Benn and Asamoah Selected in NFL Draft
April 23, 2010
Former University of Illinois football players Arrelious Benn and Jon Asamoah had their names called on Friday during the second day of the 2010 National Football League Draft. Benn was selected with the seventh pick of the second round (39th overall) by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while Asamoah was chosen by the Kansas City Chiefs with the fourth pick in the third round (68th overall).
Benn, a three-year starter at receiver for the Illini, passed up his senior season to declare for the draft. As a true freshman, he helped lead the squad to the 2008 Rose Bowl with 54 catches for 676 yards, both freshman records at Illinois. A native of Washington, D.C., Benn caught fire as a sophomore, topping the 1,000-yard receiving mark with 1,055 yards on 67 catches. He finished the 2009 season leading the team in receiving yards for the third-straight season. In his three-year career, Benn caught 159 passes for 2,221 yards and seven touchdowns and caught at least one pass in all but one career game.
"It feels good to get picked," Benn said. "I'm happy to be a Buccaneer and I'm just ready to go and play. I feel as though I can go in there and help the team right away. I want to help them rebuild and do whatever I need to do to make everyone better and make myself better. I'm just excited to play football."
Asamoah, a four-year starting offensive guard, was a second-team All-Big Ten selection in 2009 and part of an offensive line that finished in the top-20 in rushing offense three times in his four seasons. In 2006 and 2007 the Illinois offensive line led the Big Ten in rushing, topped the league in passing in 2008 and finished second in the conference in rushing in 2009. The Park Forest, Ill., native, also twice earned All-America honors, second-team by The Sporting News and Pro Football Weekly.
"This is a dream come true," Asamoah said of getting drafted. "To get this chance and to go to a place like Kansas City where the fans love the team so much is a great feeling. It's such an honor to join the group of Illinois offensive linemen in the NFL. I don't know if it's sunk in yet. I'm just happy to be a Chief and am ready to get to work next week."
Asamoah joins David Diehl (Giants), Tony Pashos (Browns), Brandon Moore (Jets), Duke Preston (Cowboys), Xavier Fulton (Buccaneers) and Ryan McDonald (Chargers) as former Illini playing offensive line in the NFL.
The 2010 NFL draft concludes on Saturday with rounds 4-7. Coverage starts at 9 a.m. CT on the NFL Network and ESPN.
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