On to the NFL: Leggett taken by New York Jets in fifth round

With the 144th pick in the NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts select Grover Stewart, a defensive tackle out of Albany State. The announcement signaled the end of the fourth round Saturday afternoon, leaving Jordan Leggett, who was projected to be taken in the round, wondering when his name would be called.

Nine tight ends had already been taken in front of the former football standout out of Navarre.

The anticipation was starting to drive him crazy.

A hint of frustration was setting in as well for Leggett, a two-time Mackey Award finalist who helped lead Clemson to its first national championship since 1981 last season.

As the fifth round began, he unglued his eyes from the television screen. It was time to step away from the stress of the situation and relax.

“It was what it was. I stopped watching at that point and started hanging out with family and friends,” Leggett said in a phone interview Monday afternoon. “I was hanging out and playing pool.”

He was talking with his girlfriend’s cousin when the phone rang. The anticipation ended. The frustration faded.

The New York Jets were on the phone.

“It was pretty surreal,” Leggett said. My phone started ringing. It was a number from New Jersey. It was an awesome feeling to be drafted.”

The Jets took Leggett with the sixth pick of the fifth round. He was the 150th pick overall.

Leggett had a feeling the Jets might pick him.

“We had lists of teams who needed and didn’t need a tight end. We had an A list, a B list and a C list,” Leggett said. “The Jets were on the A list. When a team picked a tight end, I’d cross them off. As the list got smaller, the Jets were still on it.”

His former high school coach, Jay Walls, was thrilled Leggett saw his football dream come true.

“We’re definitely proud and excited for Jordan,” said Walls, who coached Leggett his senior season. “His last two years in college were outstanding. He has great size and is athletic and has the ability to make big catches. I know he’ll continue to work hard at the next level.”

Read the full article in the May 4 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com for as little as $38 per year.

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