Jenkins, Wells taken in first round; Laurinaitis and Robiskie in second round
COLUMBUS, Ohio Four former Buckeyes were taken on day one of the 2009 NFL Draft Saturday. Cornerback Malcolm Jenkins was the first Buckeye taken at No. 14 overall by the New Orleans Saints. Running back Chris “Beanie” Wells was the second Buckeye picked in the first round, No. 31 overall by the Arizona Cardinals.
The final two were selected in the early stages of the second round. Linebacker James Laurinaitis was the third pick (35th overall) in the second round by the St. Louis Rams while the Cleveland Browns took wide receiver and Cleveland native Brian Robiskie with the very next pick at No. 36 overall.
Jenkins won the Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back and earned All-America honors his senior season. In 2008 Jenkins recorded 57 tackles, four TFL’s and one sack. He also recorded three interceptions, nice pass breakups, three forced fumbles and blocked a punt that led to Ohio State’s only touchdown against Purdue. Jenkins also earned first team All-Big Ten honors the past three seasons (2006-’08).
Wells battled through an injury-plagued 2008 season, rushing for 1,197 yards and eight touchdowns despite missing three games. In 2007 he was voted team Most Valuable Player and was a second team Rivals All-American while rushing for 1,609 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Laurinaitis, a three-time All-American, was a unanimous first team All-America selection this past season and won the Lott Trophy as college football’s IMPACT Player of the Year which emphasizes integrity, maturity, performance, academics, community and tenacity in a college defender. He was voted Big Ten defensive player of the year during both his junior (2007) and senior (2008) campaigns. He won the 2006 Nagurski Award as the nation’s best defensive player and the Butkus Award in 2007 as the top linebacker.
Robiskie was one of Ohio State’s most productive and reliable receivers over the past three seasons with 24 touchdowns. As a junior, Robiskie led the Buckeyes with 55 receptions for 935 yards and 11 scores. He was a first team ESPN/CoSIDA Academic All-American (3.50 in marketing), a finalist for Arthur Ashe Sports Scholar and a Biletnikoff Award semifinalist. His productivity declined slightly during his senior season due to changes in Ohio State’s offense, but he still caught 42 passes for 535 yards and eight touchdowns. He also was a part of Ohio State’s Big Ten runner-up and NCAA qualifying 4×100 relay in outdoor track in 2008.
Heading into this year’s Draft, Ohio State ranked first nationally with 42 players chosen by NFL teams over the past six years, followed by Southern California (40), Miami, Fla., (39) and Florida State (36). Fourteen Buckeyes were drafted in 2004, the highest single-season total for any school over the six-year span.
On Sunday, three more Buckeyes heard their names called. First was cornerback Donald Washington who was selected with the second pick of the fourth round (102 overall) by the Kansas City Chiefs. Wide receiver Brian Hartline was selected six picks later by the Miami Dolphins (108 overall) and linebacker Marcus Freeman was drafted by the Chicago Bears with the 18th pick in the fifth round (154).
About Ohio State Athletics
The Ohio State University Department of Athletics sponsors 36 fully funded varsity teams 17 for women, 16 for men and three co-educational. The department is committed to providing its more than 1,000 student-athletes with the finest in academic and athletics support in order to ensure a quality and life-enhancing experience. The Department of Athletics is completely self-supporting and receives no university monies, tax dollars or student fees. In Fiscal Year 2008-09, the Department of Athletics will transfer back to the University more than $26 million in assessments, including nearly $13 million in grant-in-aid costs.