Giants Standout Defender Was Draft Pick’s High School Quarterback

Giants' Ryan Connelly was 7th-round pick Carter Coughlin's high school quarterback

Getty Giants' Ryan Connelly (L) & Carter Coughlin go way back

When the New York Giants used the first of their four 7th-Round NFL Draft selections on Minnesota linebacker Carter Coughlin, there was one glaring question that arose amongst the majority of Giants fandom.

After a few quick google searches, fans quickly came to the realization that Carter does in fact, have no relationship to former head coach and two-time Super Bowl champion Tom Coughlin.

However, while Coughlin may have no relationship connecting him to the most recent Giants Super Bowl era, that doesn’t mean he lacks familiarity with the organization. In fact, his relationship with now-fellow Giants linebacker Ryan Connelly dates all the way back to high school.

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Ryan Connelly Was Coughlin’s High School QB

Before chasing down quarterbacks in the pros, New York Giants’ soon-to-be second-year linebacker Ryan Connelly was the man under center for his Eden Prairie Eagles High School football team in Minnesota.

Connelly led the Eagles to a Minnesota Class 6A football state championships in each of his final three years at the school. In his Senior season at Eden Prairie, Connelly put up a tremendous touchdown to interception ratio, tossing 14 touchdowns to zero interceptions.

According to Carter Coughlin, who played alongside Connelly in high school on two of those three championship teams, his former quarterback and now Giants teammate had “a cannon for an arm,” per Giants beat writer Art Stapleton.

Despite Connelly’s expertise on the offensive side of the ball, he struggled to find a home in the college ranks, leading to his full-time switch to linebacker.

Connelly ultimately walked on to the University of Wisconsin football team out of high school. After initially not making the team’s 105-man fall camp roster as a freshman, he would go on to blossom into a dominant college player and a promising pro.


Carter Ready to Make a Difference in NY

Carter, on the other hand, a three-year letter winner in high school, had no issues piquing the interest of top-level colleges out of high school. The four-star recruit and No. 1 prospect out of the state of Minnesota in 2016, opted to stay at home and attend the University of Minnesota.

Carter went on to live up to his lofty recruiting status, accumulating 22.5 sacks and 40 tackles for loss over his four-year Minnesota career.

Now in New York, Carter will look to flex his pass-rushing prowess on a team desperate for edge defender help. Oshane Ximines and Lorenzo Carter are the Giants’ top two returning sack artists from a production standpoint, despite only recording 4.5 sacks each in 2019.

Hopefully, Carter and a healthy Connelly can tap into their winning ways from their high school days and help bring a title or two to a team that hasn’t had a winning season since 2016.

From the sounds of Carter’s recent Instagram post, he certainly appears ready to put in the work.

Start spreading the news…I wanna be a part of it New York, New Yorkkkkk!! I’ve dreamt of this day since I was a little kid, and I want to thank the @nygiants for making my dreams come true! Shout out to everyone who helped me get to this special moment! But know, this is just the beginning!

READ NEXT: Joe Judge Has Eyed Giants Draft Pick for 2 Years


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