RUSTON – When it comes to the professional drafts this year, Louisiana Tech rubbed elbows with some of the nation's elite as it was one of only five program's in the country to have at least one student-athlete selected in the NFL, NBA, WNBA, Major League and National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) Drafts in 2010.
Tech joined an impressive group which consisted of only Texas, Oklahoma, Florida State and Stanford and was the only program from the WAC or the state of Louisiana to be able to make the impressive claim.
The feat began in January when Lady Techster shortstop Amberly Waits was selected in the second round of the NPF Draft by the Chicago Bandits – the first LA Tech softball player to ever earn the honor.
Then in April, defensive lineman D'Anthony Smith and tight end Dennis Morris were both selected in the NFL Draft in May as Smith was taken by the Jacksonville Jaguars and Morris by the Washington Redskins.
Just a few weeks later, senior forward Shanavia Dowdell became the 20th Lady Techster basketball player taken in the WNBA Draft when she was selected in the second round by the Washington Mystics.
In early June, Bulldog right-hander Mike Jefferson was taken in the 46th round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the New York Mets.
Louisiana Tech then solidified itself in the group when senior forward Magnum Rolle was taken in the second round of the NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers last week.
Not only was Louisiana Tech the only school in the state to have a player selected in all five professional drafts, but only LSU had a student-athlete taken in at least four of the five.
Although some might argue that the NPF Draft significantly reduced the list due to only 20 players being selected in its entirety, Tech still was one of only 12 programs nationwide to have a student-athlete selected in the NFL, MLB, NBA and WNBA drafts.
D'Anthony Smith (3rd round, Jacksonville Jaguars)
Dennis Morris (6th round, Washington Redskins)
Magnum Rolle (2nd round, Indiana Pacers)
Shanavia Dowdell (2nd round, Washington Mystics)
Mike Jefferson (46th round, New York Mets)
Amberly Waits (2nd round, Chicago Bandits)
(Courtesy: Louisiana Tech Athletic Department)