Football / Sports

Jaguars take first Miami Hurricane of draft, offensive guard Brandon Linder, in third round

All was quiet on the University of Miami football front Friday night at New York's Radio City Music Hall and across Hurricane homes everywhere -- until the silence was broken at about 11 p.m.

That's when the first Miami name was called in the 2014 NFL Draft.

That pick: offensive guard Brandon Linder to the Jacksonville Jaguars, whose offensive coordinator, Jedd Fisch, previously coached the 6-6, 312-pound Linder at Miami.

Linder was selected 93rd overall -- the 29th player taken in the third round -- when the Jaguars gave up Nos. 105 and 179 to the Patriots to draft the Hurricane from Southwest Ranches in Broward County.

"Crazy, right?" said Linder, who leaves for Jacksonville on Sunday. "I'm so happy right now. It was me and my family sitting down, no real expectations, and I get a call from Jacksonville and didn't even know they had traded up with the Patriots to get a pick. I was ecstatic. My family and I were going crazy.

"I can't wait to get there and get to work. Coach Fisch is my guy. He coached me for two years, and I couldn't be more excited to be working with him."

Linder, who also has played tackle, not only will be staying home in Florida, he'll have a chance to protect the top quarterback taken in the draft, No.��3 overall pick Blake Bortles from UCF.

"Congrats to my boy @BrandonLinder65!" tweeted UM quarterback Stephen Morris, also awaiting his shot to become an NFL player. "love ya bro!"

UM extended its streak of 40 consecutive years with an NFL Draft pick.

The selection marked the first Hurricane taken as high as the third round since 2012, when defensive end Olivier Vernon went to the Dolphins and linebacker Sean Spence to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Last year UM had cornerback Brandon McGee go in the fifth round to the St. Louis Rams and Mike James to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the sixth.

No other Hurricane has been drafted.

Some flirted with the prospect of 6-7, 335-pound right tackle Seantrel Henderson going as high as the third round until it was reported Monday by ESPN's Adam Schefter that Henderson tested positive for marijuana at the NFL Scouting Combine.

(c)2014 The Miami Herald

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Distributed by MCT Information Services


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