. On October 2, 2018, Nuñez-Roches was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and been resigned since. He finished the 2020 season with 20 tackles in 16 games, of which he started 11.
2: Danielle Hunter
Danielle Hunter was born in Jamaica and has been playing for the Minnesota Vikings since he was drafted in 2015. Born in St. Catherine, Hunter moved to the United States when he was 8 years old. He grew up in Katy, Texas, just west of Houston, where he attended Morton Ranch High School. As a junior, he led his football team to their first Class 5A State Playoffs appearance despite playing defensive end for the first time as a freshman. Hunter attended Louisiana State University from 2012 to 2014, where he was a two-year starter at defensive end for the Tigers.
Hunter was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft with the 88th pick overall. As a rookie in 2015, Hunter was the youngest player in the NFL, but quickly managed to earn a rotational role on defense and finished second among all NFL rookies and second in the team in sacks with 6.0. On September 9, 2020, Hunter was placed on injured reserve with a neck injury and underwent season-ending surgery to clean up a herniated disc in his neck. He remains on the Vikings 53-man roster this season. Hunter’s return from the neck surgery that kept him out all of last season should boost a Minnesota Vikings’ pass rush that slipped to 28th in the league in sacks last year.
3: Matt Peart
Matt Peart was born in Jamaica and drafted by the New York Giants in 2020. Peart was born in Kingston and his family immigrated to the United States when he was four years old, settling in The Bronx, New York. Peart played basketball and participated in the Oliver Scholars Program and earned a scholarship to attend The Governor’s Academy in Byfield, Massachusetts. Despite never having played the sport before, Peart became an offensive and defensive lineman for the school’s football team and helped the Governors to four straight Independent School League championships. Peart played college football at the University of Connecticut and was selected by the New York Giants in the third round with the 99th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Peart made his NFL debut on September 27, 2020, in a 9–36 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.He was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list by the team on November 20, 2020 and activated on December 1, 2020. Peart was selected in the Giants 53-man roster as part of their offensive line.
4: Javon Kinlaw
Javon Kinlaw was born in Trinidad and Tobago and drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 2020. Kinlaw spent part of his childhood homeless in Washington, D.C. after immigrating from Trinidad and Tobago with his mother and two siblings. He attended Goose Creek High School in Goose Creek, South Carolina. Kinlaw played one year at Jones County Junior College in 2016 before transferring to the University of South Carolina, where he played as part of the football squad. Kinlaw was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft with the 14th overall pick. He signed his four-year rookie contract with the team on 26 June 2020. Kinlaw came to Niners with big expectations. He looks poised to fulfill them in 2021.
5: Michael Strachan
Michael Strachan was born in the Bahamas and drafted just this year by the Indianapolis Colts. Strachan grew up in Freeport before moving to Lynchburg, Virginia, where he attended Liberty Christian Academy. Strachan was a member of the Charleston Golden Eagles for four seasons. He was also a member of Charleston’s track & field team and won conference championships in the 200 meters, 400 meters, and the 4×400 meter relay and holds the school record for the 400-meter dash. He was selected by the Colts in the seventh round of the 2021 NFL Draft. On May 6, 2021, Strachan officially signed with the Colts and the rookie wide receiver was a preseason standout. He has now earned a well-deserved spot on the Colts 53-man roster this season.