FSU's 2013 draft haul highlighted by graduation success

Posted at 10:24 PM, May 07, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-07 22:24:00-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The Florida State football program was a big winner in the 2013 NFL Draft and it turns out that the Seminoles are big winners in the classroom too.

Of the school-record 11 student-athletes that were selected in the seven-round league draft last month, all eight of the 'Noles that had exhausted their eligibility had either previously graduated or have since graduated as part at the conclusion of the 2013 spring semester. Three others with exhausted eligibility that went undrafted but signed free agent deals have graduated or will soon graduate as well.

"I’m not only proud of our guys for being drafted for what they’ve done on the field, but even more proud of them for what they’ve done off the field," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said. "They’re all outstanding citizens, great representatives of Florida State and graduates of FSU. Our graduating rates are excelling, and I’m happy they were a part of that."

Quarterback EJ Manuel was the first FSU player selected when he was chosen 16th overall by the Buffalo Bills. Manuel earned his undergraduate degree in Media and Communication Studies in the fall of 2011.

Second-round selection Cornellius Carradine earned his degree in Interdisciplinary Social Science in the fall of 2012 alongside fifth-round pick Brandon Jenkins, who achieved a degree in Sociology. Chris Thompson, who, like Jenkins, is now a member of the Washington Redskins, has since earned his undergraduate degree in Sport Management after being selected in the fifth round, too.

A sixth-round selection by the Bills, Dustin Hopkins earned his undergraduate degree in the fall of 2011 in Media and Communication Studies and worked towards a degree in International Affairs this spring. Fellow sixth-round draftee Nick Moody graduated in the fall of 2012 with a degree in Interdisciplinary Social Science and a pair of seventh-round 'Noles -- Vince Williams and Everett Dawkins -- earned their respective diplomas in the fall of 2011. Williams received a degree in Creative Writing and Dawkins earned a degree in Social Science.

In addition to the selected Seminoles, rookie free agents Anthony McCloud, Lonnie Pryor and Rodney Smith also represented FSU well in the classroom. McCloud graduated last summer with a degree inSocial Science and Pryor and Smith are both expected to graduate at the conclusion of summer 2013 classes with degrees in Interdisciplinary Social Science and Criminology, respectively.

Early draft entrants Xavier Rhodes, Bjoern Werner and Menelik Watson are all projected to graduate in the spring of 2014.