Former Texas Longhorns Find New Homes in NFL
Five Texas Longhorns Find New Homes in NFL
It’s the moment that every young football player dreams of from the very moment their football careers began when they were young—the NFL Draft.
It’s a time for them to leave their college homes of the last several years and head off to new adventures in new places, playing in front of new fan bases.
It’s a time when young men anxiously await to see if their names will finally be called and their dreams will finally come true while the fans who cheered for them in college share the anxiety-filled moments with them.
While the Texas Longhorns have suffered through a few bad to mediocre seasons of late, there are a number of players who have stood out in that time—players who are seeking to realize their dreams of playing on Sundays.
This weekend, during 2013 NFL Draft, a few Longhorns finally heard their names called. Others signed with professional teams in the days following the draft.
As fans, we believe in the mantra, “Once a Longhorn, always a Longhorn.” So, although we may bid these players farewell as they begin new chapters in their lives, we continue to follow them throughout their careers, wishing them the best and cheering for them (except of course when they go head-to-head against our favorite professional teams). After all, we’ve spent the last several season cheering for them as they donned the burnt orange. It’s not something we can just forget.
So which Longhorns have found new football homes? Watch the slideshow to find out who they are and where they're headed.
D.J. Monroe will forever remain one of the biggest mysteries to Texas fans. Despite his explosiveness and outstanding 7.5 yards per carry over his four years at Texas, Monroe never seemed to get the number of touches fans thought he should. Monroe holds the school record for most kickoff returns for a touchdown in a career with three and recorded 2,620 all-purpose yards over his career.
Now, Monroe has signed a free agent contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and with his speed, he certainly has a chance to make the roster, particularly as kick returner.
Brandon Moore, we hardly knew you. A JUCO transfer defensive tackle, Moore was only in Austin for one season. Moore played in twelve games last year, starting five before suffering a neck injury and being carted off the field vs. the Oklahoma Sooners. He soon returned, however, and ended the year fourth on the team in tackles for loss and tied for third in quarterback pressures.
Moore signed a free agency contract with the San Diego Chargers over the weekend, and as he stated, "It doesn't matter how you get to the NFL, just how long you stay."
Considered to be one of the best pass rushers in the draft, Alex Okafor was selected in the fourth round by the Arizona Cardinals. The defensive end, who will likely make the move to linebacker, calls this the "perfect situation." Last season, Okafor led the Longhorns in sacks with 12.5. He will be joining fellow teammate and Longhorn standout Sam Acho in Arizona next season.
A fan favorite while at Texas, wide receiver Marquise Goodwin was selected by the Buffalo Bills with the 78th overall pick in this year's draft. Goodwin could very well be the fastest player to ever wear burnt orange, and that speed could be what leads to NFL success. He ranked third on the team in receiving last season, and added three touchdowns, including an impressive 55 yarder.
Longhorns cheered for him as he represented the USA in the long jump event in the Summer Olympics last year and will continue to support him in his NFL career.
Kenny Vaccaro, the heart and soul of the Longhorn defense over the last four years, is the latest in a long line of Texas defensive backs to be drafted. Vaccaro, considered the best safety in this year's draft and the Longhorns' lead tackler last year, was chosen in the first round of the draft by the New Orleans Saints with the 15th overall pick. Texas fans have loved watching Vaccaro play with fire and intensity these last few years, and now they will watch him do the same in black and gold.
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