Off The Charts: Tuberville Excited About NFL Draft

Tommy Tuberville wasn't surprised about Jason Campbell's first round selection and comments about the historic happenings on day one of the NFL Draft.

Auburn, Ala.--Tommy Tuberville had reasons to smile on Saturday--four of them.

A quartet of his Auburn seniors made history on Saturday when running back Ronnie Brown (No. 1 to the Dolphins), Carnell Williams (No. 5 to the Bucs), Carlos Rogers (No. 9 to the Redskins) and Jason Campbell (No. 25 to the Redskins) were each drafted in the opening round of the 2005 NFL Draft.

It was a first for Auburn and in the history of the Southeastern Conference. Prior to Saturday, no team SEC team ever had more than three drafted in the first round. Twice Tennessee had three selected and it happened once for Alabama.

Tuberville says the positive publicity Auburn football has received leading up to the draft and on draft day has been off the charts.

"For the past three months, you turn on the TV you heard Auburn," the head football coach of the Tigers says. "Whether it was the NFL draft or us being been a commercial. We couldn't come close to putting the price tag for what it would cost us to have this much publicity nationwide.

"It's been fun," Tuberville adds. "Today (Saturday) has been a six or seven-hour commercial about Auburn University on ESPN. Every time you turn around they are talking about Auburn.

"You hate to see all of these guys go knowing we are going to have to replace them, but this is their day. I knew Carnell, Ronnie and Carlos were going to get their due, but I was keeping my fingers crossed that people would open their eyes and recognize what Jason Campbell had done and how good a quarterback he is. Obviously, some people agree with us.

Commenting on Campbell, the 2004 SEC Player of the Year, Tuberville says. "We had a pretty good idea because Coach Gibbs (Joe Gibbs, head coach of the Washington Redskins) came in and talked to him and worked him out. He's had great workouts for everybody and he's opened everybody's eyes with how he's throwing the football and how he's handled himself.

"It's been fun to watch because Jason has sold himself and done a good job in all of the meetings and interviews he's been in," Tuberville notes. "It's really not surprising to us where he's gone. I would have expected him to go a little sooner because he is as good as the No. 1 quarterback that was picked. It's all hype, media and all of that kind of stuff.

"When it all comes down to it, it will all shake out and as we saw today, our guys were on the board pretty early. It's pretty fun to watch four of your guys be picked in the top 25."

Jason Campbell throws a pass in Auburn's 2004 victory over its oldest rival, the Georgia Bulldogs.

Tuberville says he is not surprised that four of his seniors were first round selections.

"I expected them to go that high," he says. "I knew the surprise in the draft was going to be Jason Campbell. He's had such great workouts for all of the pro scouts coming by. It kind of reminds me of our season. We all started pretty high in the Top 25 and worked our way to No. 3, and so did all of these guys.

"Everybody except Carnell was a little unknown heading into the season. Obviously after today, Auburn is a household name around the country as it comes to our players, our football team and our program."

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