Blake Costanzo ’06 played a big role Saturday in helping the San Francisco 49ers advance to the NFC championship game, forcing one fumble and recovering another in a 36-32 upset victory over the New Orleans Saints.
Considered one of the top special teams players in the National Football League, Costanzo pounced on a Courtney Roby fumble during a kickoff return in the first quarter. The ensuing possession resulted in a field goal that gave the 49ers a 17-0 lead.
On a punt return in the third quarter, Costanzo tackled running back Darren Sproles, who fumbled the ball away to the 49ers. The resulting possession also resulted in a field goal, putting the 49ers up 20-14.
Costanzo, who was selected as an alternate for the Pro Bowl this season, also downed a punt late in the third quarter.
An anthropology and sociology graduate, Costanzo is in his fifth NFL season. He played two years for the Cleveland Browns before joining San Francisco. Previously, he played for the Buffalo Bills after spending time with the New York Jets. In 2009, he was selected to the SI.com (Sports Illustrated) All-Pro team on special teams.
At Lafayette, he recorded 307 tackles, 18 sacks, three interceptions, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and 12 passes defended. He was part of three Patriot League championship teams.