Seidman, Mike : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Seidman, Mike

Mike H. Seidman

Seidman played college ball for UCLA and was one of the country's top tight ends in 2002. A rookie with the Carolina Panthers in 2003, Seidman had five receptions during the year before injuring his knee. The Panthers reached the Super Bowl, where they lost to the New England Patriots.

In 2004, Carolina struggled early in the season due to injuries, but played well in the second half of the season and won six of their last eight. In the final game of the season, however, they lost to their division rival, the New Orleans Saints, which knocked them out of playoff contention - they finished the season with a record of 7-9. In Carolina's second game of the season, Seidman scored his first career touchdown on a one-yard reception. On the year, Mike finished with 13 receptions for 123 yards and two touchdowns.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. February 11, 1981

Career Highlights:
A USA Today and Parade high school All-America , Seidman was considered one of the best players in the country when he graduated from Westlake High School in Southern California. Recruited by both USC (University of Southern California) and UCLA (University of California-Los Angeles) -- both located in Los Angeles -- Mike decided to attend UCLA despite growing up a fan of USC, his father's alma mater.

In 1999, Seidman suited up as a true freshman and appeared in 10 of UCLA's 11 games. A regular on special teams, Mike caught two passes that year for 28 yards as the Bruins finished the season with a record of 4-7. The following year, Seidman played in every game on special teams and as a backup tight end. He scored the first touchdown of his career in a game against Stanford, and completed the year with six catches for 80 yards. UCLA finished the season 6-6 after losing in the Sun Bowl to Wisconsin.

As a junior in 2001, Seidman registered career highs with 12 receptions for 250 yards, including a 47-yarder against Washington State. His 20.8 yards per catch average was the highest on the team and Mike appeared in every UCLA game, starting against Washington. UCLA finished the season 7-4. One of Seidman's teammates was All-Pac 10 right tackle, Mike Saffer.

During the 2002 season, Mike had 41 receptions with five touchdowns for the Bruins. His 631 receiving yards broke the school record for a tight end and was second in the nation among Division I tight ends. On Christmas Day, the Bruins played New Mexico in the SEGA Sports Las Vegas Bowl. The game was noteworthy when kicker Katie Hnida became the first woman to play in a Division I game. She attempted an extra point after New Mexico's first touchdown. The Bruins won the game, 27-13.

Although Seidman only became a starter as a senior (he had 20 receptions entering the season), he made his mark as UCLA's second-leading receiver in 2002. His reliable hands, knack of finding open space in the secondary, and ability to break tackles helped his draft status rise during the season. A powerful technique blocker, Seidman was also a major contributor on special teams, a role he played prominently in his first three seasons with UCLA. In 2002, Seidman was the University of California-Los Angeles' (UCLA) offensive MVP. Mike was named All-Pac 10 first team, CNN/Sports Illustrated All-America honorable mention, and was a finalist for the Mackey Award as the nation's top tight end.

The Carolina Panthers' selection of Seidman in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft (76th overall), made him the highest (because of the lowest draft number of any Jew) Jewish player chosen in the NFL Draft. On July 22, Mike signed a three-year deal with the Panthers worth $915,000 with a signing bonus of over $500,000. Carolina GM Marty Hurney said, "We felt it was very important to get it done so Mike could get in camp on time...when we drafted him, we saw somebody who was a very good all-around tight end."

The Panthers finished the 2003 season as the surprise champion of the NFC South with a record of 11-5. Seidman appeared in four games and had five receptions for 35 yards before injuring his knee in Carolina's game against Philadelphia. He was placed on injured reserve and was out for the rest of the year. Carolina won the NFC Championship and then narrowly lost in the Super Bowl to the New England Patriots in one of the most exciting Super Bowls in history.

Westlake, California

Career Dates:
Seidman played tight end at UCLA from 1999-2002. He then played with the Carolina Panthers in 2003-present.

Career Statistics:
In the NFL (through 2004 season):
Games: 28 (10 started)

Receptions: 18
Receiving yards: 158
Receiving average: 8.8
Long: 27-yards
Receiving touchdowns: 2

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