Four More Cavaliers Selected in NFL Draft
May 2, 2006
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Four Virginia players were selected during the second day of the 2006 NFL Draft on Sunday. Joining D’Brickashaw Ferguson (Freeport, N.Y.), who was picked Saturday by the New York Jets as the fourth pick overall in the draft, were offensive tackle Brad Butler (Lynchburg, Va.), tailback Wali Lundy (Willingboro, N.J.), wide receiver Marques Hagans (Hampton, Va.), and place kicker Kurt Smith (Lookout Mountain, Ga.).
Butler was chosen in the fifth round by the Buffalo Bills as the 143rd overall pick. Hagans, who was UVa’s starting quarterback for the past two seasons, was taken by the St. Louis Rams as the next selection. Lundi went to the Houston Texas in the sixth round as the 170th pick, and Smith went to the San Diego Chargers as the 188th pick.
It marked just the second time since 2000 that Virginia had at least five players selected in the draft. Last year, Virginia had seven draft picks, the most in school history. In the last two seasons, 12 Cavaliers from coach Al Groh’s first two recruiting classes have been drafted into the NFL.
Four Cavaliers also signed as free agents following the draft. Guard Brian Barthelmes (Parkman, Ohio) signed with the New England Patriots, place kicker Connor Hughes (Williamsburg, Va.) signed with the New Orleans Saints, linebacker Kai Parham (Virginia Beach, Va.) signed with the Dallas Cowboys, and defensive end Brennan Schmidt (McLean, Va.) signed with the New York Jets.
Linebacker Bryan White (Knoxville, Tenn.) has been invited to the New York Jets mini-camp.
Bills director of college scouting Doug Majeski talked about Brad Butler:
“He’s a right tackle which is probably the best position for him to play for us. He’s a smart, tough guy. People want to knock him athletically, but he does everything we need a right tackle to do. His feet are good and he has good hand play. Being a taller guy he’s not going to be an explosive run blocker, but he’s a good fit and glue to block kind of guy. He gets the job done.”
“He’s a technician coming out of college. He’s already figured that out because he’s so well coached. We’d like him to add a little more weight. He’s about 300 pounds right now.”
“I’m just happy to get a chance to play at the next level. Every kid that plays high school football always dreams of this day and I’m no exception. I look forward to having the chance to play for them.”
“I can’t thank all of UVa’s coaches enough. I think they really prepared me as well as they could for the next level. My hat is off to them.”
On playing for Jim McNally:
“It’s a great thing. My agency is called IFM and the president of it is actually Anthony Munoz who played under him for a long time. Anthony said some great things about him and just how good of a coach he is. I’m anxious to have the opportunity to work with him and have him teach me a lot of new things that I’ve probably never been taught before.”
“I feel like I do everything well. I can catch the ball well, and I can run inside. I can get outside on the corner, and a lot of people don’t realize it. I feel like I do everything well, and that is what I am going to add to the team.”
St. Louis coach Scott Linehan on Marques Hagans:
“We drafted him for his ability to play football and use his legs. The biggest draw for us with Marques was his return ability. That is where he will vie for a roster spot.”
“He gives you one of those toys on offense. Teams wonder what are you going to do. Does he line up at running back, receiver or does he line up behind center for a down. He is a very exciting player with great elusiveness.”
“I’ve always been a team player, put the team before me. Whatever it takes. It’s a chance to make a living doing what you’ve been doing all your life.”
“I tried to make it like any other normal day, which is tough to do,” Butler said. “I got up and went to church and came back and had lunch. I was just walking my dog and stopped off at a friend’s house and we were watching TV for a little bit and I got a phone call. “From there it has been a whirlwind.”
“I am so excited about that opportunity, first of all, but the fact that they believe in me and they targeted me to do a special job – one that I am very comfortable doing – I really couldn’t be in a greater place. I was pretty ecstatic [when I was drafted]. It took me a little while to comprehend it, but I was pretty thrilled.”
“I had a good workout for them [on Thursday], and they were really excited about signing me. It’s a really good situation, a great place and they have a great coaching staff. I think it was the best position that I could have gotten in.”