Several Gamecocks, Tigers drafted to NFL

Eric Norwood
Eric Norwood

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WIS) — South Carolina linebacker Eric Norwood will join his old teammate Captain Munnerlyn in Charlotte this fall after the Carolina Panthers picked Norwood in the fourth round of the NFL draft.

Norwood was second on the Gamecocks with 81 tackles to go with seven sacks and two interceptions last year.

The Panthers took Norwood with the 124th overall pick after trading down 12 spots in a deal with the New York Jets. The Panthers picked up the Jets' sixth-round selection, giving them four picks in the sixth and two more in the seventh later Saturday.

Carolina addressed needs on offense by picking quarterback Jimmy Clausen, receiver Brandon LaFell and receiver/returner Armanti Edwards on Friday.

Another South Carolina player to be drafted Saturday was defensive end Clifton Geathers, who was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the sixth round of the draft. The 6-foot-7, 299-pound Geathers, who left school after his junior season, had 3½ sacks last year for the Gamecocks. His brother, Robert Geathers, is a starting defensive lineman for the Cincinnati Bengals. His uncle, Jumpy Geathers, played for four pro teams.

The Oakland Raiders drafted speedy Clemson wide receiver Jacoby Ford in the fourth round. Ford was the fastest receiver at the NFL combine, running the 40 in 4.28 seconds. He caught 56 passes for 779 yards and six touchdowns last season at Clemson. He also ran for two touchdowns and averaged 14.3 yards per punt return.

The Philadelphia Eagles selected Clemson defensive end Ricky Sapp in the fifth round.

On Thursday, the Buffalo Bills drafted Clemson running back C.J. Spiller with the ninth pick in the NFL draft.

The San Francisco 49ers completed their eight-player draft class by selecting South Carolina State cornerback Phillip Adams with their final pick in the seventh round Saturday afternoon.

Adams, the No. 224 pick overall, fills a need for the 49ers, who were hoping to come out of the draft with a cornerback. Adams figures to challenge for a backup role in his rookie season.

An All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference selection in 2009, Adams is a physically imposing prospect who has quality size at 193 pounds. He's also a playmaker in coverage who led South Carolina State with three interceptions last year as a senior, returning two for touchdowns.

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