Former Aledo Bearcat Chuck Filiaga has earned a chance to shine at the highest level of football there is.
Filiaga signed a three-year free agent contract with the Green Bay Packers on Monday, May 1. The deal is reported to be worth $2,695,000. It breaks down into $750,000 this year, $915,000 in 2024 and $1,030,000 in 2025.
Filiaga, 6-foot-6 and 321 pounds, joins a short list of former Bearcats to sign with an NFL team. The most recent was another offensive lineman, Kyle Hix, who signed with the New England Patriots in 2011 after a standout career at the University of Texas. His career was cut short by injuries and he was released in 2013.
Also, in 1976, offensive lineman Kirk Johnson was drafted in the sixth round by the Philadelphia Eagles out of Howard Payne, but he does not appear to have played in any games.
"Chuck was in town, came up to work out, and he felt real optimistic," said Aledo Athletic Director Steve Wood, who was the Bearcats' head coach the one season Filiaga played for Aledo in 2016, helping them go 16-0 and win a state championship.
"I'm happy for him. He's worked hard. He's a good young man, a team guy. He's very deserving of this opportunity.
"I remember he'd come in every day and say 'Hi, coach I love you.' Just a fantastic guy."
Filiaga spent five seasons at the University of Michigan (2017-21) before playing one season at the University of Minnesota (2022). He appeared in 39 games with 11 starts (eight at left guard and three at right guard) for the Wolverines and started all 13 games he played at right guard for the Gophers.
In 2022, Filiaga blocked for an offense that rushed for 2,698 yards and 33 touchdowns. He helped pave the way for Minnesota to gain 679 yards of offense, third most in school history, against Western Illinois in a 62-10 victory.
Filiaga wrapped up his college career by helping the Gophers defeat Syracuse 28-20 in the Pinstripe Bowl. Minnesota finished with a 9-4 record.
Filiaga was also named third-team All-Big Ten by the league's coaches in 2022.
Filiaga helped Michigan to a 12-2 record and a College Football Playoff semifinals berth in 2021 before falling to national champion Georgia in the semifinals, 34-11.
At Aledo, Filiaga helped the Bearcats to a 16-0 record and the Class 5A Division II state championship in 2016. As a senior, he led an offensive line that helped the offense produce 3,851 yards through the air and 4,656 yards on the ground, blocking for two 1,000-yard rushers, Jase McLellan (now at Alabama) and Michael Jordan. He was a member of the PrepStar Top 150 Dream Team and was named first-team All-USA Texas as a senior.
"I'm really excited for Chuck and wish him the best at Green Bay," said former Aledo head coach Tim Buchanan, who was the athletic director when Filiaga played.
"He has to go out and make it happen now, but I believe he has a good chance," Wood said. "And I sure am rooting for him."
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