Fresh-faced future football players when they were young


Can you guess these NFL stars by their childhood photos?

After being forced to rock this bowl cut as a kid, it is no wonder why he rocks some of the longest flowing locks in the league. And one of these brothers ended his family's Super Bowl drought by helping lead the Packers to the championship this year.

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Casey and Clay Matthews

Of course, it's the Matthews brothers, Clay and Casey. Clay was a member of the Packers' Super Bowl championship team this year, while Casey was selected by the Eagles in the 2011 NFL Draft. Presswire

Odds are that many of the parents of children playing in this Pop Warner league were likely upset that this future NFL star was throwing way too many tough blocks. But this future star went on to be a champion both on and off the football field.

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Hines Ward

Some of you might know this as "Dancing with the Stars" Hines Ward, but he's a pretty good football player, too.

Tom E. Puskar/Associated Press

This young NFL star had no problem racking up the trophies as a kid. But in two years in the league, he has come up just short in his quest of reaching the NFL's top game, though his team figures to be one of the favorites this year.

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Mark Sanchez

Hey look, it's Jets QB Mark Sanchez, who has the Jets primed to make another run at the Super Bowl.

Ed Mulholland/US Presswire

This playmaking receiver showed that he had a sense of style even as a kid. Of course, the most fashionable jacket he ever put on was his gold Hall of Fame jacket that he received in 2007 after an outstanding career that saw him win three Super Bowl titles.

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Michael Irvin

Michael Irvin was a famed member of "The Triplets" in Dallas and is currently an analyst on NFL Network.

National Football League

Having to play for the Little League Dodgers must have been good practice for this future quarterback to lead one of the NFL's hard-luck franchises. And this might be a tough one to figure out because he looks older as a kid than he does as an adult. Seriously, who is this guy, football's version of "Benjamin Button"?

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Matthew Stafford

This is Matthew Stafford, the 2009 No. 1 overall draft pick by the Detroit Lions.

David Stluka/Associated Press

Uh, you better enjoy that hair while you can, guys.

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Matt and Tim Hasselbeck

Matt (left) might have had the better NFL career, but Tim Hasselbeck has done a pretty good job broadcasting.

John Froschauer/Associated Press

This was probably the only time that offensive linemen could contain this future pass-rushing specialist. But even then, that might not have been the case.

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DeMarcus Ware

That is the Cowboys' DeMarcus Ware, but we don't blame you if you couldn't recognize him without a quarterback in his hands.

James D. Smith/Associated Press

At first glance, I thought it was odd that we included a baby photo of Oscar Gamble on this list. But rest assured, this is a photo of one of the Vikings' exciting offensive playmakers.

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Sidney Rice

Yep, that's Sidney Rice, who is still rocking a cool hairstyle.

Bruce Kluckhohn/US Presswire

This one might be easier to figure out if you replaced the shoulder pads with a kiln.

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Chris Cooley

Yep, that is potter and Redskins TE Chris Cooley.

Nick Wass/Associated Press

While suiting up for the Longhorns here, this future NFLer attended college at one of Texas' Big XII rivals. And in three years, his teams never beat Texas. This quarterback would go on to be a first-round draft pick this year.

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Blaine Gabbert

Jaguars rookie Blaine Gabbert is being counted on to be the team's quarterback of the future.

Gary A. Vasquez/NFL

As far as embarrassing tuxedo photos go (and we all have them), this one is pretty mild. Still, let's take a moment of silence for the pair of "Hammer pants" that died to make those bow-ties and cummerbunds possible. And the true shame of this photo is that this was taken mere seconds before the General Lee roared past. The good news is that this 2011 rookie should be able to afford a nicer car with his rookie signing bonus.

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A.J. Green

Hey look, it's Bengals rookie WR A.J. Green. His sense of style should help him keep up with potential teammate Chad Ochocinco.

Gary A. Vasquez/NFL

One of these three kids would go on to be a huge, huge disappointment to their NFL-playing father ...

Michael C. Hebert/US Presswire

Cooper, Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning

... the other two are Cooper and Peyton Manning.

Matt Stamey/Associated Press

The older brother was probably sent to his room on occasion, because -- if you have siblings -- you know how that goes. But that same brother probably figured he would never have to deal with that again when he made it to the NFL. But he was wrong.

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Vernon and Vontae Davis

Yes, that's Vontae (not Dwight Gooden) Davis (right) and his older brother Vernon who was, of course, sent to the locker room by then-49ers coach Mike Singletary.

Associated Press

This future star of the Dallas Cowboys already had a pretty good grasp of the basics of the three-point stance as a youngster. And it's no surprise he loves to run around without a helmet.

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Jason Witten

This run by Jason Witten helped inspire a rule change.

Mel Evans/Associated Press

The truly tragic part of this photo is that this future NFL star had better defined arms as a child than I do as an adult. Luckily for Raiders fans, too, this little slugger decided to put away the baseball glove and focus on an NFL career.

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Darren McFadden

Hey look, it's Raiders RB Darren McFadden. And don't worry, those pipes are still toned.

Greg Trott/Associated Press

Already this future NFL star was waffling on whether he wanted to sit and pose for this photo or not. Still, he just looks like he's having fun out there.

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Brett Favre

Yep, that was Brett Favre as a child. Hard to tell without the well-worn trucker hat.

David J. Phillip/Associated Press



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