Monday, December 18, 2017

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Donnel Pumphrey (left), Nico Siragusa (center) and Damontae Kazee (right) were each selected in the 2017 NFL Draft. (Credit: GoAztecs) Donnel Pumphrey (left), Nico Siragusa (center) and Damontae Kazee (right) were each selected in the 2017 NFL Draft. (Credit: GoAztecs)
 


Three Aztecs Selected in 2017 NFL Draft

SDSU had three players selected on the third day of the 2017 NFL Draft.
By GoAztecs
 

San Diego State University had three players selected in the 2017 NFL Draft. Nico Siragusa and Donnel Pumphrey were each picked in the fourth round, while Damontae Kazee was selected early in the fifth round.

Siragusa was drafted with the 16th selection of the fourth round and 122nd overall by the Baltimore Ravens with Pumphrey going 10 picks later by the Philadelphia Eagles. Kazee, meanwhile, was chosen with the fifth pick of the fifth round (149th overall) by the Atlanta Falcons.

The trio helped the Aztecs to an 11-3 season, knocking off Wyoming, 27-24, in the MW Championship game and Houston, 34-10, in the Las Vegas Bowl, to finish with a No. 25 ranking in both the AP Top 25 poll and the Amway Coaches Poll. SDSU’s 11 wins tied a school single-season record as it became the first team in program history with back-to-back 11-win campaigns. 

The Aztecs’ three draft picks were the most in the MW, tied for the most among Group of 5 schools and tied for the 23rd most of any school. The three draft picks are SDSU’s most since also having three in 2013. SDSU now has multiple draft picks in five of the last seven NFL Drafts (since 2011) and at least three picks in three drafts since 2012.

Head coach Rocky Long has now coached 25 players that have been picked in the NFL Draft, which is tied with Gary Patterson of TCU for the most as a member of a Group of 5 conference. Among active Group of 5 coaches, Long’s 25 draft selections are 10 more than the next coach (Skip Holtz, current head coach at Louisiana Tech).

Siragusa helped the Aztecs set program records in rushing yards (3,680), rushing touchdowns (34), rushing yards per carry (5.8), points (493) and field goals (21). Over his four years, he blocked for the all-time leading rusher (Pumphrey) and last year he blocked for the first team in NCAA FBS history to have a 2,000-yard rusher (Pumphrey) and 1,000-yard rusher (Rashaad Penny). He was a two-time first-team all-MW selection (2015-16).

Siragusa is the first Aztec to be drafted by the Ravens. He’s also the second SDSU offensive lineman to be drafted in the last three years (Terry Poole in 2015), but the first guard since Lance Louis in 2009.

Pumphrey rushed 349 times for 2,133 yards (10th in NCAA FBS single-season history) with 17 touchdowns on the season, while adding a team-high-tying 27 catches for 231 yards. A Doak Walker finalist, two-time MW Offensive Player of the Year (2015-16) and three-time first-team all-MW selection (2014-16), Pumphrey set an NCAA FBS record with 6,405 rushing yards over his career. He also finished fifth in NCAA FBS history in all-purpose yards (7,515), tied for eighth in overall touchdowns (67) and ninth in rushing touchdowns (62).

Pumphrey is the first SDSU player drafted by the Eagles since Matt McCoy in 2005 and the ninth overall. Prior to McCoy, the last Aztec to be drafted to Philadelphia was Terrell Ward in 1980. Pumphrey is also the second SDSU running back drafted since 2012 (Ronnie Hillman). Prior to Hillman, the last SDSU running back to be drafted was Larry Ned in 2002.

Kazee finished his final year with 65 tackles (45 solo), seven interceptions for 156 yards, eight pass breakups, three tackles for loss and a quarterback hurry en route to being named the MW Defensive Player of the Year for a second straight season. Kazee, a three-time all-MW selection over his career (first team in 2015-16, second team in 2014), finished with a school-record 17 interceptions, 30 pass breakups (sixth at SDSU) and 214 interception yards (seventh at SDSU).

Kazee is the first SDSU draft pick taken by the Falcons since Ephraim Salaam in 1998 and the seventh overall. Kazee is the fourth Aztec defensive back to be picked in the NFL draft since 2013 and the second cornerback (Leon McFadden in 2013).

SDSU is accepting new account deposits on 2017 season tickets through the Aztec Ticket Office, while current season-ticket holders can also renew their tickets for the 2017 campaign. Fans can purchase tickets through GoAztecs.com, over the phone by calling 619-283-7378, or by visiting Qualcomm Stadium's Window E between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT.

SDSU’s home schedule next year includes games against UC Davis (Sept. 2), Stanford (Sept. 16), Northern Illinois (Sept. 30), Boise State (Oct. 14), Fresno State (Oct. 21), Nevada (Nov. 18) and New Mexico (Nov. 25).

2017 NFL Draft
Philadelphia - April 27-29


Round 4, 122nd overall - OG Nico Siragusa, Baltimore Ravens
Round 4, 132nd overall - RB Donnel Pumphrey, Philadelphia Eagles
Round 5, 149th overall - CB Damontae Kazee, Atlanta Falcons