USF football program draws national attention
Signs that the University of South Florida football program is inching closer to breaking into the national spotlight were in full view this weekend.
Three members of last season’s Bulls team were selected in the National Football League draft. Linebacker Kawika Mitchell was the USF player to make draft headlines when he was selected in the second round – 47th overall – by the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday.
On Sunday, the defending AFC champion Oakland Raiders picked defensive end Shurron Pierson in the fourth round – 127th overall - and the Green Bay Packers chose WR DeAndrew Rubin in the seventh round.
Mitchell, a three-year starter with the Bulls, came to USF after redshirting his freshman year at the University of Georgia. He started the season at middle linebacker and led the team with 117 tackles, breaking his school record of 106 tackles that he set in 2002.
The Chiefs drafted Mitchell to provide them with some depth at the linebacker position. Marvcus Patton, the team’s starting middle linebacker the last four years, is said to be considering retirement.
The Raiders took Pierson in the 4th round.
Kansas City coach Dick Vermeil believes Mitchell has all the tools necessary to be a successful linebacker in the NFL.
"He’s demonstrated already an ability to help out in coverage," Vermeil said following Saturday’s first day of drafting. "We wanted a linebacker that will get involved in pass defenses and man-to-man situations downfield."
Pierson, who was born in Inverness, wooed scouts with his speed and strength.
Seen at http://www.baynews9.com/NewsStory.cfm?storyid=17290