Zen-like Todd Posted April 25, 2005 Share Posted April 25, 2005 http://www.collegesports.com/sports/m-footbl/stories/042505aac.html Broughton chosen by Washington; Nemo: 'I wanted to be a Redskin' Jeff Hartsell, Post and Courier April 25, 2005 Charleston, SC - As the afternoon wore on and the names crawled slowly across the bottom of the TV screen, Nehemiah Broughton Sr. began to get nervous. "I thought, 'We're getting down to the final round, and his name should be popping up there,'" said Broughton Sr., the father of Citadel running back Nehemiah Broughton. "I was mostly concerned about him, about how he would feel if his name didn't pop up there." But late Sunday afternoon, the suspense popped and the celebrations in North Charleston began. The younger Broughton, dubbed the "Nemo-sapien" during his days at The Citadel, was chosen by the Washington Redskins in the seventh round of the NFL Draft. Broughton was the 222nd player taken in the draft, a bit later than some experts projected, and was the second fullback selected by the Redskins, who chose UCLA's Manuel White Jr. in the fourth round. All of that matters little to Broughton, who just wants a shot to prove a guy from The Citadel can make it in the NFL. He is the first Citadel player drafted since running back Travis Jervey was picked in the fifth round by the Packers in 1995. "This is great," said Broughton, who had been projected to go as early as the third round. "Washington is kind of where I wanted to end up. I didn't think it would be that late, but I wanted to end up in Washington. They were one of the few teams who sent a position coach to see me on pro day." That was running backs coach Earnest Byner, and Byner and head coach Joe Gibbs called Broughton on Sunday when the Redskins made their final pick. "Coach Gibbs just talked about the pro game and asked if I was ready to be a Redskin," said Broughton, who will leave on Wednesday for his first pro camp. "Coach Byner said he was pulling for me, that he liked what I showed him at pro day and that they were looking for a big back, primarily a blocker and a power running guy." Apparently, Byner was the biggest Broughton fan in the Redskins' war room. "To be quite truthful, Earnest was upset we didn't take him a while back," Gibbs said Sunday. "He got kind of emotional about it, so we figured we'd better give him his way, or he was going to beat the slop out of me. "(Broughton) is very strong. You talk about the workout -- this guy's a man. He's very solid, a good guy, real good character." The 5-11, 255-pound Broughton, who came to The Citadel from North Charleston High School, gained 2,643 yards in his career to rank fifth on the Bulldogs' all-time rushing list. He was selected to play in the Senior Bowl and impressed scouts at the NFL combine in February, running the 40-yard dash in the 4.5- to 4.6-second range. The questions most scouts posed about Broughton involved his pass catching -- he caught 47 passes in three years at The Citadel -- and his blocking. He never had to do much of that as the Bulldogs' main ball-carrier. "I don't think that's a big problem," he said. "I can do any kind of blocking that I have to do. I'm a football player just like anybody else, and I will adapt to any situation." Broughton is represented by Harold Lewis, the agent for former Citadel defensive end Cliff Washburn, who is now playing in NFL Europe. Lewis also was surprised at how late Broughton was drafted. "He dropped a lot further than I expected," Lewis said. "Everyone said he was a second-day guy, maybe the fourth round but no later than the sixth. I'm surprised, but I'm happy he's with the Redskins. They are committed to winning and he fits perfectly into their system. Everything happens for a reason." Broughton's most immediate competition in making the Redskins would seem to be UCLA's White, a 6-2, 244-pounder who was the 120th pick overall. He ran for 764 yards and eight touchdowns last year. The Redskins' feature back is Clinton Portis, and the roster also includes third-year back Ladell Bates (5-10, 222) of Iowa; third-year back Rock Cartwright (5-7, 223) of Kansas State; second-year back Dahrran Diedrick (6-0, 225) of Nebraska; fifth-year back Chad Morton (5-8, 203) of Southern Cal; and third-year back John Simon (5-11, 202) of Louisiana Tech. Lewis said Broughton can expect a signing bonus in the range of $40,000 and has just as good a shot at making the roster as players drafted earlier. "The odds are no worse for a seventh-round pick than the fifth or sixth," he said. "Right now, regardless of whether you were picked in the fourth round or the seventh, you've got to make the team, stay healthy and then you get wealthy. You get by those first three or four years, then you hit your home run. "Right now, it's get me in and let me show what I can do." Meanwhile, the Broughton clan, including mom Sandra, is giving up its allegiance to the Dallas Cowboys, the Redskins' chief rival. "I've never been a Redskins fan," Nehemiah Sr. said. "But I sure am now." Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.