Monday, April 28, 2008

Do you feel a DRAFT...

...or is it just me?

Congratulations to two Big South football players who made the big leap to the pro ranks with this weekend's NFL Draft:

Simpson has been electric his entire CCU career, with the ability to seemingly catch anything in his zip code. His selecton on day one of the draft weekend made him the second Big South Conference player ever taken in the draft--joining his former Chanticleers teammate Tyler Thigpen (CCU QB taken in the 7th round of the 2007 draft by the Vikings, Thigpen spent the 2007 season with the Kansas City Chiefs). Simpson climbed up the draft board thanks to impressive numbers at the NFL combine and went from "sleeper" selection to second-rounder! He should have room with the Bengals, who have become lighter at the receiver position due to releasing Chris Henry and playing a high-dollar staring contest with Pro Bowler Chad Johnson. Cincinnati grabbed one more WR in the 3rd round as insurance (Florida's Andre Caldwell), but Simpson is expected to have a great shot at significant playing time in his rookie season.

Johnston has played like a force of nature for the Runnin' Bulldogs on his way to All-American status two years running in the FCS (2007 consensus 1st team, 2006 2nd team A.P.). He joins a Kansas City squad lean at defensive end (only three on the roster--including Johnston), and therefore stands a good shot at getting plenty of downs to demonstrate his pass-rushing abilities. The Chiefs definitely saw the draft as a way to improve their defensive front, taking LSU's Glenn Dorsey with the fifth overall pick, but don't overlook the contribution GWU's star defender can make on that squad!

Some of you may be thinking--surely there have been more Big South players taken...well, yes and no. Liberty has had three players drafted in the last 20 years, for example, but not as a Big South football team at the time. Strictly speaking, this year's draft makes it three players taken from active/current Big South schools by NFL squads. If you're a real draft-crazed list person, you will LOVE what they did at USA Today: a database of all the picks for the last two decades, which you can break down by college, conference, NFL team, state, position, round, and more. And if you're looking for the stories from the National Football League itself, look no further than this link to the draft coverage.

By the way, that baseball series we talked about last time? Coastal took two out of three at VMI over the weekend to take the lead in the Big South "pennant race."

That's all for now...more SHOUT-outs on the way soon...

1 comment:

bigsoutherforlife said...

2 in the Draft ... that is money... Congrats to Simpson and Johnston ... Big South football is in the house!!!!