UNH defensive tackle Jared Smith chosen by Seattle
Jared Smith, an athletic 6-foot-3 and 302-pound defensive tackle, became the latest University of New Hampshire football player to be drafted on Saturday when the Seattle Seahawks took him with the 35th pick of the NFL draft.
He was the No. 241 pick overall.
Late Saturday night, the Associated Press reported that Seattle plans to move Smith to the offensive line.
"It's great news for the kid," said UNH coach Sean McDonnell. "We've not had a whole lot of people drafted since I became head coach and it's a credit to the kid. He's done a lot of hard work the last two and a half years and he's put himself in position to have this opportunity. I'm real, real happy for him."
Smith totaled 40 tackles last season and helped UNH to an 8-4 record and a ninth straight appearance in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.
Smith was a disruptive force on the defensive line.
"If you measure his physical skills, height, weight, 40, vertical jump, he's probably the most talented defensive lineman we've had here in a long, long time," McDonnell said. "He's explosive and powerful and has got all those things and that's why he's gotten this opportunity. His physical skills are in some ways off the charts. And he's gotten better with his productivity as he's gone along."
Smith led the Wildcats and was fifth in the Colonial Athletic Association with 10 tackles for a loss last season. He tied for the team lead with four quarterback sacks.
A first-team All-CAA pick, he was a third-team All American with The Sports Network and collected several other postseasn honors.
Smith is the 13th Wildcat to be drafted and the first since the Chicago Bears took defensive back Corey Graham in the fifth round in 2007. Graham joined the Baltimore Ravens as a free agent prior to last season and helped them to a Super Bowl championship.