Arizona Football

Florida high schools, Pac-12 programs boast most selections of NFL draft first round


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HIGH SCHOOL LOCATION OF 2015 NFL FIRST ROUND PICKS
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PICKS BY STAR RATING
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Site founder and award-winning sports journalist Javier Morales has published his first e-book, “The Highest Form of Living”, a fiction piece about a young man who overcomes a troubled upbringing without his lost father and wayward mother through basketball and hope. His hope is realized through the sport he loves. Basketball enables him to get past his fears. His experience on the court indirectly brings him closer to his parents in a unique, heartfelt way. Please order it at Amazon (for only $4.99) by clicking on the photo:
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Arizona’s 2015 roster composition resembles the origination of the players selected in tonight’s NFL draft.

Nine of the Wildcats hail from Florida, a primary recruiting base for Rich Rodriguez other than Arizona and California.

Florida high school products comprised most of the talent selected tonight with seven prospects, followed by Georgia (four), California (three) and North Carolina (three). Texas, perceived to have the most attractive hotbed of talent, had only two. And those two picks were among the last 12 picks in the round, including the very last one — Texas defensive tackle Malcolm Brown, who prepped at Cibolo (Texas) Steele High School.

Furthermore, Arizona for the most part attracts three-star prospects while traditionally strong programs such as USC lure the five-star studs.

I researched Rivals.com’s rating system of tonight’s 32 selections when they came out of high school. Most of them — 12 — were three-star players, led by No. 2 pick Marcus Mariota of Oregon by way of Honolulu (Hawaii) St. Louis High School. Five- and four-star prospects numbered eight each.

In a triumph for the underdog, those who are of the Two-Star Scooby Wright Fan Club, four two-star players were chosen. Michigan State cornerback Trae Waynes, a two-star prospect out of Kenosha (Wis.) Bradford High School, was the highest selected of that group. Minnesota selected him as the No. 11 pick overall.

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PICKS BY CONFERENCE
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Waynes was a high school teammate of the No. 15 pick, Melvin Gordon of Wisconsin. Gordon was drafted by San Diego.

The other two-star players drafted: Wake Forest cornerback Kevin Johnson (16th by Houston), Central Florida wide receiver Breshad Perriman (26th by Baltimore) and Connecticut cornerback Byron Jones (27th by Dallas).

The Pac-12 can also beat its chest after tonight’s first-round selections in which a record was set for the conference. It tied the ACC for the most selections with nine, followed by the SEC (seven), Big Ten (three), Big 12 (two) and American Athletic (two).

Washington had three picks of its own. USC and Oregon each had two. That means those three programs tied the SEC, which has 14 schools.

The Pac-12 had only three first-round picks last year while the SEC had the most with nine.

ASU safety Damarious Randall, picked 30th by Green Bay, is one of the seven Florida high school products that were selected. He hails from Pensacola (Fla.) High School. He later played at Mesa Community College.

ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He has also written articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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