When you are the first player to be drafted out of your college in 12 years, you don’t quibble over whether you were chosen on the first or last round.

Princeton’s Mike Catapano was picked on the seventh—and last—round of the 2013 Draft by the Chiefs. He considers being drafted –regardless of the round– to be one of his football career highlights.

“I was the first football player in my family,” recalls Catapano. “I was never one to listen to anyone else. Kind of stubborn and naïve, I guess. That’s just how I was made. I was proud to be the first person from Princeton drafted in over a decade. So being able to put the school back on the map as a relevant football school, the oldest college football program in the country, that was really, really special for me.”

His two-season career with the Chiefs ended on the non-football illness list so he signed as a free agent with his hometown Jets.

“We kind of felt comfortable going to the Jets even though they wanted me initially on the practice squad,” the 31-year Catapano recently told Jim Gehman of NYJETS.COM. “When I was growing up on Long Island, my grandfather would occasionally wear a Jets jacket and we’d watch Jets games together. My favorite player ended up being Curtis Martin. Years later, coming over from Kansas City and getting a chance to start games for the Jets, it was like a dream come true.”

Catapano’ s football career ended after a short stint with the Texans in 2017. However, he knew what he wanted after football, so he enrolled at St. John’s University School of Law (NY) and graduated last year.

After a brief period in civil service, he now is an associate attorney at the McKool Smith law firm in New York and focuses on complex commercial litigation.

We at NFL Alumni congratulate attorney Mike Catapano for combining academics, football, and a distinguished post-NFL career. He joins many other NFL alums who have chosen practicing law as a second career.