The Carolina Panthers, due to the trade with San Francisco, had two picks in the fourth round. The second of those picks, number 128 overall, was used to select Tony Fiammetta, FB, Syracuse.
The team’s starting fullback his last two years, Fiammetta did not get many opportunities to touch the ball, but the team captain developed into one of the Orange’s few bright spots. He also proved to be a capable receiver coming out of the backfield, as the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll member pulled down 28 combined passes as a junior and senior.
Fiammetta was rated the 25th-best overall prospect in the Mid-Atlantic region by Super Prep during his senior year at Walkersville High School, but missed most of season after he suffered a left leg fracture in the season opener. He rushed for 144 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries in that game before being sidelined.
Fiammetta added All-East Region accolades from Prep Star as the team captain during his junior year. In four seasons with the football team, he gained 499 yards on 60 carries 8.32 avg) and posted 12 touchdowns. He lettered on the wrestling team as a junior, competing in the 215-pound weight class. He also lettered four times as a midfielder for the school’s lacrosse team.
Fiammetta enrolled at Syracuse in 2004, performing on the scout team. In 2005, he saw action with the special teams in 10 contests, recording one solo tackle in the season finale vs. Louisville. He played in every game as a reserve fullback in 2006, gaining just 15 yards on eight carries, but also returned three kickoffs for 32 yards (10.7 avg).
As a junior, Fiammetta earned eight starting assignments in 11 games, sitting out the Buffalo game as a precaution after suffering a concussion vs. Rutgers. He only carried three times for 8 yards, coming up with 12 receptions for 75 yards (6.2 avg) while registered four touchdown-resulting blocks and 39 knockdowns.
In 2008, Fiammetta started 12 contests, missing the South Florida clash due to a left leg contusion. He made the most of his five rushing attempts, generating 66 yards (13.2 avg) and also pulled down 16 passes for 127 yards (7.9 avg) and his only touchdown for his career. He continued to excel on special teams, causing two fumbles while making four tackles (3 solos).