Josh Norman - NFL
Josh Norman’s fabulous football career at CCU concluded with his being drafted in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. Though a lower-round draft choice, Norman quickly established himself during the Panthers’ training camp in August and secured a roster spot. The Greenwood, S.C., native earned a spot in the starting lineup by game two of the NFL season when Carolina battled New Orleans.
At Carolina, he joined another former Chanticleer playing for the Panthers, Mike Tolbert, who moved over from the San Diego Chargers after signing a free agent contract in the offseason.
During Norman’s tenure at CCU, he finished with the second most interceptions in school history with 13 and was named All Big South First Team three times. Norman’s debut makes him the sixth Chanticleer to appear in the NFL in just 10 years of the CCU program.
Mike Costanzo - MLB
The Chanticleer baseball program produced another major league player this past May when Mike Costanzo debuted with the Cincinnati Reds on May 13, 2012. The only two-time Big South Conference Player-of-the-Year, Costanzo completed a seven-year journey to “the show” that included stops with three major league organizations (Philadelphia, Houston, Baltimore and Cincinnati) and eight minor league teams. His first major league hit came on hallowed grounds May 19 when he started as the Reds’ designated hitter at Yankee Stadium in New York and laced a sixth inning single to right field off Yankee starting pitcher Ivan Nova.
Ironically, Costanzo was penciled into a Reds lineup that featured former Chanticleer baseball signee Joey Votto who chose to forgo his collegiate career when drafted from high school in 2002. Had Votto chosen differently, he and Costanzo would have played together at CCU as part of the 2002 recruiting class.
In 2012, Costanzo played 17 games with the Reds before a return to the minors; he finished the season at Triple-A Louisville. In October he returned to campus for induction into the CCU Sasser Athletic Hall of Fame.
Cyprian Hedrick - MLS
After leading the Chanticleers to an 18-4 record, a Big South regular season championship and NCAA Tournament victory over Elon in 2011, former soccer star Cyprian Hedrick gave Coastal Carolina another professional athlete when he was selected by Sporting Kansas City with the 11th pick of the second round in last January’s MLS SuperDraft.
Hedrick became the seventh Chanticleer to be drafted by a MLS club and his 30th overall selection made him CCU’s second-highest drafted CCU player behind third overall selection Joseph Ngwenya in 2004. In his final season at CCU, Hedrick earned a NSCAA Men’s Collegiate Scholar All-American first team selection in addition to being named to the Big South All-Academic team. He was also selected a first team All-BigSouth member and headlined a Chanticleer defense that held opponents to only 0.90 goals per game and a 9.7 percent shot percentage in 2011.