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Former Ware County (Ga.) defensive tackle selected by Seahawks in fifth round

Posted: May 10, 2014 - 9:53pm

It was a pretty good afternoon for Jimmy Staten.

Staten, a defensive tackle at Middle Tennessee who played at Ware County (Ga.) High, was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the fifth round of the NFL draft on Saturday. He was just about to receive his degree in liberal studies upon learning of the news, according to the school’s website.

Staten (6-foot-4, 310 pounds) went No. 172 overall, in the upper range of where several pre-draft sites had him pegged. Staten was an All-Conference USA honorable mention selection as a senior. He had 30 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss last year.

As for other locals, Tulane’s Cairo Santos, considered the top placekicker available, was not selected and was expected to sign Saturday night as an undrafted free agent. Santos played at St. Joseph’s Academy in St. Augustine.

The only kicking specialist selected in the draft was Miami punter Pat O’Donnell by the Bears in the sixth round. O’Donnell helped himself at the NFL Scouting Combine when he bench-pressed 225 pounds 23 times. That was more reps than No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney.

Tight end A.C. Leonard, who played at University Christian and was projected to go in the later rounds, also never heard his name called. Leonard played briefly at Florida and transferred to Tennessee State.