Bushnell Cup Winner Mike Catapano Signs With Houston Texans; Three Tigers Are On NFL Rosters
Mike Catapano, the 2012 Bushnell Cup recipient as the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year and a 2013 NFL Draft selection by the Kansas City Chiefs, was signed Aug. 22 by the reigning AFC South champion Houston Texans.
Catapano joins his third NFL roster since an All-America senior season at Princeton. He played 15 games for the Kansas City Chiefs as a rookie in 2013, but missed the entire 2014 season due to an illness. He moved on to the New York Jets, where he played 14 games over two seasons before being placed on injured reserve late last season. Catapano, who earned four starts with the Jets in 2016, has recorded 11 tackles and two sacks during his NFL career.
As a senior captain, Catapano led the Ivy League with 12 sacks and ended the regular season ranked second in the Football Championship Subdivision with 1.2 sacks per game. He ranked second in the Ivy League in tackles for loss with 15.5, which was only a half tackle off the League lead, and ranked ninth nationally in that category. The two-year co-captain ended the season with 41 tackles, and he had five games with at least two tackles for loss, as well as five games with at least five tackles. His 12 sacks were the most for a single season at Princeton since David Ferrara ’00 recorded 12.5 during the 1998 season.
While Catapano’s statistics tell plenty of the story, he also helped change the culture and direction of Princeton football. Prior to his senior season, the Tigers had experienced his six straight losing seasons; since 2012, the Tigers have won two Ivy League titles, and they haven’t had a single losing season.
Catapano joins former teammates Caraun Reid and Seth DeValve on current NFL rosters. Reid, a 2013 fifth-round draft choice, is a defensive lineman with the Los Angeles Chargers who has 36 career tackles and three sacks on his professional resumé. Reid has also scored two touchdowns in the NFL, including this scoop-and-score against the Indianapolis Colts last season.
DeValve, who became the highest-drafted Princeton football player of the modern era when Cleveland took him in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, had several highlights during his rookie season with the Browns last fall. After a preseason injury cost him four games, DeValve played the final 12 and caught 10 passes, including two for touchdowns (including this one from Thursday Night Football). Through two preseason games, DeValve is tied for second on the team with four receptions.