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Seahawks draft MTSU's Staten amid graduation

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MTSU defensive tackle Jimmy Staten became the first Blue Raider to be drafted since 2011 on Saturday, as he was selected 172nd overall in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks.

Three other Blue Raiders inked rookie free agent contracts on Saturday. QB Logan Kilgore signed with the New Orleans Saints. Offensive lineman Josh Walker joined the Indianapolis Colts and corner Sammy Seamster reached an agreement with the Baltimore Ravens.

Staten learned of the Seahawks' decision in the midst of his graduation ceremony on Saturday afternoon. He received the call while awaiting to receive his degree in Liberal Studies.

The Waycross, Georgia native was tabbed All-Conference USA Honorable Mention in 2013. He was also invited to the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. As a senior, Staten was voted a permanent team captain. He played in 12 games, starting in 11. He completed his senior year finishing with 30 tackles, 1.5 tackles-for-loss, a pass breakup and two hurries. Staten only missed the season opener against Western Carolina due to injury. He posted 36 tackles in 12 games as a junior. He finished his career with 49 career games played.

Staten is the 31st draft pick in school history, becoming the first since Rod Issac was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fifth round (147th overall) in 2011. He is the first Raider to be picked by Seattle since Tony Burse was a 12th round pick in 1987. Cornerback Marcus Udell was the last Raider to participate in a Seattle camp, participating there in 2010.

Kilgore, a native of Rocklin, California, finished his illustrious career as the Blue Raider leader in touchdown passes (53), 200-yard passing games (21) and passing attempts (1,135). He ranked second with 692 completions and 7,849 yards. Kilgore started all 13 games in 2013, completing 216 of 355 passes for 2,507 yards.

The cornerback Seamster saw action in all 13 games last year, recording a career-best 33 tackles. The Ooltewah native had an interception, a pass breakup, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries during his senior campaign.

Spring City native Walker was tabbed a second team All-Conference USA honoree in 2013. The offensive lineman ended his career with 25 consecutive starts and played a season-high 107 snaps in the MT's thrilling victory over Marshall.

The four Blue Raiders will report to their team's respective NFL team's rookie camps later this month.

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