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Carl Zander

Sport: Football

Born: April 12, 1963

Town: Mendham

Carl August Zander Jr. was born April 12, 1963 in Mendham. Big, tall and fast, Carl excelled in a number of sports, including wrestling, but was at his best on the football field. He starred for Richard Attonito’s West Morris Mendham High, playing linebacker and running back for the Minutemen. He also handled punting duties. As a senior in 1980, Carl ran for 1,178 yards and 26 touchdowns and was credited with 167 tackles.

Carl attended Tennessee on a football scholarship. He played linebacker in the Garden State Bowl as a freshman, as the Volunteers edged Wisconsin 28–21. Carl became a team leader as a junior and had another good game on his backyard, registering 16 tackles in a 7–0 road win over Rutgers. Carl led the Vols in tackles as a senior in 1984 and earned All-SEC honors.

The Cincinnati Bengals took Carl in the second round of the 1985 NFL Draft. Fellow Tennessee linebacker Alvin Toles was taken by the Saints in the first round. Carl and veteran Ron Simpkins split time at left inside linebacker in 1985. In 1986 Carl was the fulltime starter. He picked off his first pass as a pro that season—one of three in his career. In 1988, Carl was part of a powerhouse team that beat the Seahawks and Bills in the playoffs to win the AFC championship. The Bengals led Super Bowl XXIII 16–13 late in the 4th quarter, but Joe Montana led the 49ers to the winning score with 34 seconds left.

Carl played three more seasons in Cincinnati before retiring with a neck injury. During his career he had 8 sacks and recovered 7 fumbles. Carl moved to Arizona and became a salesman for a natural products company.


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