Gamecocks Have Seven Selected in NFL Draft
April 26, 2009
The University of South Carolina had seven players selected in the NFL Draft on Sunday, the most players the school has had selected in the draft since nine players were chosen in the 1954 draft.
Tight end Jared Cook was the first Gamecock selected on Sunday. The Suwanee, Ga. native went 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.
Three Gamecocks went in the fifth round. Wide receiver Kenny McKinley was selected by the Denver Broncos with the 141st pick overall. The Mableton, Ga. native is Carolina's all-time career leader in both receptions and receiving yardage. Linebacker Jasper Brinkley from Thomson, Ga., went nine picks later to the Minnesota Vikings. He was an All-SEC performer in 2006 then suffered a knee injury in 2007 before earning second-team All-SEC accolades in 2008. Offensive tackle Jamon Meredith was selected by the Green Bay Packers with the 162nd pick overall. The Simpsonville, S.C. product started 38 games for the Garnet and Black.
Three more Gamecocks were picked in round seven. Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn was selected by the Carolina Panthers with the 216th pick overall. The Mobile, Ala. native was an All-SEC performer following his sophomore season in 2007. Defensive back Stoney Woodson was taken by the New York Giants with the 238th pick. The Tampa, Fla. product played both cornerback and safety during his Carolina career. 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.
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.