NFL

Is Anthony McFarland Jr. Related to Anthony ‘Booger’ McFarland?

There are a few well-known family dynasties in the NFL: Peyton and Eli Manning, Jim and John Harbaugh, Rex and Rob Ryan. Anthony McFarland Jr. and Anthony “Booger” McFarland are not one of those dynasties. 

Who is Anthony McFarland Jr.? 

McFarland Jr. is a fast and talented running back set to enter the NFL in the 2020 season. McFarland Jr. has been surrounded by hype since his high school days. Playing out of the prestigious DeMatha Catholic school in Maryland, he was recruited by multiple big-name colleges like Penn State, Alabama, and Georgia. He turned them all down in favor of Maryland College in order to be close to home. 

Unfortunately, both his senior year of high school and his college career have been marred by injuries including a broken leg and a serious ankle sprain. When he decided to declare early for the 2020 draft, those two factors kept him out of the top-tier of an already-stacked pack of eligible running backs despite all his positive attributes. 

McFarland Jr. has a lot going for him. He also has a few glaring weaknesses. McFarland Jr. is fast. He’s got speed on his side, as well as athleticism. His size could be an issue, however. He is only 5’8″, and approximately 200 pounds, making him slightly small for a running back. If used in the right capacity, his speed and athleticism could be an X factor, but based on past performance, he doesn’t have the physicality to play every down. 

According to Fantasy Pros, he’s a decent catch, making him a versatile player. What he’ll need to work on for long-term success in the NFL is on-field awareness and the ability to read the play as it develops. 

All said and done, the Pittsburgh Steelers took McFarland Jr. in the 4th round of the draft. It remains to be seen if they can mold his raw speed and versatility into a game changing weapon or not. 

Who is Booger McFarland?

Then there’s Booger McFarland. Most people know Booger from Monday Night Football on ESPN. Booger joined the network in 2018 and has received praise for his commentary as well as his loud, outgoing on-screen persona. While his name might not be as easily recognizable as some players, Booger is a superstar in his own right, winning a Super Bowl with both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Indianapolis Colts.

Booger was drafted out of LSU in 1999 by Tampa Bay, where he played defensive tackle. Everyone knows that offense brings the ratings, but defense wins games. Booger and the rest of the defensive line were the unsung heroes of Tampa Bay’s improbable Super Bowl run back in 2002. 

As far as the name goes? Unfortunately there’s no scandalous story attached; he’s had it since childhood. “I was a bad kid, getting into a lot of wild stuff. I used to get called a lot of things, but that one just stuck.”

How are McFarland Jr. and Booger related?

McFarland Jr. is at the start of what looks to be a promising career. If he’s open to coach Mike Tomlin’s direction, he’s already got the speed and athletic ability. He might not have been a first round pick, but he’s a running back to watch. 

Booger, on the other hand, has moved on to the next phase of his career. This year he will be working as an on-the-field correspondent for Monday Night Football. He’s bound to get into a lot of trouble down on the sidelines, making for some entertaining broadcasting. 

Given that both players have perpetually been on the edge of greatness just shy of the limelight, certainly they have to be related, right? Father and son? Uncle and nephew? Unfortunately, the name “Anthony McFarland” seems to be common. Neither one of the has even met the other. 

RELATED: Booger McFarland’s Biggest Lesson From ESPN’s Monday Night Football Role