Aiken to Play in 2003 Senior Bowl

CHAPEL HILL, NC--University of North Carolina wide receiver Sam Aiken will play in the 2003 Senior Bowl on Saturday, January 22 at Ladd-Peeples Stadium in Mobile, Ala. The Senior Bowl is football's premier pre-draft event, annually featuring the country's best senior collegiate football players and top NFL draft prospects.

Last season, North Carolina defensive tackle Ryan Sims was one of the defensive stars of the Senior Bowl and was later drafted with the sixth overall pick by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Aiken, a 6-2, 205-pound senior from Kenansville, N.C., finished his Carolina career as one of the school's most prolific receivers. He set school records in receptions and receiving yards as a senior with 68 catches for 990 yards. He led the ACC in receptions per game in 2002 and was the team's leading receivers in 2001 and 2002. He finished his career with 15 touchdowns, the third-highest total in school history.

The first Senior Bowl player practices are scheduled for Jan. 13 in Mobile. Each team will practice once a day during the week. Senior Bowl practices are attended by over 630 general managers, head coaches, assistant coaches, scouts and other front office personnel from the 32 National Football League teams. This year, the Detroit Lions coaching staff will coach the South Team and the Houston Texans coaching staff will coach the North Team.

Aiken hopes to become the first Tar Heel wide receiver to be drafted since 1999 when Na Brown was selected in the fourth round by the Philadelphia Eagles. The 2003 NFL Draft is April 26-27 at The Theatre in Madison Square Garden in New York City.

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