Chris Manhertz is a physical specimen. So much so that after his college basketball career came to a close at Canisius, NFL teams decided to work him out as a tight end prospect.
But unlike most basketball players that have transitioned into the NFL, Manhertz isn’t your typical pass catching weapon.
The third-year pro entered Carolina’s Monday Night Football contest against New Orleans with four career receptions for 29 yards.
That quickly changed when the Panthers decided to use some trickery to convert on an early fourth down attempt near midfield.
Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey took the handoff, took a step forward before surprising everyone at Bank of America Stadium, tossing it to a wide-open Manhertz who strolled into the end zone from 50-yards out for the first touchdown of his NFL career.
Manhertz became the first former Griffs student-athlete to score a touchdown in an NFL game since Tom Colella scored for the Cleveland Browns in 1948.
The 6’6”, 255 Ibs tight end played four years as a forward at Canisius under Tom Parrotta and Jim Baron, helping the Griffs improve from a 5-25 mark during his sophomore season to a 21-13 record as a senior.
His best season was his junior year when he averaged 7.6 points and 8.7 rebounds on 54.9% shooting.
The Buffalo Bills offered Manhertz his first shot at professional football, signing him to a future/reserve contract in May 2015.
He was later signed to the New Orleans Saints practice squad, appearing in three games before getting released and signing with the Panthers where he has appeared in 34 games.
Manhertz has made eight career starts according to NFL.com.
Various Twitter accounts mentioned his milestone touchdown on Monday evening: