Hurricanes no longer blow through draft

NEW YORK (AP) " Once the nation's foremost football factory, the University of Miami barely got a mention during this year's NFL draft.

The U's streak of 14 years with at least one first-round draft pick was snapped Saturday. Then Sunday came, and just how far the Hurricanes' talent-level has fallen since Butch Davis left for the NFL and handed the program to Larry Coker in 2001 was magnified.

The first and only Miami player drafted went in the sixth round. Linebacker Spencer Adkins was taken 176th overall by the Atlanta Falcons.

In fact, Miami, Ohio, had just as many players selected this year.

The previous time no Miami player was taken in the opening three rounds was 1986. For the record, the last time no Hurricanes were drafted was 1974.

Miami has gone 19-19 over the past three seasons.

Perennial doormat Temple even had a player taken before Miami. Defensive tackle Terrance Knighton was selected in the third round by Jacksonville.

In fact, the first Temple Owls player came off the board before anyone from Michigan (defensive tackle Terrance Taylor to Indianapolis with the 136th overall pick), Nebraska (linebacker Cody Glenn to Washington with the 158th overall pick), Notre Dame (defensive back David Bruton to Denver with the 114th overall pick) and Virginia Tech (cornerback Victor Harris to Philadelphia with the 157th overall pick).

As for Miami, its record-setting run started in 1995 with star defensive tackle Warren Sapp taken by Tampa Bay. The list of All-Pros and Pro Bowl players from Miami over the last two decades is staggering. A sampling: Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Edgerrin James, Reggie Wayne, Santana Moss, Willis McGahee, Jon Vilma and Sean Taylor.

In all, 33 Miami players " including an NFL-record six in 2004 alone " were taken in the first round of drafts since 1995, by far the most of any school. The second-longest current streak of first-round selections is six years by LSU.

Until Miami's string came along, Florida held the record of first-round selections with nine consecutive drafts (1983-1991).

Prospects are good for a turnaround for Miami. Coach Randy Shannon has had highly rated recruiting classes the past two seasons, but in many ways this draft could be viewed as rock bottom for the once great program.


RECOVERING BYRD: Being drafted by San Diego might help LSU wide receiver Demetrius Byrd in his recovery from a car accident.

Byrd was chosen in the seventh and final round, 224th overall.

Earlier this week, Byrd was hospitalized in critical but stable condition after a car crash in Miami. Byrd had scrapes and bruises, but was held in intensive care for observation.

LSU officials said Byrd's car hit a utility pole after a tire blew out. No other cars were involved.

Last season, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound receiver had 37 catches for 513 yards and four TDs. He also played a key role in the Tigers' 2007 national championship.


QUARTERBACK U ... SC: The NFL's Southern California quarterbacks club is up to five active members.

Mark Sanchez, picked No. 5 overall by the Jets, became the fifth USC quarterback drafted since Carson Palmer went No. 1 to Cincinnati in 2003.

Matt Cassel, who backed up Palmer and fellow Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart, was taken by New England in the seventh round in 2005.

Leinart went No. 10 overall in 2006 to Arizona.

John David Booty, who started two seasons after Leinart and helped keep Sanchez on the bench, was a fifth-round pick by Minnesota in 2008.

"I'm probably closest with Carson Palmer and Matt Cassel," said Sanchez, who had to wait three years to become the No. 1 QB at USC and started only 16 games before jumping to the NFL after his junior season. "Pretty close with Leinart still and John David as well.

"I received a lot of advice from Carson, just about this rookie season. He said you want to be in the facility 24/7. You want them to kick you out. You want to know the names of the people cleaning up the facility late at night. That's how dedicated you have to be."

Trojans quarterbacks have had varying degrees of pro success.

Palmer's been one of the best in the league when healthy, but he's dealt with some serious injuries.

Leinart has been turned into a high-priced backup behind Kurt Warner.

Cassel went from Tom Brady's backup to one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the league after one breakout season with New England. He was dealt to Kansas City this offseason after being made New England's franchise player.

Booty is slated to be a reserve in Minnesota.

"All of them have said the same thing, just be yourself," Sanchez said. "I'm excited to share that elite fraternity with those SC quarterbacks.

Sanchez said he thinks USC's pro-style offense has helped him prepare for the NFL.

"Once you learn SC's offense you're speaking a pro system, you're learning the language of all the pro teams," he said.


SMALL SCHOOL STUDS: The first player to be selected from a school outside of the Football Bowl Subdivision, what used to be known as Division I-A, was Western Illinois linebacker James Williams.

The Dallas Cowboys took the Championship Subdivision All-American in the third round with the 69th overall pick. Williams was a standout running quarterback in high school in Chicago. He started his college career as a safety and blossomed into a 6-foot-1, 241-pound linebacker who dominated the very competitive Gateway Conference for three years.

He was the first pick by Dallas in this draft.

Three more players from the FCS were taken in the third round. The Jaguars grabbed William & Mary defensive back Derek Cox with the 73rd pick; the Giants took Cal Poly wide receiver Ramses Barden with the 85th pick; and the Ravens selected Ladarius Webb from Nicholls State with the 88th pick.

The San Diego Chargers reached out of the United States college ranks to take Vaughn Martin from Western Ontario in Canada in the fourth round with the 113th pick.

With the very next pick, the Detroit Lions grabbed the first Division II player, taking defensive tackle Sammie Lee Hill from Stillman.

Division II powerhouse Abilene Christian had two players drafted, running back Bernard Scott (sixth round, Cincinnati) and wide receiver Johnny Knox (fifth round, Chicago).

West Texas A&M quarterback Keith Null was drafted in the sixth round by St. Louis. His quarterback coach in college was former San Diego Chargers draft bust Ryan Leaf.


MR. IRRELEVANT: The final pick of the draft, ending the 15-hour,15-minute extravaganza, was South Carolina placekicker Ryan Succop.

Selected 256th overall by Kansas City, the 22-year-old Succop was a three-year regular kicker for the Gamecocks. Being picked last carries the distinction of getting called "Mr. Irrelevant."

"I don't really mind it. I don't plan on being irrelevant," Succop said. "I've been very blessed and I plan on making an impact right away. I've been blessed with the ability to do it and I'm looking forward to doing it."

What's the best part of being the last man drafted?

"The best part of it is having an opportunity to play in the NFL. Whether it's the middle pick or the last pick, I'm just happy to have the opportunity."

The seventh South Carolina player chosen this year " all in the final five rounds " Succop made 20 field goals in 30 attempts last season, scoring 90 points. His longest kick was a 54-yarder as the Gamecocks went 7-6.

Succop actually was more accurate as a sophomore and junior, going a combined 29-for-37 on field goals.

The 6-foot-3, 221-pound Succop also punted two seasons for the Gamecocks, averaging 42 yards. He did not punt as a senior.


AP Football Writer Barry Wilner and AP Sports Writers Doug Tucker in Kansas City and Tim Reynolds in Miami contributed to this story.


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