Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Hall of Fame @Furman: Major League Pros

Did you know Furman was once home for a New York Times featured quarterback, a soccer star named the Male Athlete of the Year in his country, and a fifth-round pick in the NFL Draft?
Courtesy of Furman Athletics

Since 1913, Furman has witnessed a vast array of Division 1 caliber talent. Ever since then, the Paladins have welcomed 206 student-athletes into the Furman Athletics Hall of Fame. While all have represented the Dins illustriously on and off the field, some opted not to pursue a professional career in sports. Some others had set foot in the glamorous world of professional sports, yet never stepped onto the major league stage. This article covers Furman Hall of Fame inductees who have performed in the major leagues over the last 20 years.

Jonathan Leathers

Leathers, a standout defender, was named 2006 – 2007 Southern Conference Men’s Soccer Player of the Year and Furman Male Athlete of the Year.

After his collegiate career, Sorting Kansas City selected him in the second round (No. 25 overall) of the 2008 Major League Soccer SuperDraft. Leathers played four years in Major League Soccer (MLS) with Sporting Kansas City and Vancouver Whitecaps FC. He also played with the United States National Team at the Under-23 level.

William Middleton

Named the 2008-09 Furman Male Athlete of the Year, Middleton was a defensive back for Furman football. He was a consensus first-team All-Southern Conference selection in 2008.

The Atlanta Falcons selected him in the fifth round (No. 125 overall pick) in the 2009 NFL Draft, making him Furman’s highest draft choice since 2000.

Ingle Martin

Furman’s all-time passing leader, Ingle Martin, was both a quarterback and a punter. He was a 2005 Furman Paladin (MVP) Award recipient and a consensus All-SoCon second-team selection in balloting by league head coaches and media. He was named Furman Male Athlete of the Year for the 2005-06 school year.

He has been the subject of a sports front-page feature story in the New York Times. The Green Bay Packers selected Martin in the fifth round of the 2006 NFL Draft and now coaches high school football in Tennessee.

Brian Bratton

Bratton was a two-time second-team All-Southern Conference selection as a wide receiver (2003 & ’04) and the first-team All-SoCon pick as a return specialist (2001). He earned SoCon Freshman of the Year in 2001. He was a member of two SoCon championship teams (2001 & ’04).

The 2001 team finished as NCAA FCS national runner-up, halting Georgia Southern’s NCAA record 39-game home winning streak and 27-game home playoff game undefeated run in the playoff semifinals.

Bratton signed a free-agent contract with the Atlanta Falcons in 2005 and later with the Baltimore Ravens. In 2006, the Ravens allocated him to the Cologne Centurions (NFL Europe), where he caught 23 passes for 280 yards and two TDs.

He signed on briefly with the AFL Nashville Kats before moving on to the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes in 2007, where he caught 193 passes for 2,165 yards, and 16 touchdowns while helping Montreal to Grey Cup championships in 2009 and 2010.

Matt Davidson

The 2002 SoCon Player of the Year, Matt Davidson, garnered the Furman Male Athlete of the Year accolade in 2004 after winning individual medalist honors at the Southern Conference Championship and guiding the Dins to a SoCon team title.

Now a member of the Furman golf coaching staff, Davidson, who captured individual titles at the 2001 Carolina First Intercollegiate, 2004 Furman Intercollegiate, and 2004 SoCon Championship, played professionally on the PGA Tour, Nationwide Tour, EGolf Professional Tour, and the Web Tour for 13 years following his graduation.

John Barry Nusum

Nusum, The 2000 SoCon Tournament MVP, was Furman’s all-time leader in career goals (61) as of the date of his induction. He ranked second in Southern Conference history in career points. He was a 2001 finalist for the Mac Hermann Award, which is given annually to the nation’s top collegiate soccer player.

Also the 1999 SoCon Player of the Year, Nusum led the Paladins to a school-best NCAA quarterfinal appearance. The forward was a part of Furman’s NCAA record streak of 46 consecutive conference matches without a defeat from 1999-03.

Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew drafted him in the third round of the 2002 MLS Draft. He played professionally with the Virginia Beach Mariners, the Atlanta Silverbacks, and the United Soccer League’s Toronto Lynx. Nusum also played in the Major Indoor Soccer League with the Philadelphia KiXX and led the team in points in 2007. He earned MISL Rookie of the Year and All-Rookie Team honors in 2004-05.

Nusum scored seven goals for Bermuda during qualifying for the 2006 World Cup, ranking second in goals in the CONCACAF. The Devonshire native was named the 2004 Bermuda Male Athlete of the Year.


As a right-handed pitcher, Tom Mastny is the only All-American baseball player in school history. He was tabbed Southern Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2003.

The Toronto Blue Jays selected him in the 11th round of the 2004 Major League Draft. He was later traded to the Cleveland Indians in December 2004, and. in four seasons of minor league ball, compiled a 28-10 record with a 2.20 ERA. Mastny was called up to the major leagues in July 2006. In 66 appearances for the Indians, he posted a 7-3 record with five saves and a 4.86 ERA. He is only the fifth Furman baseball player to play in the major leagues.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Paladin

Your donation will support the student journalists of Furman University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Deniz Sariaslan
Deniz Sariaslan, Managing Editor
A junior from Turkey, Deniz is a double major in Economics and Communication Studies. His interest in media goes a long way back to 2019, since when he has been working as an NBA-credentialed editor at Turkey’s largest social media network on basketball. Having served as The Paladin’s sports editor for the past two years, he has decided to step out of his comfort zone and embrace a new challenge. So here he is now, executing the Managing Editor role.
Donate to The Paladin

Comments (0)

All The Paladin Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *