The United Football League held their draft last night. Nebraska offensive tackles Mike Smith and DJ Jones were selected by the Omaha Nighthawks. Husker guard Ricky Henry was picked by Hartford. Here are bios of all of Omaha’s selections.
#2 OVERALL – OMAHA NIGHTHAWKS – CB REYNALDO HILL, FLORIDA
Hill played for the National Football League’s Tennessee Titans from 2005-08, appearing in 48 games with 26 starts. Hill’s career NFL numbers include six interceptions for 108 yards and a touchdown, 11 pass breakups and 126 total tackles. He had a 52-yard interception return touchdown as a rookie against the Oakland Raiders.
#7 OVERALL – OMAHA NIGHTHAWKS – DT JAMIE CUMBIE, CLEMSON
A rookie, Cumbie played for the Tigers from 2006-09, and had five career sacks. In 2009, he recorded 33 total tackles and two sacks, making a season-high seven total stops against South Carolina. Cumbie had two sacks and 24 total tackles in 2007.
#12 OVERALL – OMAHA NIGHTHAWKS – OT JOE TOLEDO, WASHINGTON
Toledo was a fourth-round pick of the Miami Dolphins in the 2006 NFL Draft, although he has yet to appear in a regular-season NFL game. He also was on the San Francisco 49ers’ practice squad for the entire 2008 NFL season.
#17 OVERALL – OMAHA NIGHTHAWKS – CB CHRIS SMITH, NORTHERN ILLINOIS
A rookie, Smith started all 13 games at cornerback in as a senior in 2010 despite playing much of the season with an injured thumb that required a cast for each game. Last fall, he posted 70 total tackles, three interceptions, 15 pass breakups and 4 1/2 tackles for loss. In 2009, he had 70 total stops. Smith previously played at Highland Community College in 2008.
#23 OVERALL – OMAHA NIGHTHAWKS – OT MIKE SMITH, NEBRASKA
A rookie, Smith is looking to begin his professional career after missing all of the 2010 season with a broken leg. In 2009, Smith started all 14 games, and in 2008, he started 12 of 13 games played – all at left tackle. He played in all 12 games as a backup tackle as a redshirt freshman in 2007.
#28 OVERALL – OMAHA NIGHTHAWKS – OT D.J. JONES, NEBRASKA
A rookie, Jones, an Omaha native, gets the chance to play professionally at home. He started all 14 games at right tackle as a senior in 2010, and played in all 14 games in 2009, primarily as a backup at both tackle spots. In all, Jones played in 39 games for the Cornhuskers, starting 17.
#33 OVERALL – OMAHA NIGHTHAWKS – TE KYLE NELSON, NEW MEXICO STATE
A rookie, Nelson brings a productive senior season with him to the beginning of his professional career. In 2010, he caught 41 passes for 371 yards and a touchdown, including a six-catch day against Louisiana Tech. Nelson also served as NMSU’s long snapper.
#38 OVERALL – OMAHA NIGHTHAWKS – QB JEREMIAH MASOLI, MISSISSIPPI
A rookie, Masoli brings versatility to the Nighthawks’ new offense. In 2010, he played for the Running Rebels, passing for 2,039 yards and 14 touchdowns and running for 544 yards and six touchdowns. In two seasons with Oregon (2008-09), Masoli passed for 3,891 yards and 28 touchdowns and ran for 1,386 yards and 23 touchdowns.
#39 OVERALL – OMAHA NIGHTHAWKS – DE BRIAN JOHNSTON, GARDNER-WEBB
Johnston was a seventh-round selection of the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2008 NFL Draft, playing in nine games with the team in 2008 and making three total tackles. He was a Division I-AA All-American as a senior in 2007, racking up 74 total tackles, 29 tackles for loss, six sacks and 22 quarterback pressures. Johnston was a two-time Division I-AA All-American.
#43 OVERALL – OMAHA NIGHTHAWKS – RB DERRICK LOCKE, KENTUCKY
A rookie, Locke begins his professional football career coming off an 887-yard, 10-touchdown rushing season as a senior in 2010. Locke had four straight 100-yard rushing games to start 2010, including a 166-yard, two-touchdown performance against Akron. Locke also caught 34 passes as a senior.
#48 OVERALL – OMAHA NIGHTHAWKS – DT AKIEM HICKS, UNIVERSITY OF REGINA
A rookie, Hicks was a 2010 Canada West All-Star in his only season with the Rams. In eight games last fall, Hicks had 29 total tackles, four for loss, 1 1/2 sacks and two forced fumbles. Hicks played two seasons at Sacramento City College in 2007-08.
#51 OVERALL – OMAHA NIGHTHAWKS – LB MARK HERZLICH, LB, BOSTON COLLEGE
A rookie, Herzlich was one of the best stories in all of college football in 2010. After missing the entire 2009 season due to his diagnosis of Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, Herzlich returned for the 2010 season and started all 13 games for Boston College. He recorded 65 total tackles and 50 solo stops, both good for third on the team, while picking off four passes. Herzlich also had 3.5 tackles for loss, four pass breakups and two forced fumbles as a senior last fall.