NFL Draft: Agony And Ecstacy For 2 Buckeyes

Ohio State outgoing seniors Dustin Fox and Maurice Hall shared the range of emotions they felt as the National Football League draft unfolded last weekend. Fox was a third-round pick by the Minnesota Vikings, making him one of three OSU players to get drafted. Hall went undrafted and signed a free agent deal with San Diego. Click here for more.

For Dustin Fox, it was ecstasy. For Maurice Hall, it was agony. But for both, shortly after the selection of Andy Stokes as Mr. Irrelevant of Mr. Irrelevant University (William Penn in Iowa) it was pure joy.

The NFL draft had its share of drama and history once again. Exactly 255 players were selected, including Buckeyes Mike Nugent, Fox and Maurice Clarett. The total of three Buckeyes matched the same number of Auburn Tigers taken in the top nine players.

But Fox and Hall's wild ride through the draft was quite different.

"The draft definitely met my expectations and then some," said Fox. "I was hoping to go in the third round but honestly, I wasn't sure I would go that high in the round.

"I watched the draft on TV with Nicole (Fox's wife) and family members in Canton but I was nervous," Fox said. "I went upstairs to be away from everyone and got a call from the Vikings telling me they were going to pick me. This was two minutes before it was announced on TV. My family didn't know I got the call so I ran downstairs and pointed to the TV to tell them to watch. Afterwards there were cheers, claps, and hugs all around."

Here's what the Vikings said about Fox after the draft:

"Another pick that could add both talent and depth—Fox is a defensive back that is not afraid to step up and make a tackle…..Fox comes out of Ohio State having led his team in solo tackles his final two seasons. This also leads me to believe that Fox could do very well on special teams—certainly something that we could use as well. With the depth in the secondary—Brian Williams will play the nickel and Ken Irvin the dime—Fox's niche is likely to be on special teams this season—again, a nice pick here."

Mini-camp was just around the corner.

"My mind's racing---these guys are the guys you watch when growing up," said Fox. "They're like heroes on TV."

Meanwhile, Hall watched the draft with his family and suffered through seven long rounds without hearing his name. Shortly after the draft, however, he got a call from the San Diego Chargers and signed a free-agent contract.

"The Chargers didn't have that many picks but they always showed interest in me," Hall said. "I'm happy now that I'm with the team but during the draft I was mad because I feel like I should've been drafted.

"Signing as a free agent isn't that different than being drafted except I'll get less money."

Hall reports to Chargers mini-camp on May 5.

Nugent was the first OSU player taken, going to the New York Jets in the second round. Clarett was a third-round pick by Denver.

Other undrafted Buckeyes who signed free agent deals included defensive end Simon Fraser with Cleveland, fullback Branden Joe with Seattle and tailback Lydell Ross with Cincinnati.

EDITOR'S NOTE -- Dan Steinberg has been an instructor and communications director for Ohio State's School of Journalism and Communication for the past five years. In addition to teaching strategic communication courses full-time, he works with students, including student-athletes, to prepare them to meet the media and create strategic plans. He admits to being a Cal Bear and baseball fan at heart.

Buckeye Sports Top Stories