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11 WAC Players Selected in NFL Draft
Courtesy: WAC

A total of 11 WAC players were selected in the 2012 NFL Draft.

The Cleveland Browns selected Nevada linebacker James-Michael Johnson in the fourth round on Saturday to open up a school-record four draftees for the Wolf Pack in the 2012 NFL Draft.

In his career at Nevada, Johnson played in 53 games with 43 starts. He recorded 296 career tackles, including 38.5 for a loss (of 125 yards). That includes 7.5 sacks for a loss of 40 yards. Johnson also intercepted three passes, forced five fumbles and recovered two. Johnson was voted a team captain by his teammates as a junior and again as a senior. He earned All-WAC honors after his junior season.

In the fifth round, linebacker Brandon M. Marshall was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars. He is the first Jaguars’ selection of a Nevada player since 2004 when Jacksonville took linebacker Jorge Cordova.

Marshall led Nevada in tackles as a senior in 2011 as he racked up 102 stops on the year. He was also third on the team in tackles for loss (7.5 for a loss of 30) and sacks (2.0 for a loss of 14). During his career at Nevada, Marshall started 46 games.

In the sixth, the Wolf Pack had its first defensive back selected since 1993 (Brock Marion) when corner Isaiah Frey was picked up by the Chicago Bears.

Frey earned first-team All-WAC honors in 2011 after leading the nation in passes defended with 1.62 per game. He was third in the nation and first in the WAC in pass breakups with 19 on the season. Frey, who never redshirted, finished second in the conference and 14th in the nation with five interceptions in 13 games played. He started 36 games in his career.

Nevada wide receiver Rishard Matthews capped the school-record class in the seventh round when he was selected by the Miami Dolphins. Nevada now has 40 NFL draftees in its history.

In his career at Nevada, Matthews started 25 of his 26 games played. He caught 147 passes for 2,243 yards with 13 touchdowns. He was named second-team All-WAC as a junior in 2010 and then earned first-team All-WAC accolades as a senior. He led the WAC in receiving in 2011 with 7.6 receptions per games and 113.7 receiving yards per game. In 2010, he was named the Offensive MVP in Nevada’s victory in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. He was also a sensational punt returner, taking two punts back for touchdowns in his two-year career at Nevada.

Fresno State wide receiver Devon Wylie was selected Saturday by the Kansas City Chiefs with the 107th overall pick in the fourth round.

Wylie, at 5-9, 185-pounds, becomes the 15th Fresno State wide receiver to be taken in the NFL Draft and the first since Paul Williams in 2007.  He becomes the fourth Bulldog to be drafted by the Chiefs and the first since linebacker Maurice Rodriguez in the seventh round in 2002.

University of Idaho linebacker Korey Toomer was taken in the fifth round by the Seattle Seahawks.

Toomer joined the Vandals in 2009 and redshirted in 2010 with a broken hand. He started at linebacker for the Vandals last season and took a few snaps at fullback – where he was an immediate hit. He scored three touchdowns against San Jose State and a two-point conversion. Toomer was the Vandals’ sack and tackles-for-loss leader with four sacks and 10.5 tackles-for-loss. He totaled 68 tackles for the season.

Former NM State defensive back Jonte Green was selected by the Detroit Lions as the No. 196 overall pick in the sixth round. Green becomes the second NM State football player in as many years to be drafted by an NFL team.

Green (St. Petersburg, Fla.) recorded 70 tackles on the season and led the team with 14 pass break-ups on the season, which ranked him second in the WAC. Green also grabbed two interceptions on the year, along with one forced fumble. Green tallied his first career interception of his career against Louisiana Tech and then grabbed his second in his final game as an Aggie against Utah State. Green ended his career with NM State with 218 tackles, 32 pass break-ups and two interceptions.

Former Utah State football players Robert Turbin and Michael Smith were selected Saturday.  Turbin was selected by the Seattle Seahawks with the 11th pick of the fourth round and the 106th overall pick, while Smith was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the fifth pick of the seventh round and the 212th overall selection.

Turbin will reunite with former Aggie teammate Bobby Wagner, who was drafted by the Seahawks in the second round Friday night.

The drafted Aggie trio marks the first time that three USU players were selected in the same draft since 1984, when Patrick Allen (4/100), Aaron Smith (6/159), Theodis Windham (12/329) and Andy Parket (5/127).  Overall, it is just the 15th time in the Aggies’ history that three or more players were picked in the same draft.

Turbin and Smith are also the first pair of USU teammates at the same position to get drafted since 1984 when DB’s Patrick Allen and Theodis Windman were drafted.  It also marks the first time two Aggie running backs were selected in same draft since 1976, when Louie Giammona and Ron Holmes were both drafted out of the USU offensive backfield.

Former University of Hawai'i linebacker Aaron Brown was selected by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round.  Brown was the 209th overall selection and second pick of the seventh and final round.
 
Brown was the only Warrior selected in the draft. He is the program's 24th draft pick since 2000 and second UH player in as many seasons to be picked by the Rams. A two-year letterman for the Warriors, Brown was an all-Western Athletic Conference first team pick last season after recording 103 total tackles and 13.0 sacks. He ranked seventh in the WAC in tackles per game (8.6) and tallied three interceptions and three fumble recoveries. He concluded his illustrious career by participating in the Casino Del Sol Bowl all-star game.

2012 WAC Draft Picks
Round-Overall, Name, Pos., School-NFL Team
2-47, Bobby Wagner, LB, Utah State-Seattle
4-106, Robert Turbin, RB, Utah State-Seattle
4-107, Devon Wylie, WR, Fresno State-Kansas City
4-120, James-Michael Johnson, LB, Nevada-Cleveland
5-142, Brandon Marshall, LB, Nevada-Jacksonville
5-154, Korey Toomer, LB, Idaho-Seattle
6-184, Isaiah Frey, CB, Nevada-Chicago
6-196, Jonte Green, CB, New Mexico State-Detroit
7-209, Aaron Brown, LB, Hawai'i-St. Louis
7-212, Michael Smith, RB, Utah State-Tampa Bay
7-227, Rishard Matthews, WR, Nevada-Miami