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Hofstra NFL Players: Three Hofstra Pride Alumni Remain in NFL

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Hofstra University cut football from its athletics program in 2009 due to a lack of general interest and support from students and alumni, along with the desire to redirect funds toward enhancing the school's academics programs.

While the university continues to be a lacrosse and softball powerhouse, many alumni and current students truly miss the Pride football team.

Hofstra, which finished 5-6 in its final football season in 2009, played in the CAA and sent numerous players to the NFL ranks, including former New York Jets standout wide receiver Wayne Chrebet and Super Bowl III starter John Schmitt.

There are just three Hofstra football alumni currently active in the NFL.

Here's a closer look at them:

Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints: Colston is easily the top current NFL star from Hofstra. During his time at the university, Colston made 37 starts and recorded 182 catches for a school-record 2,834 yards and 18 touchdowns.

As a junior in 2003, Colston led the team with 51 receptions for 910 yards. He has been with the New Orleans Saints since declaring for the NFL draft in 2006. The shining moment of his pro career was clearly his performance in Super Bowl XLIV, as he notched seven receptions for 83 yards.

Colston recently signed a five-year, $40-million contract extension that should keep him with the Saints until at least 2017.

"I remember all the times I'd be working out back at school, and the inspiration I got thinking that if Wayne Chrebet could go from playing here to the NFL, maybe I could, too," Colston said of his time at Hofstra. "I was looking forward to being the guy that a lot of the younger guys there could look up to, say, 'That guy's in the NFL, I can be too.' That won't happen now."

Willie Colon, OG, Pittsburgh Steelers: Long before Colon was a part of the Steelers' Super Bowl XLIII championship team, he was a key talent at Hofstra. During his time with the Pride, he was named as both an all-conference and All-American performer.

On July 29, 2011, Colon signed a five-year deal worth $29 million with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he's been battling injuries through most of the last year.

Kyle Arrington, CB, New England Patriots: Arrington was a shining star at Hofstra. In 2006, he played in 11 games, recording 69 tackles and an interception. In 2007, he played in 11 games again, recording 53 tackles and an interception.

Arrington was a bit of a journeyman in his early NFL career, serving short stints with the Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he has found a home with the New England Patriots in 2009. He led the NFL with seven interceptions in 2011.

Eric Holden is a 2005 graduate of Hofstra University and a lifelong fan of Pride Athletics. Follow him on Twitter @ericholden.

Sources, NFL, player and team stats

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