O.J. Santiago gets up after a 26-yard reception which was the third play of the Falcons final drive. (BEN GRAY/STAFF) Atlanta Falcons quarterback Chris Chandler (cq) scrambles past the Vikings Tony Williams (cq) during the Falcons' final scoring drive in overtime. (BEN GRAY/STAFF)
Photo: BEN GRAY/AJC staff
Photo: BEN GRAY/AJC staff

Former Falcon OJ Santiago named tight ends coach at Kent State

After working as a student assistant coach at Kent State last season, former Atlanta Falcons tight end O.J. Santiago is returning to Kent, Ohio for a more permanent position.

Kent State announced the former Golden Flashes tight end accepted the roles of tight ends coach and assistant special teams coordinator on Friday, marking the beginning of Santiago’s coaching career.

Before being selected by the Falcons in the third round of the 1997 NFL Draft, Santiago played for Kent State from 1993-1996 and recorded 730 receiving yards and four touchdowns.

“Our players were super excited when they found out he was going to be the coach,” Kent State coach Paul Haynes said in a statement. “He brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm. And when you put together his experience in the NFL, the fact that he put on this uniform and his time with the team last year, it really excites our guys.”

Santiago played with the Falcons from 1997-1999 under coach Dan Reeves.

In his six-year NFL career, Santiago recorded 1,041 yards on 81 receptions and nine touchdowns. 

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