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'You're now a Dallas Cowboy'

Here's the audio of owner Jerry Jerry telling UB's Josh Thomas that he's been selected by the Dallas Cowboys.

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

 

Thomas selected by Cowboys in 5th round

UB cornerback Josh Thomas was selected in the fifth round by the Dallas Cowboys with the 143rd pick overall today. Thomas is the fifth UB player since 2000 to be selected in the draft joining Drew Haddad (2000), Trevor Scott (2008), Jamey Richard (2008) and Niagara Falls native James Starks (2010).

Thomas elevated his stock during the postseason during the East-West Shrine game and was one of five MAC players invited to the NFL Combine.

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

Wilkerson represents the MAC

---Temple Muhammad Wilkerson became the first MAC player since Northern Illinois linebacker Larry English (2009) to be selected the first round. Temple's punishing run stuffer was selected by the New York Jets with the No. 30 pick overall.

No one from the league is projected to be picked in today's 2nd and 3rd rounds. Here's a list of MAC players selected by the NFL.

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

Gift wrapped for St. John's

ACHIUWA+NWORA ---Opportunity brought God's Gift Achiuwa, pictured left with his coach Alex Nwora from his home in Nigeria to ECC and that's what will take him next year to St. John's. Here's more stories about Gift from the New York Post and Daily News. Meanwhile, Washington is scrambling after losing out on Gift.

---Adam Zagoria expects Iona's Mike Glover to have a breakout year.

---Jonathan Givony, evaluates all of the early entrant decisions, while Andy Katz reacts to the new names released on the NBA draft list.

---Kevin Ware has decomitted from UCF.

---Gary Parrish believes that despite the addition of Colorado and Utah, the Pac 12 will remain the weakest power-six conference.

---John Rothstein provides a list of teams on the rise next season.

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

Gift picks St. John's

---God's Gift Achiuwa, a 6-foot-8 forward at ECC, officially signed a national letter of intent with St. John's this aftertoon. 

Achiuwa, who also considered Cincinnati and Washington, was one of the top remaining big men in the country. His decision to attend St. John's has been rumored since Monday after he returned from an official visit. In the process St. John's coach Steve Lavin beat out close friend Lorenzo Romar for Achiuwa's services. Lavin and Romar were assistants under Jim Harrick during the 90s at UCLA.

"Gift' is a talented frontline player who possesses tremendous size, strength, speed and skill," Lavin said in a statement released by ECC. "He is an ideal fit for our baseline-to-baseline attacking style of play. The maturity Gift gained from two years of junior college basketball with a combined 55-6 record will make him a nice complement to what will be the youngest roster in the country next season. He is fundamentally sound and comes from a program with a tradition of winning, where a strong work ethic, playing hard and discipline is demanded on a daily basis."

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

Report: Gift to St. John's

The New York Post is reporting that ECC forward God’s Gift Achiuwa will select St. John's over Cincinnati and Washington. Achiuwa has scheduled a press conference today at ECC to announce his decision.

St. John's already has one of the nation's top ranked recruiting classes and the addition of Achiuwa could push the Red Storm near the top. The latest ESPN.com rankings list St. John's third behind Kentucky and Duke. Achiuwa averaged 22.3 points, 11.7 rebounds and 2.2 blocks last season for ECC.

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

God's Gift plans to announce decision Thursday

---ECC's God's Gift Achiuwa will announce his college choice at 2 p.m. Thursday at the school.

"He's going to announce his decision based on the three schools he visited: St. John's, Cincinnati and Washington," ECC coach Alex Nwora said.

Kentucky also expressed interest in Achiuwa, a 6-foot-8 forward, who visited St. John's last weekend.

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

A look at MAC draft numbers

Larry_english_wide

With the NFL Draft is approaching, Rivals.com put together a chart of draftees by conference dating back to 2000. Miami (Ohio) leads all teams in the Mid-American Conference with nine draft picks and the league had four first-round draft picks in the last decade, including Northern Illinois' Larry English, pictured above, in 2009.

UB had four draft picks since 2000 in Drew Haddad (2000), Trevor Scott (2008), Jamey Richard (2008) and Niagara Falls native James Starks (2010). CB Josh Thomas is expected to be drafted on the third day of this week’s draft. I re-arranged Rivals MAC chart to show in order of number of draftees:

Miami (Ohio)
Draft picks: 9
Last first rounder: Ben Roethlisberger, QB, 2004

Northern Illinois
Draft picks: 7
Last first rounder: Larry English, LB, 2009

Central Michigan
Draft picks: 7
Last first rounder: Joe Staley, OT, 2007

Toledo
Draft picks: 6
Last first rounder: Dan Williams, DE, 1993

Temple
Draft picks: 6
Last first rounder: Paul Palmer, RB, 1987

Akron
Draft picks: 6
Last first rounder: None

Western Michigan
Draft picks: 5
Last first rounder: Jason Babin, LB, 2004

Ball State
Draft picks: 5
Last first rounder: None

Kent State
Draft picks: 5
Last first rounder: None

Eastern Michigan
Draft picks: 4
Last first rounder: L.J. Shelton, OT, 1999

Bowling Green
Draft picks: 4
Last first rounder: Bernie Casey, WR, 1961

Ohio
Draft picks: 4
Last first rounder: Art Lewis, T, 1936

UB
Draft picks: 4
Last first rounder: None

Also from that story, is the list of the most draft picks among all schools:

1. Ohio State 73
2. USC 69
3. Miami 67
4. Georgia 61
5. Tennessee 60
6t. Florida 59
6t. Florida State 59
8. LSU 55
9. Virginia Tech 52
10t. Michigan 49
10t. Oklahoma 49

The most first-rounders:

1. Miami 26
2. Ohio State 16
3. USC 15
4t. Florida State 14
4t. Texas 14
6t. Florida 12
6t. Oklahoma 12
6t. Tennessee 12
9. Georgia 11
10. Penn State 10

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

Khan, Gricius won't return to Canisius

---Here's the official announcement on the Golden Griffins seven-man recruiting class which also mentions that freshman guard Ashton Khan and junior forward Rokas Gricius won't return to the team. Also not returning is freshman walk-on Eric Kindler although he's not mentioned in the release.

It's been long rumored that Khan wouldn't return. In March, Khan and sophomore David Santiago were suspended indefinitely from Canisius in connection with an on campus theft. Days after the theft, a source told The News that Khan attempted to register an iPod to the campus Internet system which made it traceable. The items were later returned.

Khan played in 15 games as a freshman. In 58 total minutes, he averaged 1.0 points. Santiago, who remains under suspension, sat out last season after transferring from American University in Puerto Rico.

Gricius, who played in 25 career games for the Griffs, will graduate and is currently pursuing his master's degree in sport administration at Canisius.

"Rokas is currently pursuing some opportunities presented to him in the professional work world, and I'm very proud of the effort he gave to this program, both on and off the court,'' Canisius coach Tom Parrotta said in the release. "Ashton and I mutually agreed that he should pursue other options. We're helping him in his search to find a school that will give him an opportunity to continue his education and play a more pivotal role on the court. I wish both of those guys nothing but the best as they move forward."

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

Bulls land verbal from Cotton

---Jaden Cotton, a 6-foot-5, 295-pound offensive tackle from Depew, has given a verbal commitment to UB, according to sources. Cotton is the second member of the Bulls’ 2012 recruiting class, joining Canisius offensive guard Corey Madlock. Cotton and Madlock were two of UB’s primary targets from Western New York along with St. Francis tailback Akeel Lynch and St. Joe’s quarterback Chad Kelly.

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

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About Campus Watch

Bob Dicesare

Bob DiCesare

Western New York native Bob DiCesare covers UB football, Big 4 basketball and writes an occasional column. He still holds a grudge against Chris Ford who, he's convinced, cost St. Bonaventure the 1970 NCAA basketball championship.

@TBNDicesare | [email protected]


Rodney McKissic

Rodney McKissic

Rodney McKissic began his journalism career in 1989 after graduating from the University of Cincinnati and has worked for The Buffalo News since 2001. A proud father of four children, he enjoys reading in his spare time.

@RodneyMcKissic | [email protected]


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered colleges for The Buffalo News since 1999. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | [email protected]

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