WSU's dynamic DB duo are day two draftees

DAY TWO OF the 2004 NFL draft was as notable for the two Washington State players—defensive backs <b>Jason David</b> and <b>Erik Coleman</b>—that were selected as it was for the handful of Cougar pro-hopefuls that didn't hear their name called today.

David surprised many "draft gurus" when he became a fourth round pick of the Indianapolis Colts. The All Pac-10 cornerback was the 125th player selected in the draft. Many so-called experts had tabbed him for free agency.

The Covina, Calif., native recorded 16 interceptions as a Cougar, second most in WSU's history. He's also the school record holder with 318 career interception return yards and three interception returns for touchdowns.

Coleman, a Spokane native, was chosen by the New York Jets in the fifth round as the 143rd overall choice. Most draft analysts had forecast him as a fourth or fifth round pick.

The free safety earned first team All Pac-10 and honorable mention All-American honors following the 2003 campaign and became the first conference player to be named both special teams and defensive player of the week simultaneously.

He tallied 234 tackles and 12 interceptions during his Cougar career. His dozen air-thefts tie him for sixth most on the WSU career interceptions list.

The selection of the duo marked the third year in a row a Cougar DB has been drafted into the NFL. In 2002, safety Lamont Thompson was a second round choice of the Cincinnati Bengals; last year the Seattle Seahawks used their first round pick—the 11th overall—to draft corner Marcus Trufant.

Coleman and David joined receiver Devard Darling—a third round selection of the Baltimore Ravens—as the only Cougs selected in the draft.

Other WSU standouts that had been projected as potential draftees included defensive tackles Jeremey Williams and Tai Tupai, defensive ends D.D. Acholonu and Isaac Brown (projected as outside linebackers), and strong safety Virgil Williams. Guard Josh Parrish, running back Jonathan Smith, kicker Drew Dunning, receiver/returner Sammy Moore, linebacker Don Jackson and quarterback Matt Kegel were slated as possible free agents.

Acholonu didn't have to wait long to hook up with a NFL club. The Buffalo Bills offered the free agent shortly after the draft's conclusion. Similarly, Parrish and Kegel answered phone calls from NFL clubs just moments after the last player was selected today.Parrish signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers; Kegel with the Minnesota Vikings.

Smith became a part of a bizarre draft day snafu when it was reported he was the seventh round selection of Buffalo. Problem was, it was Georgia Tech receiver Jonathan Smith who had been chosen by the Bills. The Bills official web site even had our Jonathan's photo attached to the report.

Things worked out for "J. Smooth" before the day was out, however, when the Kansas City Chiefs signed him as a free agent.

Check back to CF.C throughout the week for up-to-the-minute free agency reports.

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