NFL draft picks by FCS school in 2010s
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By CRAIG HALEY
(STATS) - That South Carolina State produced the 2018 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year with Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard wasn't surprising to anybody at the school given its success in the draft this decade.
Over 135 schools have played at the FCS level during the 2010s and only Appalachian State and Montana, with seven draft selections each, have more than South Carolina State's six. App State, now an FBS member, and Montana have combined for five FCS national titles and 10 championship game appearances; South Carolina State plays in the smaller Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
"Guys from our school can get drafted ahead of players from bigger programs, if they have their stuff in order," Pough told The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg in 2016. "They can follow their dreams; but it's not necessarily about where you go to begin with, but more about what you do when you get there."
Prior to Leonard, the 36th overall pick of the second round last April, South Carolina State's draft selections under Pough were: cornerback Phillip Adams (San Francisco 49ers, 2010, seventh round); offensive tackle Johnny Culbreath (Detroit Lions, 2011, seventh); safety Christian Thompson (Baltimore Ravens, 2012, fourth); defensive tackle Javon Hargrave (Pittsburgh Steelers, 2016, third); and tight end Temarrick Hemingway (Los Angeles Rams, 2016, sixth).
Since 2010, 164 FCS players have been drafted by NFL teams - an average of over 18 per year. Many more players annually sign contracts with NFL teams as undrafted free agents.
The breakdown of FCS draft picks by school in the 2010s:
7 - Appalachian State and Montana
6 - South Carolina State
5 - Central Arkansas, Eastern Washington and William & Mary
4 - Chattanooga, Coastal Carolina, Illinois State, Maine, North Dakota State, Samford and Tennessee State
3 - Delaware, Eastern Illinois, Georgia Southern, James Madison, Northern Iowa, Princeton, Richmond, Southern Illinois, Southern Utah and Villanova
2 - Florida A&M, Fordham, Harvard, Jacksonville State, Missouri State, Montana State, Murray State, North Carolina A&T, Northwestern State, Portland State, Sam Houston State, South Dakota, South Dakota State, Southeastern Louisiana, Stephen F. Austin, Towson, The Citadel, Weber State, Yale and Youngstown State
1 - Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Brown, Bucknell, Cal Poly, Cornell, Delaware State, Drake, Eastern Kentucky, Elon, Furman, Georgia State, Grambling State, Hampton, Lamar, Lehigh, Liberty, Marist, Massachusetts, Monmouth, New Hampshire, North Carolina Central, Penn, Presbyterian, San Diego, Southeast Missouri, Texas Southern, UT Martin, Wagner and Western Carolina
Updated April 11, 2019