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DRAFT STUFF: Down year for in-state schools; Gators' highlight-reel defense

GAINESVILLE -- When Central Florida has just as many players drafted as Miami (and more than Florida), you know it was a down year for Florida football. Way to go Conference USA, I guess.

The Knights, Canes and Noles led the state with three players drafted this weekend. Florida offered the NFL to players (DE Derrick Harvey and WR Andre Caldwell). South Florida sent two cornerbacks to the NFL.

The Sunshine State had three players drafted in the first round: Harvey, Mike Jenkins (USF corner) and Kenny Phillips (UM safety).

--Sportswriters love the NFL Draft. "Oh, boy. Only seven more hours of Mel Kiper Jr. and Ron Jaworski." Thank God for Cris Carter.

--Anyone notice that every time an SEC skill player is taken in the draft ESPN always shows old highlight footage of said skill player scoring a touchdown against the Gators' pathetic 2007 defense? I can just imagine the ESPN producer in the studio.

Announcer: "Vandy's Earl Bennett was just taken in the third round."
Producer: "Quick, cue the Florida tape."

--FIRST 'NOLE TAKEN: Florida State's Andre Fluellen taken in the third round (87th overall).

--Miami native and Central Florida running back Kevin Smith taken in the third round (64th overall) by the Detroit Lions. What a steal! And, please, fight the urge of mentioning Barry Sanders and Kevin Smith in the same sentence. And for that matter, Bo Jackson and Darren McFadden.

--FIFTH-ROUND UPDATE: South Florida cornerback Trae Williams is taken by the Jacksonville Jags with the 159th overall pick. Williams is a solid corner and actually had a better senior season than his teammate, cornerback Mike Jenkins (nobody wanted to throw to Jenkins' side). Williams made The Miami Herald's All-Florida first-team defense.

Kenny Phillips, FS, first round (31)
Calais Campbell, DE, second round (50), Arizona Cardinals
Tavares Gooden, OLB, round three (71), Baltimore Ravens

Derrick Harvey, DE, first round (8), Jacksonville Jaguars
Andre Caldwell, WR, third round (97), Cincinnati Bengals

Mike Jenkins, CB, first round (25), Dallas Cowboys
Trae Williams, CB fifth round (159), Jacksonville Jaguars

Kevin Smith, RB, third round (64), Detroit Lions
Josh Sitton, OT, fourth round (135), Green Bay Packers
Mike Merritt, TE, seventh round (239), Kansas City Chiefs

Andre Fluellen, DT, third round (87), Detroit Lions
Letroy Guion, DT, fifth round (152), Minnesota Vikings
Geno Hayes, ILB, sixth round (175), Tampa Bay Bucs

Some in-state undrafted

WR Darnell Jenkins
CB Glenn Sharpe
QB Kyle Wright

SS Tony Joiner
OL Carlton Medder
OL Drew Miller

WR De'Cody Fagg
QB Xavier Lee

LB Ronnie McCullough
CB Bobbie Williams



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