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2019 NFL Draft Recap: Conference USA gets six players drafted

FAU and ODU had two players selected and accomplished program firsts in the process.

Bethune Cookman v Florida Atlantic Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Conference USA had six players selected in the 2019 NFL Draft with Old Dominion and FAU leading the way with two players apiece. Charlotte and Louisiana Tech were the other teams from C-USA who had a player drafted.

FAU running back Devin Singletary was the first C-USA player to go off the board as he was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the third round (75th overall). Singletary leaves C-USA with the single-season record for 32 rushing touchdowns and 4,299 career rushing yards, the sixth-most in C-USA history.

Singletary wasn’t the only FAU RB who heard his name called this weekend, as Kerrith Whyte Jr. was also drafted, going in the seventh round (No. 222 overall) to the Chicago Bears. Whyte is the only player in FAU history to return a kickoff for a touchdown, accomplishing the feat in 2017 and 2018.

Singletary and Whyte’s selection makes this the second time in FAU history that two players were taken in the same draft (Randell Johnson, Keith Reaser, 2014) and the first time ever that two FAU running backs were chosen in the same draft.

FAU wasn’t the only C-USA program to make history during the draft. Old Dominion defensive end Oshane Ximines became the first ever ODU football player to be drafted, as the star DE was taken in the third round (95th overall) by the New York Giants. Ximines has the most sacks in ODU history with 33, and most tackles for loss with 50.5.

ODU wide receiver Travis Fulgham continued ODU’s historical weekend by becoming the second Monarch to be taken in the NFL Draft, going in the sixth round (No. 184 overall) to the Detroit Lions. Fulgham led C-USA last season with 1,083 receiving yards and will be best remembered for his performance in the upset over Virginia Tech in which he had 188 receiving yards and a touchdown.

Louisiana Tech continued the conference’s tradition in sending defensive linemen to the NFL, as defensive end Jaylon Ferguson was taken in the third round (No. 88 overall). Ferguson was the 2018 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year. In a bit of poetic symmetry, the Ravens selected Jaylon Ferguson, the all-time leader in NCAA history in career sacks (45) to replace the former all-time leader in NCAA history in career sacks (44), Terrell Suggs.

Six picks before Ferguson was taken, Charlotte offensive lineman Nate Davis was taken by the Tennessee Titans. Davis’ selection makes this the second Charlotte 49er in three years to be taken in the NFL Draft (Larry Ogunjobi was a third-round pick to the Cleveland Browns in 2017). Davis made Second Team All-Conference USA in 2018 and was an honorable mention selection in 2016 and 2017.

C-USA had the fourth best showing in the NFL Draft among G5 conferences. The American Athletic Conference had the most draft selections with 11, followed by the Mountain West Conference with 10. The MAC had nine.

Since 2016, Conference USA has had at least six players selected in the NFL Draft.