Familial connections are actually fairly common in the NFL, some that easily come to mind are the Manning brothers, Peyton and Eli. Then you have the Barbers, Ronde and Tiki, or another set of quarterbacks in David and Derek Carr.
But what isn't quite as common is when these families actually get to play together on a team. Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski played with his older brother Dan briefly in New England in 2011, but nothing really came out of it. QB Carson Palmer played with his brother Jordan in Cincinnati back in 2010, but only Carson got to play of course.
The last time the Dolphins had this situation take place was back in 1981-1986, when Lyle and Glenn Blackwood played safety together for the "Killer B's" defense. I suppose by technicality you could also add Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas to this list, as Taylor married Thomas's sister during their playing days with the Dolphins and became brothers-in-law.
Well now there's an opportunity for yet another team of brothers to come to Miami and show what they're made of.
Nick Vigil, brother of Dolphins linebacker Zach Vigil, will be entering the draft and is a candidate for a day two or three pick at linebacker, which is still a position of great need for the Dolphins.
In his final year with the Aggies, Nick Vigil earned first team All-Mountain West honors with 144 tackles, which ranked him sixth in the FBS, with 13.5 of those going for a loss, and three of those were sacks. Conference coaches voted him first team as a sophomore as well.
Vigil even saw some time at running back during his college days, playing there for five games and rushing 41 times for 152 yards and three rushing touchdowns, so there is some versatility there if a team deemed it fit to begin that experiment.
The Vigil brothers were a force at Utah State, and their aggressive and instinctive style of play turned heads and made analysts take note of their potential upside. Now with Miami searching for linebackers, Nick Vigil could be an option to be brought in, and his older brother Zach stated recently in an interview that he would love to be reunited with him.
"That'd be awesome to have my brother here with me," he said. "It'd be a great opportunity to play together again and it'd be a pretty cool experience."
Zach, who signed on with the Dolphins last season as an undrafted free agent, spoke fondly of the time they spent together at Utah State, and it was clear in how he talked that he would love to be able to recapture that magic.
"It was awesome playing with my brother," he said. "We grew up together, we're really close. Those two years I was able to play with him were pretty special, and if we had an opportunity to do it at the pro level then that'd be really special. Then my parents wouldn't have to fly to two different parts of the country."
Nick is a tough, young middle linebacker that had eye-popping production during his time with the Aggies, and Miami is still searching for help at that position despite the addition of Kiko Alonso via trade.
Nick would be an excellent addition to the squad, and reunited with his older brother Zach, perhaps they can recapture the dynamic they shared in college, and bring forth a new age of linebacker play in Miami that one day might rival the safety play the Blackwood brothers offered.
First they'll have to be reunited, and then they'll have to prove they can do it. They both have upside, they're both highly motivated, and with a new coaching staff in place, perhaps that potential can still be unlocked.
This story was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter: @FLSportDebater
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