Former COC Football Player to NFL Draft

by Cory Rubin, Staff Writer 736 views0

COC football fans will be tuning in to the 2010 NFL Draft on Thursday, April 22, to watch as Jason Pierre-Paul becomes the first former Cougar to be selected in the first round.  The 6-6, 260 pound junior Defensive End from the University of South Florida started his impressive collegiate career right here at College of the Canyons. 

In 2007, Pierre-Paul racked up 49 tackles, 14 sacks, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, and an interception which he returned 20 yards for a touchdown, earning First Team All- Western State Conference and First Team All-America accolades.  Head Coach Garett Tujague needed only one word to describe Pierre-Paul, “Un-blockable.”

Following his freshman season at COC, Pierre-Paul chose to transfer to Fort Scott Community College in Fort Scot, Kansas.  At Fort Scott CC he amassed 70 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries.  He was again selected First Team All-Conference and First Team All-American.

In 2009, Jason Pierre-Paul signed with the University of South Florida where he tallied 45 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and an interception, leading the USF Bulls to a 27-3 dismantling of the Northern Illinois Huskies in the 2010 International Bowl in Toronto, Canada. 

Pierre-Paul was named to the First Team All-BIG EAST. After a single season with the Bulls, Pierre-Paul decided to forgo his senior year and declare for the NFL Draft.  At the NFL Combine he ran a 4.64 forty-yard dash, completed 19 repetitions of 225lbs in the bench press and jumped 31.5 inches in the vertical leap.

NFL scouts are drooling over his athleticism, speed and his tremendous up-side. senior draft analyst, Rob Rang told the News Tribune that “[Pierre-Paul] has eye-popping athletic ability. He’s 6-5, 260 pounds and runs well.He has real long arms, which certainly with any defensive end you love to have that, because it allows them to keep off the reach of the offensive tackle.”

Jason Pierre-Paul is expected to be a top 25 pick and experts point to the Oakland Raiders, the Miami Dolphins and the Jacksonville Jaguars as the most likely destination for the former Cougar.  Pierre-Paul will join four other former Cougars in the NFL, Cornerback Justin Tryon of the Washington Redskins, Halfback J.J. Arrington of the Denver Broncos Defensive Linemen, Domata Peko and Jonathan Fanene of the Cincinnati Bengals, Defensive Tackle Isaac Sopoaga of the San Francisco 49ers and Safety Troy Nolan on the Houston Texans.

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