Super Bowl champion Michael Hoecht among dozen local grads to play in NFL this season

A dozen area players saw time in NFL games in the 2021 season, but only one can claim to being a world champion.

That would be Michael Hoecht, an Oakwood High School graduate who had one tackle on special teams Sunday night as the Los Angeles Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20.

As star tackle Aaron Donald’s backup, Hoecht’s main role was covering kicks and blocking for returns.

He was one of four area players to make his NFL debut last fall.

Here is a look at what all 12 grads of area high schools did on the field for their teams:

Michael Hoecht, defensive tackle, Oakwood — Los Angeles Rams

Rookie had one tackle on special teams in the Super Bowl against the Bengals. Including the postseason, he played in 20 games this year, mostly on special teams.

Joe Thuney, offensive guard, Alter — Kansas City Chiefs

Started all 19 games for the Chiefs this season after signing a lucrative contract as a free agent last year. Received outstanding pass blocking grade (88.8) and good run blocking grade (71.3) from Pro Football Focus for the regular season.

Credit: Charlie Riedel

Credit: Charlie Riedel

Jordan Hicks, linebacker, Lakota West — Arizona Cardinals

Had 116 tackles, including seven for loss, while starting all 18 games for the Cardinals in his third year with the team. The seven-year veteran had a below-average defensive grade from PFF (64.4), but it was 14 points higher than the year before.

Ryan Kelly, center, Lakota West — Indianapolis Colts

In his sixth season out of Alabama, Kelly started 14 games and was selected to the Pro Bowl for the third straight season, though PFF rated him among the worst centers in the league with an overall offensive grade of 56.9.

Taylor Decker, tackle, Vandalia Butler — Detroit Lions

The Ohio State product missed the first half of the season due to injury, but he started the last nine games and finished with strong grades from PFF, especially in pass protection (84.0).

Josh Myers, center, Miamisburg — Green Bay Packers

Rookie started the first six games before going down with knee injury. He returned to start Week 18 and the playoff loss to the 49ers. Myers received good grades from PFF for his first two starts of the season (71.8 and 70.0, both “starter level”), but the site was less impressed with his next four before the injury, grading him between 52 and 60.

Ifeadi Odenigbo, defensive end, Centerville — Cleveland Browns

Fourth-year pro returned to Ohio as a reserve for the Browns and was credited with 13 tackles in nine games as a reserve. He played 150 defensive snaps according to PFF but graded out just below 50 overall.

Jackson Carman, offensive guard, Fairfield — Cincinnati Bengals

After being drafted in the second round out of Clemson last spring, Carman played in all 17 regular season games and all four playoff games for his hometown team. He started six games but was unable to lock down a regular role. PFF ranked him 67th among NFL guards, and his best game as a starter came in the season finale at Cleveland (64.9, or close to “starter level”).

Josiah Scott, cornerback, Fairfield — Philadelphia Eagles

Played in 13 games as a reserve and logged 12 tackles, including a sack.

Wes Martin, guard, Milton-Union — New York Giants

Played in seven games and started one in his first season in the Big Apple after two with Washington.

Ethan Wolfe, tight end, Minster — New Orleans Saints

After three seasons on three different practice squads, he made his NFL debut this season and played in two games. Wolfe caught two passes for eight yards.

Adam Pankey, offensive guard, Hamilton — Miami Dolphins

Played in one game this season for Miami and has seen action in nine total since 2017.

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