Philadelphia Eagles

10 notable South Jersey natives who played for the Eagles


Joe Flacco continues a long, colorful tradition of South Jersey natives playing for the Eagles.

It began in the 1940s and continues with the 2003 Audubon High School graduate signing a one-year contract with the Eagles.

For those of you who keep track of these things, Flacco is the first player out of the Colonial Conference to join the Eagles since center Dave Crossan, a 3rd-round pick out of Collingswood in 1963. 

Now you know!

Let’s take a look at 10 notable South Jersey natives who played for the Eagles: 

George Savitsky, Camden [1947-49]: Savitsky was the Eagles’ 5th-round pick in 1947 and played on both the 1948 and 1949 NFL Championship teams before retiring. Three NFL seasons, three championship game appearances. Savitsky played college football at Penn, where he became the only four-time All-America in the 20th Century and later a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. After his NFL days, Savitsky opened a dental practice in Woodbury before retiring to Ocean City in 1986.

Norm “Wild Man” Willey, Penns Grove [1950-57]: Willey was a 13th-round draft pick in 1950 out of Marshall but went on to enjoy an outstanding eight-year career, making 1st-team all-pro in 1954. This was three decades before sacks became an official stat, but legend has it that in a 1952 game against the Giants at the Polo Grounds, Willey had 17 sacks. After he retired, Willey taught at Pennsville High School. The traditional Thanksgiving Day rivalry game between Penns Grove and Pennsville is played for the Norm Willey Boot.

Mike Curcio, Oakcrest [1981-82]: The Eagles drafted Curcio out of Temple in the 8th round in 1980. He remained the only Oakcrest player drafted until the Colts took safety Cory Bird in the 3rd round out of Virginia Tech in 2001. Curcio, a linebacker, spent the 1980 Super Bowl season on Injured Reserve but played in 21 games in 1981 and 1982, mainly on special teams. He spent 1983 playing for Bart Starr with the Packers.

Anthony Griggs, Kennedy [1982-85]: The Eagles drafted Griggs out of Ohio State in the 4th round in 1982, and he spent four years here, three as a starter, before playing three years for the Browns. After he retired, Griggs spent over a decade working in the scouting department with the Steelers, whose head coach - Bill Cowher - was his teammate with the Eagles in 1983 and 1984.

Topper Clemons, Cinnaminson [1987]: Clemons was a running back who’d been a 7th-round pick of the Cowboys in 1986 but didn’t make the team. When the NFL players went on strike in September 1987 and teams were forced to sign non-union players, Clemons joined the Eagles. He only had three carries in the three strike replacement games but did catch a 13-yard TD pass from Scott Tinsley against the Cowboys in Dallas.  Clemons and Hargrove are among seven players in franchise history who caught one pass and it was a touchdown. Among the others are Brian Dawkins and Jason Croom.

Marv Hargrove, Willingboro [1990]: Hargrove was the kid who showed up at JFK Stadium during the 1990 preseason when practice was over and asked Buddy Ryan for a tryout. That team was short on WRs, Hargrove had played at Richmond, Buddy had his scouts work him out and the Eagles ended up signing him. Hargrove then caught a 34-yard touchdown pass from Randall Cunningham in his first NFL game. That TD wound up being Hargrove’s only career reception.

Irving Fryar, Rancocas Valley [1996-98]: Fryar, the first overall pick in the 1984 draft out of Nebraska, only spent three years with the Eagles but made two Pro Bowls, had two 1,000-yard seasons, caught 19 touchdowns and averaged 64 yards per game - 3th-highest in franchise history, behind T.O. and DeSean Jackson and tied with Mike Quick. Fryar played 17 years in the NFL and when he retired after the 2000 season, he ranked 7th in NFL history in receiving yards. 

George Hegamin, Camden [1998]: Hegamin, who had spent his first four NFL seasons with the Cowboys, was a part-time starter at left guard for the 1998 Eagles, but when Andy Reid got here in 1999 he benched Hegamin in favor of Doug Brzezinski and Hegamin left camp. He returned the next day, and Reid punished him for going AWOL by making him push a blocking sled the length of a grass practice field between the Vet and the Schuylkill Expressway while the media watched. Hegamin was released soon after and finished his career with two seasons in Tampa.

Corey Clement, Glassboro [2017-2020]: We never get tired of talking about Corey’s performance in the Super Bowl. The undrafted free agent from Wisconsin caught four passes for 100 receiving yards in the Eagles' Super Bowl win, including a miracle 22-yard TD and a 55-yard catch-and-run to set up the Philly Special. He had the most receiving yards of any other rookie RB in a Super Bowl, the 3rd-most yards by any RB in a Super Bowl and the 4th-most yards by any rookie in Super Bowl history. In four seasons with the Eagles, Clement had 655 rushing yards and 340 receiving yards. Clement is currently a free agent.

Shaun Bradley, Rancocas Valley [2020-]: The Eagles’ most recent South Jersey player, Bradley graduated from R.V. in 2015 before playing at Temple. He was the Eagles’ 6th-round draft pick last year and played in 15 games as a rookie, earning 76 snaps at linebacker and 284 on special teams, second-most on the team. Bradley is the first South Jersey player the Eagles drafted since edge rusher Jamaal Green out of Woodrow Wilson in the 4th round in 2003.

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