A number of people have represented the Acadiana area in the National Football League.

All summer long, we’re going to spotlight the fantastic athletes from the area, people that were actually born in one of the Acadiana parishes, that went on to play football at the highest level, the NFL.

On Friday, we profiled New Iberia native Willie Hector.

Today, we spotlight Phil Nugent.

As far as we can tell, Nugent was the fifth person born in the Acadiana area that went on to play in the NFL and the first born in Lafayette.

Born on December 16, 1939, in Lafayette, Nugent's father, Philip M. (“Hunkey”) Nugent, was a rig mechanic for The Superior Oil Company. That company, which was based in Lafayette, Houston, and Los Angeles, was later acquired by Mobile Oil in 1978.

After high school, Nugent went to college at Tulane, where he played quarterback, throwing for 1.586 yards, to go along with 9 touchdowns, over three years, when the Green Wave was part of the SEC.

The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Nugent was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the third round of the 1961 NFL Draft, but he elected to sign with the Denver Broncos, who had drafted him in the 9th round of the American Football League Draft that same year.

1961 turned out to be Nugent's lone year in professional football, but it was an extremely successful one, leading the AFL in interceptions, with 7.

Nugent decided to leave football following his rookie season and follow in the family tradition of the oil field industry.

To say he was successful would be an understatement, starting in 1967, when he started with two land-based rigs in Lafayette, prior to forming Gulf Marine Industries, Inc. in 1969.

In 1978, Nugent became president of Drill Chem International, before becoming president of Dant Petroleum Corporation in 1980.

Today, Nugent lives in Houston, continuing his near 40-year career in the oil and gas industry.

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