Welcome to the NFL

April 29, 2010

by Justin Phillips

As the final name of the NFL draft was read from its placard and the last call to a team’s priority free agent was placed, three former Bulldogs found themselves starting on the road to NFL training camps.

D’Anthony Smith, former defensive lineman for the Bulldogs, was the first of the NFL-bound trio to hear his name called during the draft April 22-24. The 6-foot-3 304-pound defensive tackle anchored the Bulldogs defensive unit during is career with the Bulldogs.

Smith accumulated a handful of accolades during his days in red, white and blue, being named to the first-team all-Western Athletic Conference roster for the past two seasons.

The Pickering native started 46 games for the Bulldogs and tallied 194 tackles, including 15 sacks and 24.0 tackles for loss in his three years of play. Smith was the second pick in the 2010 draft for the Jacksonville Jaguars at the 10th spot in the third round.

Dennis Morris, former tight end and best known for spectacular catches against both Auburn and Boise State, heard his name called during the second day of the draft.

The 6-foot-2 260-pound pass-catcher helped solidify the Bulldog offense during his last year with the team as he hauled in 38 catches for 623 yards and a program record 12 touchdowns. Highlighting one of the most productive years by a tight end in the Bulldog program history, Morris was also named the top tight end in the nation by the College Football Performance Awards in January.

The former Woodlawn High School star was selected by the Washington Redskins in the sixth round of the draft as the 174th overall selection.

Daniel Porter, former running back, was the last of the trio to get a phone call, and it was from the Carolina Panthers.

For three years, Porter was an offensive stalwart for the Bulldogs as provided stability in the backfield during his four years in the program. At 5-foot-9 190 lbs., Porter small stature paled in comparison to his enormous accomplishments.

The talented back will leave Tech as the greatest rusher in program history, amassing 3,352 yards — surpassing Jason Cooper’s previous career mark of 3,342 yards set more than 15 years ago.

With his success on the field, the accolades poured in off the field as Porter was a two-time selection to the first team all-WAC roster and first team all-state selection.

His 614 career carries ranks third in Bulldog history and his 28 rushing touchdowns ties him for 4th in program history.

Porter’s 12 100-yard career rushing performances ranks him second in program history behind only Jason Davis’ 13.