|Ryan Hoag's D-I soccer story
will be told a lot more over the next few months.
Photo by Tom Dahlin
Gustavus Adolphus wide receiver Ryan Hoag had a long wait on Sunday, but he and the Golden Gusties' faithful were rewarded when the Oakland Raiders selected Hoag with the final pick in the seventh round, at No. 262 overall.
As the last pick in the 2003 NFL draft, Hoag will be forever remembered as this year's "Mr. Irrelevant."
The selection turned Hoag's long day of waiting into a frenzy of friends and phone calls.
"Once upon a time I had heard I could slip into the late third round," Hoag said, "but this whole past week I heard from 15 teams and it looked like I would be a late second-day guy. I never figured to be the last pick in the draft. With all the calls I was receiving (with free-agent offers) I figured I wasn't going to be drafted at all."
It's one of the few cases where being picked 262 is better than 261.
"Our running back, Andy Traetow, actually told me about it. 'Hopefully you're Mr. Irrelevant' and he was telling me about the perks I'd never heard about. It piqued my interest. Even though I've talked to 10 people trying to tell me, I still don't know what it entails. I'm just blessed to get drafted."
Mount Union quarterback Rob Adamson, a fashionable sleeper pick in the national media over the past week, went unselected. He signed as a free agent with the Chargers, while teammate Dan Pugh signed with the Bears. The most prominent Division III alumnus currently in the NFL, John Carroll's London Fletcher (Bills), went undrafted. Other non-drafted players from D-III to play in the NFL in recent years include Grove City alumnus R.J. Bowers, who had a moment in the spotlight at the end of the 2001 season with the Steelers and was on the Browns' roster last year.
Washington & Jefferson wide receiver Todd Fry and Mount Union cornerback Chris Kern signed with the Lions to open the free agent season, while Trinity (Texas) wideout Jerheme Urban was picked up by the Seattle Seahawks.John Carroll quarterback Tom Arth signed with Indianapolis on Monday afternoon. Williams offensive lineman Garrett DiCarlo signed with Cincinnati, giving the Ephs two linemen currently on NFL rosters (Ethan Brooks started for the Ravens this season). Occidental defensive lineman Kevin Watson signed with the Patriots, while Widener's Mike Warker went to Atlanta for a three-way tryout for the No. 4 quarterback spot in camp.
They will join Buena Vista placekicker Carlos Martinez, a 2001 D3football.com All-American who signed with the Eagles earlier in April.