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Story Archives: Draft: What on earth?
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|Draft: What on earth?|
Did I miss something here?
South Carolina did finish 7-6 overall and 4-4 in the Southeastern Conference last year, did they not?
So how in the world did the Gamecocks lead the SEC with seven players chosen in the NFL Draft earlier this month?
Did the ol' ball coach do the ol' big whiff last season?
Tight end Jared Cook was the first Gamecock selected, going in the third round, the 89th pick overall, to the Tennessee Titans. Cook was a first-team All-SEC selection by the league's coaches in 2008 following his junior season. OK, that may explain it, Steve Spurrier doesn't throw to his tight end. That's usually a guy who blocks during those long bomb attempts.
Three Gamecocks went in the fifth round. Wide receiver Kenny McKinley was selected by the Denver Broncos as the 141st pick overall.
Linebacker Jasper Brinkley went nine picks later to the Minnesota Vikings.
Offensive tackle Jamon Meredith was selected by the Green Bay Packers with the 162nd pick overall.
Three more Gamecocks were picked in round seven. Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn was selected by the Carolina Panthers with the 216th pick overall. Defensive back Stoney Woodson was taken by the New York Giants with the 238th pick.
Kicker Ryan Succop was deemed "Mr. Irrelevant" by being the 256th and final selection of the draft. Succop, a senior from Hickory, N.C., was taken by the Kansas City Chiefs.
Wow, a kicker and the last pick. Don't unpack your bags Ryan.
LSU has had one player picked the very last (bet not too many of them can say that when they were kids in pick-up games). Norman Jefferson was the 335th pick in the 1987 draft, going to Green Bay.
At least he wasn't around the frozen tundra in November or December.
Northwestern State in Natchitoches has had two Mr. Irrelevants. No school has three last picks.
Michael Green was taken by the Chicago Bears as the 254th pick in 200, while Mike Almond was the 330th pick of the 1979 draft, going to Pittsburgh.
By the way, Deleware, Texas and Pennsylvania are the only other schools to have two players picked last in the draft.
Georgia and LSU finished with six each and Alabama and Ole Miss with four each.
The SEC had the most selections in this year's draft. The SEC had 37 of its players selected followed by the ACC with 33, the Pac-10 with 32, Big 12 and the Big Ten with 28 each and the Big East with 27.
Eleven of the 12 SEC schools had at least one player selected in the draft.
Since 1990, the SEC has had 739 players selected in NFL Drafts, tops in the nation. The SEC had eight players selected in the first round, which was tied for the fourth highest in SEC history.
The seven players selected in the draft is just one shy of the total Gamecocks selected in the previous four drafts combined (three in 2005, two in 2006, two in 2007 and one in 2008). While the seven players selected is the second-highest total in school history, the 1954 draft had six of the nine Gamecocks taken after the 10th round.
The seven draft picks for South Carolina matches Oregon State and Ohio State for the second-highest total for any school in the 2009 draft, topped only by the University of Southern California, which had 11 players selected.
As Ricky Ricardo would say, "Stevie, you got some explaining to do."
Joey Martin is sports editor of the Concordia Sentinel in Ferriday/Vidalia. The Concordia Sentinel is a sister publication of The Franklin Sun in Winnsboro and The Ouachita Citizen in Monroe/West Monroe. Martin can be reached by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.