Durham basks in draft spotlight

Durham basks in draft spotlight

April 27th, 2009 by David Paschall in Sports - College

Matthew Stafford's longtime roommate enjoyed his weekend in New York City, even if it wasn't accompanied by national attention or instant wealth.

University of Georgia split end Kris Durham, a senior from Calhoun, Ga., attended the NFL draft Saturday afternoon along with Bulldogs junior fullbacks Shaun Chapas and Fred Munzenmaier. They were there in support of Stafford, who was selected No. 1 overall by the Detroit Lions.

"It was exciting," Durham said Sunday as he awaited his flight back to Atlanta. "We were talking to Matthew after he got picked, and we were excited for him. I guess the biggest thrill was hearing his name called.

"It's neat to see people you know and see on an everyday basis get to go through their dream and get drafted."

Georgia ended up with six players selected, including two top-12 picks for the first time in program history with Stafford and tailback Knowshon Moreno. The six picks could not equal the record eight the Bulldogs produced in 2002, but it was the largest total since seven went in '06.

The Denver Broncos tabbed Moreno with the 12th overall pick.

"Matthew was doing an interview when Denver had the 12th pick, and he just turned around and screamed during the interview," Moreno said. "We're just really excited for this opportunity."

Receiver Mohamed Massaquoi was selected by Cleveland in Saturday's second round, while cornerback Asher Allen went to Minnesota and defensive lineman Corvey Irvin went to Carolina in Sunday's third round. The five players selected in the first three rounds tied a Georgia record.

The only other Bulldogs player picked was defensive end Jarius Wynn, who went in the sixth round to Green Bay.

Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, who graced the Sports Illustrated cover last summer with Stafford and Moreno, did not get drafted and will sign a free-agent contract with Baltimore. Fullback Brannan Southerland will sign a free-agent pact with the New York Jets.

Durham, who has lived with Stafford since they enrolled early in January 2006, said it was a last-minute decision for all the roommates to visit Radio City Music Hall. They were not allowed in the "green room" reserved for players and their families but did spend time with Stafford that morning and after the selection.

Stafford agreed to terms Friday night with the Lions on a six-year contract worth as much as $78 million, with $41.7 million guaranteed.

"The morning of the draft, he was still goofing off and joking around with us," Durham said. "He had just gotten this huge contract, but he definitely had not changed at all."

Durham was hoping to get consideration at next year's NFL draft, but he suffered a shoulder injury this spring that will knock him out of the upcoming season. He has yet to redshirt and will do so this fall, thus finishing up his college eligibility in 2010.

Though he had been to New York once before with his family, Durham said it's a different world from Calhoun.

"There is always something going on," he said. "There are taxis everywhere, and you just don't see that back home."