What do the New England Patriots, the Seattle Seahawks and Beverly Hills High School all have in common? If you’re thinking cornerback Brandon Browner, you’re close, but he went to Sylmar High in North L.A. It’s offensive lineman Caylin Hauptmann, and at 23 years old, he already is arguably the most successful athlete to ever attend Beverly.
Hauptmann dons the #68 in Patriots white and blue. Photo courtesy of the New England Patriots/ David Silverman.
While attending Beverly Hills High School, Hauptmann starred on the offensive line at both center and tackle under former coach and current BHHS principal Carter Paysinger. He also threw shot put for the track and field team, where he broke a 30-year-old BHHS record, throwing a 60’10.5”.
“To be his size and to be as agile as he was, and [to be] a little ahead of the curve in terms of his knowledge of the game, that made him an outstanding high school football player,” Paysinger said.
After graduating high school, Hauptmann accepted a football scholarship to play left guard for the College of the Canyons. He played one year there before being recruited by Florida International University, where he excelled as a player and a leader, becoming captain of the offensive line in 2011.
After graduating from Florida International, Hauptmann was signed as a undrafted free agent to the practice squad of the Cleveland Browns on April 30, 2013. After being signed to the Browns roster off the practice squad, he was waived to the practice squad once again. He was then signed for the 2013-14 season off the Browns practice squad to the Seattle Seahawks active roster. Hauptmann has only appreciation for the opportunity given to him by the Browns.
While transitioning from one NFL team to another could be difficult, Hauptmann didn’t have much of a problem with the change.
“Changing teams can be tough for some, but if there are no kids involved then it’s really not too bad,” he said.
Hauptmann spent most of the 2013-14 season with the Seahawks inactive, and spent three games active, but did not play. The Seahawks had a tremendous season and won the Super Bowl in a blowout game against the Denver Broncos. Hauptmann described what went on in his mind after winning a Super Bowl ring in just his rookie season.
“The first thing I thought to myself was, ‘God is great’. The second was, ‘Is this real?’ But once that settles in the next thing [I] thought about is how do I win another one. [I] always want more, as with anything,” he said.
After the 2013-14 season ended, Hauptmann had to start over. He was dropped by the Seahawks after he won his first Super Bowl, and was picked up by the New England Patriots.
Hauptmann had only one thought when he heard the Patriots were going to sign him.
“Thank God,” he said.
Hauptmann spent the 2014-15 season with the Patriots practice squad. The team went on to have Super Bowl caliber season, facing off in the big game against none other than Hauptmann’s old team, the Seattle Seahawks. As many know, the Patriots went on to win that game by a score of 28-24, and Hauptmann received his second ring.
He has had the winningest career possible, winning two Super Bowls in just two years in the NFL. However, he accredits his success to the coaches and players he has worked alongside.
“Both head coaches [I played for] have completely different approaches to the game. Both coaches are great and have proven it consistently,” Hauptmann said. “I have been blessed enough to start out learning from guys like Joe Thomas and Alex Mack in Cleveland then going to Seattle and learning from Max Unger, Russell Okung and James Carpenter then finally getting to New England to learn from guys like Dan Connolly, Ryan Wendell, Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer. All of these players have had a tremendous effect on me since coming into the league. I have learned at least one thing from each of them.”
Paysinger recounted the type of mentality that Hauptmann had in high school on the field.
“Caylin was a fiery type of guy, and when things weren’t going well on the field he had no problem getting in the faces of some of his teammates. Like some of our other great football players, he would get emotional from time to time,” Paysinger said.
Paysinger also recalled the single trait that he saw in Caylin which he believes caused him and many other successful BHHS athletes to stand out from the bunch.
“I’ve had a number of players go on to play in college, and the one thing they all have in common is that they will work when no one else is out there. We call that the ‘grunt’ work. Thats the work they do when the fans aren’t there, when the other players aren’t there. We have had a few players to go on to play college football and a few to play pro football, and they all had that trait,” Paysinger said.
Paysinger also had a few words of wisdom for Hauptmann going forward in his career.
“Stay in your lane, keep your head down. Focus in on what you have to do. The one thing that I truly believe is that life can throw curve balls at you, but you have got to be able to make the adjustment. Things aren’t always what they seem, so you can’t be dismayed by that,” he said.
Paysinger recalls one single memory of Caylin that perfectly describes the type of player he was.
“I remember this one time we were running the ball to his side quite a bit, and he was dominating his guy and he came back over to the sideline and said, ‘Coach just keep running it right up my back; I’ve got this boy, I’ve got it,’” he recalled.