New York, NY - Three more Florida State Seminoles were selected on the final day of the 2014 NFL Draft in Radio City Music Hall.
Running back Devonta Freeman was selected by the Atlanta Falcons with the 103rd pick in the fourth round, while center Bryan Stork was drafted two picks later at No. 105 in the fourth round by the New England Patriots.
Linebacker Telvin Smith was the 144th pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fifth round.
Overall, the national-champion ‘Noles had seven players selected in the three-day draft, including Kelvin Benjamin, Lamarcus Joyner, Timmy Jernigan and Terrence Brooks.
Coupling this year’s draft with the 2013 draft, the Seminoles set a two-year school record for draft picks with 18.
Since head coach Jimbo Fisher became head coach in 2011, Florida State has had a total of 25 players drafted, including five in the first round.
Freeman headlined Florida State’s three-headed running back attack in 2013, starting all 14 games and earning All-ACC First Team honors. The Miami, Fla., native never missed a game over three years and was a versatile weapon capable of grinding out yards at the line or bouncing outside. Freeman became FSU’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Warrick Dunn in 1996, finishing with 1,016 yards and 15 total touchdowns. During FSU’s undefeated (14-0) 2013 National Championship season, Freeman had a 10-game touchdown scoring streak and rushed for over 100 yards three times.
“I’m at a loss for words,” Freeman said. “This is a dream come true. I always wanted to go to Atlanta. When I woke up this morning, I thought ‘I just want to go to Atlanta’ – because I was getting frustrated that I didn’t go a little earlier. I’m just at a loss for words. I’m going to bring hype. I’m going to bring swag. I’m going to bring hard work. I’m going to push myself. I’m going to push the team by showing how hard I work and how I go about my business.”
Freeman wrapped up his career ranking in a tie for third in FSU history with 30 rushing touchdowns and in a tie for eighth in the Seminole record books with 2,255 rushing yards.
“I can't put into words how happy I am for Devonta and his family,” Fisher said. “He's not only a phenomenal competitor and team player but he's one of the best human beings I've been around. He's an extremely hard worker. He's a true success story and the Falcons are getting another one of the best Seminoles to put on the Garnet and Gold. “
It’s the second consecutive season Florida State had a running back taken in the NFL Draft. Chris Thompson was selected in the fifth round (154th overall) by the Washington Redskins in 2012.
Freeman is the eight Seminole ever selected by the Falcons and the first since Chauncey Davis in 2005. He will join fellow FSU tailback Antone Smith in the Atlanta backfield.
Stork was the nation’s top center and anchored the FSU offensive line in 2013. The Vero Beach, Fla. native collected consensus All-America honors and won the Rimington Trophy given to the nation’s top center. He was a semifinalist for the Outland Trophy and earned All-ACC First Team honors. Stork helped the Noles set FSU and ACC records for single-season total offense (7,267 yards), points per game (51.6) and yards per play (7.67) and the national record for points (723). He was a valuable asset in helping Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston become the nation’s top rated passer and the youngest winner of the Heisman Trophy. Stork had 40 starts in his career and also saw action at right and left guard.
He competed in the Senior Bowl following the 2013 season.
“I’m very excited,” Stork said. “This is definitely the team I always wanted. I’m looking forward to being a part of the team and helping them win games. I like the way (the Patriots) do things and the way the organization is run. I just want to come in, compete for a job and go to work. That’s all I’m worried about. I just want to play ball.”
Stork’s selection marks the fourth straight year a Florida State offensive lineman has been selected.
He is the ninth Seminole ever picked by the Patriots and the first since P.K. Sam in 2004.
“Bryan was the heart and soul of our offensive line,” Fisher said. “He developed himself into one heck of a player and into one of the best centers in FSU history. He has a very business-like approach and is a great fit for the Patriots. I wish him the best and know he'll be a great player in the NFL.”
Smith was Florida State’s leading tackler (90 stops) and one of the senior leaders who played a huge role on and off the field for the National Champions. The Valdosta, Ga., native collected Coaches All-ACC First Team and SI.com honorable mention All-America accolades. Smith had 15 tackles against Auburn in the BCS National Championship Game and became the first Seminole since Derrick Brooks 20 years ago to have two pick-6s in a season (68-yard TD vs B-CU and 79-yard TD vs. Idaho).
“I’m going to be that guy that you saw on film,” Smith said. “I don’t think my game changes. If anything, I’m going to be more excited to compete at this next level, and just embrace it. I’m a Jaguar, baby.”
The rangy linebacker competed in the Senior Bowl following the 2013 season and finished his career by ranking in the Top 20 in FSU history in tackles for loss (29.0). He totaled 214 tackles over 54 career games.
“Telvin was one of the true leaders of our team,” Fisher said. “He was the heart and soul of our defense. He did a tremendous job, not only making plays for us, but affecting the other guys on the team. I’m extremely happy for him. He affected a lot of guys on our team in a positive way. I think he will make a big contribution to Jacksonville as a linebacker and on special teams. I look forward to watching him play for a long time.”
He joins fellow former Seminole linebackers Geno Hayes and Dekoda Watson in Jacksonville, as well as former defensive back Mike Harris.
Smith is the fourth ‘Nole drafted by the Jaguars.
Seminoles Selected in 2014 NFL Draft
Kelvin Benjamin WR No. 28, Round 1 Carolina Panthers
Lamarcus Joyner DB No. 41, Round 2 St. Louis Rams
Timmy Jernigan DT No. 48, Round 2 Baltimore Ravens
Terrence Brooks DB No. 79, Round 3 Baltimore Ravens
Devonta Freeman RB No. 103, Round 4 Atlanta Falcons
Bryan Stork OL No. 105, Round 4 New England Patriots
Telvin Smith LB No. 144, Round 5 Jacksonville Jaguars