Advertisement

Originally published April 26, 2008 at 04:23p.m., updated April 26, 2008 at 05:37p.m.

Talib selected 20th overall by Tampa Bay

Advertisement

Former Kansas University defensive back Aqib Talib, a first team All-American for the 12-1 Jayhawks in 2007, took one more step into the professional world Saturday.

The Orange Bowl MVP was selected 20th overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft. Talib becomes the first Jayhawk to be selected in the opening round of the 7-round weekend draft since Dana Stubblefield (26th overall) in 1993.

Talib will join the Buccaneers' well-known Cover-2 defense, which he feels he's ready for.

"We started to play a lot of Cover 2 my last year at Kansas," Talib said. "I think I'm ready for it. Coach (Monte) Kiffin is a master of it. With his help, I'll be all right learning the scheme. I think I'll make alot of plays."

Talib finished his junior season with 42 tackles, and tied for the team lead in interceptions with five. Known for having a knack for the big play, Talib backed it up by returning two of those picks for scores. The first set a school record against Florida International by covering 100-plus yards. The second return went for 60 yards in the first quarter of the Orange Bowl victory over Virginia Tech, the cornerstone moment of his MVP showing.

The Bucs went 9-7 in 2007 and won the NFC South. A team long-known for its defensive dominance, Talib will now play on the opposite side of Pro Bowl cornerback Ronde Barber.

"I plan on making an impact," Talib said. "Coming in, working hard and making an impact right away."

Contract negotiations will soon begin between the Bucs and Talib's agent, Todd France. But if last year is any indication, then Talib is about to strike it rich. Last year's No. 20 pick, Texas cornerback Aaron Ross, signed with the New York Giants for $13 million over five years. That included $8 million in guaranteed money.

For more on this story as it develops, plus the destinations of other Jayhawks in this weekend's NFL Draft, stay tuned to KUSports.com.

Comments

wi_jayhawk 12 years, 9 months ago

Congrats to Talib! I'm very excited to see what he can do under Jon Gruden, who is a great coach.

CaramelMacchMan 12 years, 9 months ago

2 star player to 20th pick in first round?????M. Mangino.... you are the Man...

easyfive 12 years, 9 months ago

I miss him already!!! He was a very fun guy to watch!!!

DSommersby 12 years, 9 months ago

Congrats to Talib! Represent and make us proud in the NFL. Was always a fun and exciting Jayhawk!

sevenyearhawk 12 years, 9 months ago

... but wait, there's more!The Jayhawks travel to Tampa to play the USF Bulls on Friday, Sept 12th, the Atlanta Falcons visit the Buccaneers just two days later on Sunday, Sept 14th ...I'd say the odds are GREAT that Talib will be in attendance at the game - how cool is that?!

aznguyen316 12 years, 9 months ago

And what else is funny.. I a KU senior will be going to USF for Grad school this upcoming fall. hahaha I'll be rootin for the hawks there and for talib =)

ohjayhawk 12 years, 9 months ago

How awesome is it that Talib is the ONLY Big Twelve player picked in the first round???

freak2304 12 years, 9 months ago

ohjayhawk,Awesome for Talib/KU or awesome for the Big 12?? Two very different answers to each question.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.