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Saturday, April 20
The Indiana Daily Student

sports football

3 former Hoosiers selected in NFL draft

Rodger Saffold sat with his family and friends on Thursday night in Bedford, Ohio, waiting for his phone to vibrate. But after no team called to let him know he was chosen in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, the former IU offensive lineman went to bed unsure of his future.

Fortunately for him, the wait didn’t last long.

Saffold was selected by the St. Louis Rams with the first pick in the second round, No. 33 overall, on Friday night.

He was not the only former Hoosier taken in the NFL Draft this weekend, as defensive end Jammie Kirlew and cornerback Ray Fisher were also picked.

Kirlew and Fisher were both taken in the seventh round by the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts, respectively.

Saffold said he has already spoken with No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford – the former Oklahoma quarterback he will protect on Sundays – and is ready to join his new teammates in St. Louis.

“He texted me last night and said he was real excited and looking forward to playing with me,” Saffold said. “I told him I’m going to keep his jersey clean. That’s pretty much how a tackle and quarterback are supposed to be.”

Saffold added that his idol, former St. Louis offensive tackle Orlando Pace, came into a struggling franchise in 1997 and helped turn it into a Super Bowl champion. With all of the Rams’ recent additions, he sees a similar story unfolding in the coming years.

“It’s a dream come true,” Saffold said. “I’m really excited for what’s about to happen.”
That same excitement can be seen in Fisher.

He said the Colts look to make the most of his speed, especially as a punt and kick returner on special teams. The Cleveland native had two touchdowns and averaged 36.1 yards per return on kickoffs last season for IU.

Fisher said the chance of contributing to a top franchise next season is unbelievable.
“It’s a great thing to be able to go to a winning team that competes every year for a Super Bowl,” he said. “I’m happy where I’m at. It’s a great opportunity for me.”

While Saffold and Fisher are remaining at their natural positions, Kirlew’s situation is different in Denver. He said the Broncos want to utilize him as an outside linebacker rather than a defensive lineman, and he is fine with the change.

“I just think it’s going to be a great fit,” Kirlew said. “That’s something that I worked on a lot during the offseason, and I knew some teams would be looking at me at that position.”

Despite the position switch, Kirlew is optimistic about his future in the Mile High City.
 
“I fit the mold for what they are trying to do,” he said. “They have good guys who play well, are intelligent and just want to win and work hard. That’s me.”

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