April 23, 2005
AUBURN -- The Auburn football program made history during the first day of the 2005 National Football League Draft Saturday as four Tigers were drafted in the first round, becoming the first school in Southeastern Conference history to have four first round draft picks in the same year. Running backs Ronnie Brown and Carnell Williams were taken by the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the second and fifth overall picks, while cornerback Carlos Rogers and quarterback Jason Campbell were both taken by the Washington Redskins with the ninth and 25th overall selections.
Jason Campbell with parents and
Auburn offensive coordinator Al Borges.
"This is a great day for Auburn, but more importantly a great day for Ronnie Brown, Carnell Williams, Carlos Rogers and Jason Campbell," Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville said. "You hate to see all of these guys leave, knowing we are going to have to replace them, but this was their day. I couldn't be prouder of them."
Auburn's historic day was highlighted by two other NFL Draft firsts. The combination of Campbell, Brown and Williams marked the first time in NFL Draft history that an entire backfield from the same college was drafted in the first round in the same year. Brown and Williams were also the first running back duo from the same school to be taken in the top five overall during the same draft.
"It makes you feel good knowing that we knew we had a good football team," Tuberville said. "This puts the icing on the cake, as we are starting to be recognized by the efforts of the NFL people who have done all of the background work."
Brown, Williams and Rogers' selection in the top 10 was the first time in Southeastern Conference history and fifth time in NFL Draft history that three players from the same college have been taken in the top 10 of the first round.
"I'm definitely excited about it," Brown said. "I'm happy with the decision they (Miami) made. Hopefully I can do what it takes to be successful and do whatever the coaches ask of me to help the team."
Brown finished his Auburn career seventh all-time with 2,707 rushing yards with 28 rushing touchdowns on the ground. As a senior in 2004, Brown was a first-team All-SEC pick after rushing for 913 yards on 153 attempts with eight rushing scores.
Brown is the highest drafted Auburn player since Aundray Bruce was the first overall pick of the 1988 draft. The Cartersville, Ga., native is the first running back selected in the top two of the NFL Draft in the last 10 years and first to be drafted in the top five since 2001.
Williams is second on Auburn's all-time leading rusher (3,831) and all-purpose yardage (5,084) lists and holds the school record for rushing touchdowns with 45. A first-team All-American as a senior, Williams rushed for 1,165 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2004.
"To be honest, I was thinking I was going to go to Tampa, because we had such a great relationship when I was at the Senior Bowl," Williams said. "So I expected to go (to Tampa Bay), but at the same time, I didn't know."
Rogers was named the Jim Thorpe Award winner in 2004 as the nation's best collegiate defensive back as Auburn's lock-down cornerback. Rogers, an Augusta, Ga., native, was a consensus All-American after tallying 47 tackles and two interceptions.
"I'm very happy about the way things went," Rogers said. "It's a great opportunity. I'm looking forward to being a Redskin. This is the best news I've gotten in a long time."
The Washington Redskins are the first NFL club to draft two Auburn players in the same draft since 1994 when the Los Angeles Rams selected tackle Wayne Gandy and running back James Bostic.
"It will be an honor and a pleasure to have the opportunity to be playing for a legendary coach, like coach (Joe) Gibbs," Campbell said. "To have the opportunity to play under him and participate in this organization is tremendous. It's going to be an Auburn family reunion in Washington with Carlos and (former Auburn linebacker) Marcus Washington."
Campbell was named the 2004 Southeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Year after throwing for 2,700 yards and 20 touchdowns while directing Auburn to a perfect 13-0 record. A Taylorsville, Miss., native Campbell was the SEC Championship game and NOKIA Sugar Bowl game MVP. Campbell concluded his Auburn career as the school's second leading passer in total yards, passing touchdowns, pass attempts, pass completions and first in completion percentage and passing efficiency.
The NFL Draft will continue through Sunday.
AUBURN DRAFT NOTES
*For the first time in school history, Auburn had four players drafted in the first round in the same year. Auburn had two first round picks in 1998 (Takeo Spikes, Victor Riley) and 1986 (Bo Jackson, Gerald Robinson) *The four first round picks by one school in the same year are the most in Southeastern Conference history.
*Auburn is the 11th school in the history of the common NFL Draft that a college has had four first round picks in the same season. The other schools to accomplish the feat include Michigan State (1967), Southern California (1968), Ohio State (1971), Notre Dame (1993), Florida State (1997), Miami (2001, '02, '03, '04) and Penn State (2003). USC had five first round picks in 1968, while Miami had five in 2002 and six in 2004.
*The backfield of QB Jason Campbell, RB Ronnie Brown and RB Carnell Williams is the first college backfield to be drafted in the first round of the same season.
*It is the first time in Southeastern Conference history and fifth time in NFL Draft history that three players from the same college have been taken in the top 10 of the first round in the same year (Michigan State, 1967; Southern California, 1971; Miami, 1987; Penn State, 1995; Auburn, 2005).
*With Ronnie Brown and Carnell Williams being drafted second and fifth, respectively, in the first round, it marks the first time in NFL Draft history that two running backs from the same college were drafted in the top five in the same season.
*The combination of Brown and Williams being drafted in the first round is just the fourth time that running backs from the same college team were chosen in the same year. The previous occurrences came in 1971 by Ohio State (John Brockington, Leo Hayden), 1986 by Florida (John L. Williams, Neal Anderson) and 1987 by Texas A&M (Roger Vick, Rod Bernstine). Texas A&M's Rod Bernstine was drafted as a tight end, however, played running back in college.
*Ronnie Brown is the highest drafted Auburn since Bo Jackson was the first overall pick of the 1986 NFL Draft (Tampa Bay). RB Tucker Frederickson was the No. 1 overall pick of the 1965 draft (NY Giants).
*Ronnie Brown is the first running back (all schools) selected in the top two of the NFL Draft in the last 10 years and first to be drafted in the top five since 2001.
*CB Carlos Rogers is the highest drafted Auburn defensive player since LB Aundray Bruce was the No. 1 overall pick in 1988. Rogers, drafted ninth overall in the first round, is the highest drafted defensive back in school history.
*Jason Campbell is the first Auburn quarterback ever to be selected in the first round and first Tiger signal caller drafted since 1990 (Reggie Slack, Houston, 12th Round).