April 27, 2012
NEW YORK - The University of Alabama football team had its fifth player selected in the 2012 National Football League Draft on Friday evening at Radio City Music Hall with senior linebacker Courtney Upshaw going to the Baltimore Ravens with the third pick of the second round.
Upshaw came off the board at No. 35 overall and was the Ravens first pick of the 2012 NFL Draft. Former UA great Ozzie Newsome is Baltimore's General Manager and Executive Vice President.
"I'm very excited to be chosen by the Baltimore Ravens," Upshaw said on a conference call Friday night. "The wait was a little frustrating at times, but I'm excited and very happy to be taken in the second round as a Baltimore Raven."
The selection of Upshaw marked the fifth Alabama selected in the first 35 picks. Trent Richardson was the first Tide player drafted with the third overall pick by the Cleveland Browns. Two members of the Crimson Tide secondary were next with safety Mark Barron going to Tampa Bay at No. 7 and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick 17th to Cincinnati. Junior linebacker Dont'a Hightower then came off the board at No. 25 to the New England.
Upshaw, a native of Eufaula, Ala., was the 2012 BCS National Championship Game Defensive MVP as well as the 2011 Capital One Bowl MVP. He recorded a career-best 52 tackles as a senior with 18 tackles for loss (90 yards) and 9.5 sacks. He also returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown at Florida and earned first-team All-America honors. Upshaw was also a finalist for the Lombardi Award.
In the past four NFL Drafts, Alabama has had 17 players selected in the first three rounds. That includes 11 players in the first round, three in the second round and four in the third round.
Rounds 4-7 of the NFL Draft conclude on Saturday from Radio City Music hall in New York City.