Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Cats’ defensive trio headed to the NFL

Dwayne Missouri tried to keep his cool.

But when the graduated Northwestern defensive end learned he was drafted by the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, he said it was hard to contain his excitement.

“I don’t know if it has really set in yet,” Missouri said from his home in San Antonio. “It’s one of the best opportunities out there. Everyone wants to be with a contender.”

Both Missouri and cornerback Harold Blackmon were picked in the seventh and last round of the NFL draft this weekend – Blackmon by the Seattle Seahawks at No. 210 and Missouri at No. 231. Defensive end Conrad Emmerich signed as a free agent with the Chicago Bears.

Missouri, projected by some as a fifth- or sixth-round pick, admitted he was sweating it out Sunday as the draft’s final round approached and his name had not yet been called.

But Missouri was on the phone with the Ravens as their seventh-round pick approached, and a team representative told him that if the New York Giants did not select him then Baltimore would.

Then Missouri’s name flashed on the television screen. His family burst into cheers, but Missouri said he contained his emotions as the Ravens congratulated him over the phone.

“I tried to stay calm in front of them,” he said.

Emmerich was also on the phone during the seventh round, entertaining offers from 10 teams that wished to sign him as a free agent.

In the end, the team closest to NU proved to be the right fit. Emmerich said the Bears gave him the best deal and that staying in the Chicago area was added incentive for him to sign.

“I’m still pretty dang excited,” Emmerich said. “I’m ecstatic, in fact. Finally, I can say I’m an NFL football player.

“You don’t understand how your heart drops into your stomach when that phone rings. It’s pretty nerve-wracking.”

Emmerich said Blackmon was pleased to be heading to Seattle when the two spoke over the phone. He said he was happy for Missouri as well.

Although they have been teammates for five years, Missouri and Emmerich could face off against one another when the Bears meet the Ravens in the first game of the 2001 season. But the two said their primary concerns were working hard in training camp and making the active roster this summer.

“I’m still living in the excitement that I actually got picked up by them,” Missouri said. “I’m focused on making an impression on the coaches.”

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Cats’ defensive trio headed to the NFL