When he was drafted and signed by the Cleveland Browns this spring, Mitchell Schwartz found himself in good company.
Drafted by the Browns early in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft, the former All-Pac-12 offensive lineman from the University of California was headed to a city that's been home to a number of Jewish professional athletes lately, including Cleveland Cavaliers forward Omri Casspi, Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis (whose father is Jewish, although Kipnis himself is a practicing Roman Catholic), and Zach Cohen, a former NCAA hockey champion at Boston University who plays for the Lake Erie Monsters (top minor league affiliate of the NHL's Colorado Avalanche).
As it turns out, Schwartz is in even better company than previously realized.
It was revealed this week in Tablet Magazine and on NFL.com that if all goes according to plan, and Schwartz makes his NFL debut for the Browns this fall, he and his older brother Geoff will become the first Jewish brothers to play in the league in nearly 90 years (since Ralph and Arnold Horween in 1923).
Geoff, who signed with the Minnesota Vikings after a four-year stint with the Carolina Panthers, is doing his best to make that happen, working with his younger brother to prepare him for the mental rigors of life in the NFL. It helps that Cleveland and Minnesota aren't scheduled to face one another this season, although probably not for their parents, Olivia Goodkin and Lee Schwartz, who will be hard pressed to watch both of their boys on the same weekend. All things considered, though, that's probably not a bad problem to have.