The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

April 27, 2009

Holtzclaw goes undrafted, free agent route possible

By Dave Ruthenberg

Staff Writer



Good things come to those who wait … and wait … and wait a little more.

It’s day two of the 2009 NFL Draft and former Enid High School and Eastern Michigan University standout linebacker Daniel Holtzclaw is settling in for a what he and his family hope will be a day that ends with his being selected by one of the 32 NFL teams.

Since the first day of the NFL Draft consisted of only the first two rounds, the second day of the televised event from New York is the focus of the Holtzclaw household as Daniel is projected to be chosen anywhere from the fifth- to seventh-round or picked up as an undrafted free agent. The family allowed the Enid News & Eagle to document the day’s events.



9 a.m.— Daniel, his father, Eric, and sister, Jennifer, have settled in to the family room watching ESPN’s live coverage (mom Kumiko would join in later). Despite knowing his best opportunity of being drafted won’t likely arrive until the fifth round or later, Daniel already is feeling apprehensive. “I’ll be nervous until my name is called.’’ With his cell phone in his lap, he fidgets on the sofa uncomfortably. He said two NFL teams, Jacksonville and Washington, called earlier in the week to confirm his telephone number.

9:29 a.m. — Jason Williams, an outside linebacker from Western Illinois, is the first linebacker selected on day two, foretelling a pattern that would emerge throughout the day with several outside linebackers being selected but surprisingly few inside linebackers (Holtzclaw’s position) being picked.

11:32 a.m. — The fourth round of the draft is underway and teammate T.J. Lang, an offensive tackle, is selected 109th overall by the Green Bay Packers. Daniel sends a congratulatory text message. “I’m really happy for him.’’

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