With football season just 38 days away from the official kickoff, what better way to look at football season than to look into the past … and today we “Take A Look Back” at the draft picks in the NFL that have come from Tuskegee.
Since 1967, Tuskegee has had 23 players drafted into the National Football League (NFL), with seven players being selected in the seventh round or higher.
The picks started in 1967 when Walter Johnson, a defensive end, was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the eighth round (198th overall pick); while the final draft pick thus far for Tuskegee was Harry Williams, a wide receiver, by the New York Jets in the 2005 Draft – the 240th overall pick in the seventh round.
In between the two, there have been several picks and many different rounds … however, no year was better than 1969. There have been years where a pair of Tuskegee players were drafted in the same year (1967,1970,1972,2002), but no year was like 1969. In that year, five different players from Tuskegee University were selected in the NFL Draft. It started with George Irby going 195th overall to the New York Giants in the eighth round, followed by Cecil Leonard just 13 picks later at 208th overall to the New York Jets in the eighth round. The Golden Tigers had to wait seven rounds before their next pick as Fritz Latham was selected 383rd overall by the St. Louis Cardinals, while in the 16th round, James Lowe was selected by the Cleveland Browns with the 410th overall pick. The final pick of the year for Tuskegee came in the 17th round as Ralph Jenkins was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs with the 438th overall pick.
|1967||8||198||Walter Johnson||DE||San Francisco 49ers|
|1967||12||301||James Hall||LB||San Francisco 49ers|
|1969||8||195||George Irby||RB||New York Giants|
|1969||8||208||Cecil Leonard||DB||New York Jets|
|1969||15||383||Fritz Latham||OT||St. Louis Cardinals|
|1969||16||410||James Lowe||WR||Cleveland Browns|
|1969||17||438||Ralph Jenkins||DB||Kansas City Chiefs|
|1970||10||247||Maurice Fullerton||DT||Denver Broncos|
|1970||16||395||Otis McDaniel||DE||Boston Patriots|
|1971||5||110||Art May||DE||Cincinnati Bengals|
|1971||9||215||Alvin Griffin||WR||Atlanta Falcons|
|1972||15||376||Charles Neugent||DB||San Diego Chargers|
|1973||10||257||Leo Allen||WR||Oakland Raiders|
|1974||17||442||Kenneth Dickerson||DB||Miami Dolphins|
|1975||14||341||Steve Robinson||DT||Atlanta Falcons|
|1976||16||436||Clifford Brown||DT||New England Patriots|
|1981||6||165||Edward O’Neal||RB||New York Giants|
|1982||10||274||Kenneth Woodard||LB||Denver Broncos|
|1992||7||190||Chris Holder||WR||Green Bay Packers|
|2002||3||72||Roosevelt Williams||DB||Chicago Bears|
|2003||2||46||Drayton Florence||DB||San Diego Chargers|
|2003||6||207||Frank Walker||DB||New York Giants|
|2005||7||240||Harry William||WR||New York Jets|
Tomorrow, I will take a look back at four memorable (or not so memorable depeding on how you look at it) postseason appearances by former Tuskegee University Golden Tigers football players.
I hope you continue to follow us on Social Media – all platforms are @MyTUAthletics – and on Facebook – Tuskegee University Athletics. Also, today we will unveil Moment #3 in our countdown of the top moments during the 2014-15 athletic season.
Until next time,
Travis J. Jarome
Athletic Communications Director