The Weekender: The Philadelphia Eagles Love the Georgia Bulldogs, A 50-Year Drought Ends at Iowa State and Max Abmas Transfers to Texas

By 11W Staff on April 30, 2023 at 2:35 pm
Howie Roseman
Bill Streicher / USA TODAY Sports

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Georgia, the Minor League Affiliate of the Philadelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles have cracked the code toward success in the NFL: Relentlessly pursue players from Georgia –the back-to-back national champions of Division I college football – in the draft.

In 2022, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman and his staff selected Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis in the first round and linebacker Nakobe Dean in the third round. This year, Philadelphia returned to that well when the team picked defensive tackle Jalen Carter (No. 9 overall) and linebacker Nolan Smith (No. 31 overall) in the first round. They also added cornerback Kelee Ringo in the fourth round (No. 105 overall).

In an interview with ESPN, Roseman said he expects Carter and Smith to contribute immediately as rookies. As for Ringo, he believes the former second-team All-SEC cornerback has the potential to impact the franchise immediately. However, understanding where the Eagles drafted him, Roseman said he will have time to develop.

"He doesn't have to come in and be Superman here," Roseman said. "He can come in and can learn and bide his time. We're talking about a 20-year-old corner who has played at the highest level, one of the top recruits in the country coming out. We were excited to get him."

With expectations of becoming an early Day 2 selection after he declared, Ringo's draft stock dropped considerably once the event started in Kansas City. Despite that, Ringo took the fall in stride and is excited to have a chance on the Eagles, who he recognized has an increased presence of Bulldogs on its roster.

"I saw the trend of them getting Nolan and also Jalen Carter, and I was like this definitely is a possibility of this happening," Ringo told reporters in Philadelphia. "I'm just overall thankful to get the opportunity to be on a team, let alone a team where all of my friends are going to be on."

As if drafting three Georgia players this year and five overall in the past two years wasn't able to convince people of the Eagles' infatuation with the Bulldogs, Roseman later orchestrated a trade with Detroit to receive running back D'Andre Swift from the Lions, who selected former Alabama ball carrier Jahmyr Gibbs with the No. 12 overall pick in 2023.

You won't believe this. Swift played three seasons of college ball at Georgia.

Bold move, Roseman (not really), making Georgia the official minor-league affiliate of the Philadelphia Eagles. Let's see how it works out for him (it probably will).

Ohio State Fans Have it Good

On Thursday, Ohio State became the first college football program to have 90 first-round selections in the NFL draft. Meanwhile, Iowa State broke a 50-year drought without a first-round selection when the New York Jets chose linebacker Will McDonald with the No. 15 overall pick.

With McDonald breaking the drought, how many first-round picks does Iowa State have in school history? Two. Yes, two – running back George Amundson to the Houston Oilers in 1973 and McDonald to the Jets in 2023.

While it can be seen as apples and oranges to compare Ohio State with Iowa State in football, the drastic difference in first-round picks between the two Power Five programs is noteworthy, nonetheless, as the Buckeyes have 88 (!) more first-round picks overall and 69 (!) (also, nice) more first-round picks in the last 50 years.

That said, Ohio State fans have it good. Like, really good.

Max Abmas, the Buckeye Killer, Transfers to Texas

Former Oral Roberts guard Max Abmas – the best available guard in the transfer portal –announced his commitment to Texas on Thursday. He chose the Longhorns over Kansas State and others.

Once college basketball's leading scorer, Abmas was the Summit League Player of the Year in 2021 and 2023. He ranked ninth in the country in scoring this past season at 21.9 points per contest and collected 4.4 rebounds and four assists a game.

Buckeye basketball fans will remember Abmas from the 2021 NCAA Tournament, when the 6-foot, 175-pound guard helped Oral Roberts upset No. 2-seeded Ohio State and No. 7-seeded Florida en route to a Sweet 16 appearance. He averaged 26.7 points per game in that stretch.

In Austin, Abmas will likely start with Tyrese Hunter in the backcourt, while Texas head coach Rodney Terry added depth to the frontcourt with Virginia transfer Kadin Shedrick, while forward Dylan Disu announced he will return for another season. The Longhorns will also welcome Ron Holland, the No. 2-ranked prospect in the 2023 high school class.


NFL Draft Central: Complete of Ohio State at the NFL draft, including updated picks and social media reactions

Ohio State had six players selected at the 2023 NFL draft: C.J. Stroud (No. 2 overall, Houston Texans), Paris Johnson Jr. (No. 6 overall, Arizona Cardinals), Jaxon Smith-Njigba (No. 20 overall, Seattle Seahawks), Zach Harrison (No. 75 overall, Atlanta Falcons), Dawand Jones (No. 111, Cleveland Browns) and Luke Wypler (No. 190, Cleveland Browns).

In NFL Draft Central, we have complete coverage of those picks and the destinations of several Buckeyes who signed as undrafted free agents on Saturday, including Ronnie Hickman and Tanner McCalister others.

Paris Johnson Jr. Wants to "finish what my Dad couldn't" after being drafted by the same organization 24 years later

In the 1999 NFL draft, the Arizona Cardinals selected a Miami (Ohio) defensive back in the fifth round. His name was Paris Johnson. Over two decades later, the same franchise drafted his son, Paris Johnson Jr., with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2023 draft.

Johnson Jr. has designs on leaving an NFL legacy that far surpasses that of his father, whose professional career didn't amount to much.

“Honestly, I didn't want to say it during the process, but this is what I wanted. I wanted to be a Cardinal,” Johnson said. “Honestly, I do not have a relationship with my dad now. But as a kid, he was a Cardinal. I wanted to be a Cardinal. ... This is huge. I told the coaches I want to finish what my dad couldn't. I want to finish what he started originally as the original Paris Johnson. So to be able to carry that legacy to the Cardinals is everything.”

Magnificent 7

C.J. Stroud left behind a complicated legacy at Ohio State. While he is one of the most talented quarterbacks in school history and likely has a promising professional career ahead of him, Stroud has no division titles, national titles, Heisman Trophies and – perhaps most importantly – rivalry wins to his credit.

As Ohio State fans, how, then, are we to view him?

What's Next?

  • Baseball: vs. Wright State, 7 p.m. on Tuesday; vs. Iowa (Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
  • Softball: vs. Nebraska (Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
  • Men's Volleyball: NCAA Quarterfinals, 7 p.m. on Tuesday (if nec.)
  • Women's Golf: NCAA Regionals (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)
  • Track and Field: Big Ten Championships (Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
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