|by Jim Amidon • March 11, 2004|
A 1982 graduate of Wabash, Metzelaars was an All-American in both football and basketball for the Little Giants, and guided the Wabash basketball team to the 1982 National Championship. That year the 6-7, 250-pound center was named Division III Player of the Year for averaging 24.2 points, 13.2 rebounds, and an NCAA record field goal percentage of 75.3 percent. He was team captain for the basketball team and three-time Most Valuable Player.
In football, Metzelaars was an All-American in 1981, leading the Little Giants with 40 pass receptions for 603 yards and five touchdowns. In his four seasons as a Wabash tight end, Wabash posted a record of 32-3-1. He was team captain as a senior, helping fellow All-American Daryl Johnson rush for over 1,000 yards while leading the nation in scoring.
Metzelaars was a third round draft pick of the Seattle Seahawks, but was later traded to the Buffalo Bills, where he played in 10 seasons, won four AFC Championships, and played in four Super Bowls. He finished his career by playing one year with the expansion Carolina Panthers and two years with the Detroit Lions.
The Portage, Michigan native's NFL milestones include:
• Catching Jim Kelly's first touchdown pass in the NFL
• Catching a touchdown pass in Super Bowl XXVI
• Catching the first touchdown pass in Carolina Panthers team history
• Blocking for Barry Sanders in his 2,000-yard rushing season
• Playing in a streak of 169 straight NFL games
• Named an NFL Pro Bowl Alternate in 1988 and 1993
• Holds the NFL record for most games ever played by a tight end (235)
• Caught 383 passes in 16 NFL seasons
Metzelaars has been participating in the NFL's coaching development program, and last summer interned as a tight ends assistant during the Indianapolis Colts' pre-season training camp.