Charleston’s Medal of Honor Bowl had 10 players off its 2015 roster taken in the NFL Draft last week, seven more than the college football all-star game had drafted in its first year.
Auburn defensive tackle Angelo Blackson was the first Medal of Honor Bowl player drafted this year, going in the fourth round to the Tennessee Titans.
Last year, three players from the Medal of Honor Bowl were drafted.
“This a significant number and a tremendous increase from last year,” said bowl chairman Tom McQueeney. “This is a reflection not only to the increased status of our game but also the quality of talent that we have participating.”
McQueeney said he expects about 75 players to sign free-agent contracts or to be invited to camps for tryouts. Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler of the Patriots played in the first Medal of Honor Bowl in 2014 before being invited to try out for New England.
Only three of the Medal of Honor Bowl’s 10 draftees were invited to the NFL Combine.
“We are extremely pleased with the work that our player personnel staff of Cal McCombs and Austin Atkinson performed,” McQueeney said. “They hit the ground running, and improved the quality of play significantly in their first year. They – and the bowl game – will only get better.”
Another Medal of Honor Bowl participant, Citadel running back Jake Stenson, has been invited to mini-camp by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Here are the Medal of Honor Bowl players drafted this year:
• Angelo Blackson, DT, Auburn, 4th Round, 100th pick, Tennessee Titans;
• C.J. Uzomah, TE, Auburn, 5th Round, 157th pick, Cincinnati Bengals;
• Shaq Riddick, DE, West Virginia, 5th Round, 158th pick, Arizona Cardinals;
• J.J. Nelson, WR, Alabama-Birmingham, 5th Round, 159th pick, Arizona Cardinals;
• Michael Burton, FB, Rutgers, 5th Round, 168th pick, Detroit Lions;
• Tevin Mitchel, CB, Arkansas, 6th Round, 182nd pick, Washington Redskins;
• Ian Silberman, OL, Boston College, 6th Round, 190th pick, San Francisco 49ers;
• Reshard Cliett, LB, South Florida, 6th Round, 211th pick, Houston Texans;
• Kristjan Sokoli, DT, Buffalo, 6th Round, 214th pick, Seattle Seahawks;
• Akeem King, S, San Jose State, 7th Round, 249th pick, Atlanta Falcons.