Nicholas Anthony Buoniconti (born December 15, 1940) is a former American Football League and NFL Hall of Fame middle linebacker, who played for the Boston Patriots and Miami Dolphins. Born on December 15, 1940 in Springfield, Massachusetts, Buoniconti graduated from Notre Dame, and was drafted by the American Football League's Patriots in the thirteenth round of the 1962 AFL draft. As a tackle, Buoniconti was the captain of the 1961 Notre Dame football team, but was considered by NFL scouts as 'too small' to play pro football. Drafted by the Boston Patriots in the 1962 American Football League college draft and switched to linebacker, Buoniconti made an immediate impact, as he was named the team's rookie of the year. The following year, he helped Boston capture the 1963 AFL Eastern Division title. With Boston, he appeared in five AFL All-Star Games, and recorded 24 interceptions, which is still the seventh-most in team history.
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