NFL drafts one Trojan, two others signed

Published 1:11 am Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Three former Troy Trojans had busy weekends as the National Football League held its annual draft.

Defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi, who was taken in the fifth round by the Atlanta Falcons, becomes the first-ever underclassman to be drafted from the Sun Belt Conference.

“He was all in on his decision to go into the draft,” Troy head coach Larry Blakeney said. “He gambles a little bit a won.”

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Massaquoi was the 164th overall pick in the draft. With the selection, Troy has now had a player picked in six consecutive NFL Drafts.

“Our people do a great job with the NFL personnel,” Blakeney said. “Our doors are always open to anything they need.”

In two seasons with Troy, Massaquoi registered 128 tackles – 31 for loss – and 19.5 sacks. The 2011 Preseason Defensive Player of the Year becomes the 33rd Trojan selected in the draft.

Offensive lineman James Brown and wide receiver Stanley Arukwe signed undrafted free agent contracts over the weekend.

Brown signed with the Chicago Bears while Arukwe joined the Arizona Cardinals.

Brown was expected to be taken between the second and fifth rounds but fell out of favor with teams after the NFL combine.

Brown started 37 games in his career at Troy including all 12 last season.

“You can never predict the NFL,” Blakeney said. “I’m glad they will all get a chance to make a team.”

Arukwe, who has world-class speed, only played one year of football at the college level. At Troy’s Pro Day, Arukwe ran a blistering 4.19 40-yard dash.

The Tracy, Calif., native was a member of the Troy track and field team for four years before playing football for the Trojans.

Arukwe caught 12 passes for 231 yards in his only season.

“I think it’s a good opportunity for him,” Blakeney said. “The Arizona system will be good for him. He has burning speed and if he works on catching the football can really help a team.”

Players will report their respective mini-camp beginning in May.