The 2020 NFL Draft saw 10 Conference USA players selected with FIU, Charlotte, Marshall, and Louisiana Tech leading the league with two selections each. Southern Miss and Florida Atlantic rounded out the selections with one player drafted.
Charlotte DE/LB Alex Highsmith was the first C-USA player to be chosen as he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth round (102nd overall).
The 6-3, 245-pound former walk-on had 40 tackles for loss over the past two seasons, including 21.5 this past season which ranked him fourth among FBS players. He was named as an Associated Press third-team All-American for his efforts in 2019 and leaves as the program's all-time sack leader.
Alex Highsmith (@highsmith34) becomes the 3rd Charlotte player drafted since the program joined the FBS in 2015.— (@CharlotteFTBL) April 25, 2020
All 3 were 3rd-round selections.
Highsmith, an All-American last season, is the school’s sack record-holder. ✅
For the 49ers, Highsmith’s selection means the program has had a third-round selection in three of the previous four drafts.
Offensive lineman Cameron Clark was the second Niner selected, going to the New York Jets with the 129th selection in the fourth round.
Clark was a three-year starter and leaves Charlotte as the school-record holder in games played with 49. He was named to Conference USA’s first-team all-conference in 2019 and made the second-team in 2018.
FIU quarterback James Morgan was the first Panther off the board as he was chosen in the fourth round (125th overall) by the New York Jets.
The 6-5, 228-pound Morgan set the program-record for touchdown passes in a season (26) in 2018 and led the Panthers to consecutive bowl game appearances during his two seasons in Miami.
He also becomes the second consecutive FIU starting quarterback to be drafted, following former Panther Alex McGough who was chosen in the seventh round by Seattle in 2017.
Cornerback Stantley Thomas-Oliver was the second FIU selection being chosen by the Carolina Panthers with the seventh round (221st pick).
Beginning his career as a wide receiver, Thomas-Oliver switched to defensive back prior to the 2018 season and was a two-year starter on the defensive side of the ball. After earning an all-conference honorable mention in 2018, he was named as a second-team performer in 2019.
Louisiana Tech safety L’Jarius Sneed was the first Bulldog selected in the fourth round (138th pick) to the Kansas City Chiefs. Sneed’s draft prospects were boosted by a 4.37 40-yard-dash time at this year’s NFL combine.
During his Tech career, Sneed played corner during his first three seasons before moving to safety as a senior. He had 177 tackles and eight interceptions in his collegiate career.
With the next selection, Tech standout Amik Robertson was selected by the Las Vegas Raiders with the 139th pick. Widely considered the best defensive back in Conference USA during his three seasons in Ruston, Robertson racked up 184 tackles, 14 interceptions, 34 pass breakups, and three defensive touchdowns as a Bulldog.
Florida Atlantic tight end Harrison Bryant was chosen by the Cleveland Browns in the fourth round (115th pick). The Mackey Award winner as the nation’s top tight end was the first tight end in C-USA history to top 1,000 receiving yards in a season, with his 65 catches for 1,004 yards last season.
Harrison Bryant is the latest and 10th Owl ever to be drafted into the NFL:https://t.co/dNoSmVMZFW— FAU Football (@FAU_Football) April 25, 2020
He was also named as a unanimous All-American in 2019 and was a two-time all-conference first-team performer in C-USA.
Southern Miss wide receiver Quez Watkins was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 6th round (200th pick). The Athens, AL native was one of the most dynamic playmakers during his time in Conference USA.
He led the Golden Eagles in all major receiving categories over the past two seasons and topped C-USA in receiving yards last season with 1,178.
Marshall kicker Justin Rohrwasser was selected by the New England Patriots in the 5th round (159th overall). Rohrwasser connected on 33 of 42 career attempts during his time in C-USA.
He set his career-high in nailing a game-winning 53-yard field goal to beat Western Kentucky when the two teams met last season.
The final C-USA player selected in this year’s draft was Marshall defensive back Chris Jackson who was chosen in the seventh round (243th pick).
The Tallahassee, Florida native was a four-year starter for the Thundering Herd and played both safety and cornerback. He tallied 189 tackles, 45 pass breakups and seven interceptions during his career.