This week's boarding pass takes us down to the Carolinas as the Giants face the Panthers on Saturday night at 8 p.m.Here we have two Ring of Honor charter members who hail from South Carolina, while a handful of current players and coaches were born north of the border.
*Hall of Fame linebacker Harry Carson was born in the coastal plain city of Florence, where the eventual nine-time Pro Bowler played football at Wilson Senior High before graduating from McClenaghan High School. From there, Carson stayed local and never missed a game during his four years playing at South Carolina State University from 1972-75. Helping the Bulldogs to consecutive Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference titles as team captain, Carson was also a two-time conference defensive player of the year. 1976 marked the first time he suited up for a team outside of The Palmetto State when the Giants acquired him with the 105th pick in the fourth round of the NFL Draft. Carson played his entire 13-year NFL career with New York and led the team in tackles six times, making the Pro Bowl seven years in a row. He played 173 games in a Giants uniform and captained the Super Bowl-winning team in 1986.
*Also a team captain in Super Bowl XXI that played his entire career with the Giants, defensive end George Martinwas born in Greenvillebefore playing college ball across the country at the University of Oregon. A late round pick in 1975, Martin played in 201 games as one of the most feared pass rushers of his era and set a then-NFL record five defensive touchdowns as a defensive lineman.
*Born in Cramerton, second-year defensive coordinator Perry Fewell rose through the football ranks in North Carolina, beginning at South Point High School in Belmont. There, Fewell helped lead his team to a state championship before becoming a four-year standout at Lenoir-Rhyne College (Hickory). Fewell then began his coaching career at the University of North Carolina as a graduate assistant in 1985.
Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks was seven years old when the Carolina Panthers moved into his backyard of Charlotte in 1995. Playing at the city's Independence High School, Nicks was a top 10 player in the state and was named Offensive Player of the Year by the *Charlotte Observer. From there, Nicks would only go on to set every major receiving record in a Tar Heel uniform, including career receptions (181), yards (2,840) and touchdowns (21).
Also from the Carolinas: Safeties coach David Merritt (Raleigh, N.C.); two-time Pro Bowl running back and Super Bowl XXI-winner Joe Morris(Fort Bragg, N.C.); three-time All-Pro selection Dave Meggett (Charleston, S.C.), who helped the Giants win Super Bowl XXV as a return specialist.
Next stop: at New England, Preseason Week 4.