Bilukidi drafted by Raiders in historic moment for GSU — updated

In a historic moment for Georgia State sports, defensive tackle Christo Bilukidi was selected by the Raiders in the sixth round of the NFL draft on Saturday.

Bilukidi is the first player in the program’s short history to be drafted by a NFL team.

“It opens doors now,” he said. ”Georgia State has a lot of athletes. Downtown Atlanta is a huge media market. It’s good that we are moving to FBS. It will open doors to athletes at Georgia State. It’s great for the community.”

Bilukidi  had 10 sacks with 16 tackles for loss in Georgia State’s only two seasons. He was mentioned as perhaps a late-round selection in the run-up to the draft. He worked out or visited with more than a dozen teams, including Oakland. But he was mostly considered as a legitimate prospect for the CFL. He, along with his coaches, may have been one of the few who wasn’t surprised when the Raiders picked him at No. 189.

“I’m not surprised at all,” he said. ”I worked hard for it.”

Georgia State coach Bill Curry said he wasn’t surprised that Bilukidi was selected. Curry said  that he hasn’t been part of NFL evaluations, but he “recognizes a NFL player when I see one.

“He did the job on the field and off the field.”

While making history is nice, being a footnote isn’t the goal. Bilukidi said playing in the NFL is the goal and his coaches think he could become a solid performer.

Chris Ward, who coaches defensive tackles at Georgia State, said because of Bilukidi’s size (6-5, 315 pounds), speed (4.9 seconds in the 40-yard dash) and ability to change direction, he could become really good.

“He hasn’t peaked yet,” Ward said. “You put him around other NFL players and he’s only going to get better.”

Former Georgia State defensive coordinator John Thompson said he likes Bilukidi’s intelligence and ability to rush the passer. Like Ward, Thompson said Bilukidi is only going to get better and that he predicts he will have a long, productive career.

Bilukidi has an unusual back story. A native of Angola, he has lived in France and Brazil before his family moved to Canada. He speaks fluent French. He played one year of football in high school in Ontario, saying the NFL wasn’t a consideration then. He signed with Eastern Arizona Junior College and then signed with Georgia State.  He said that he learned while playing under Curry, whom Bilukidi said was his inspiration, that he could compete on the highest level.

“Christo has a chance to really make it because of his own merits: His work ethic, he’s tough and he’s smart,” Curry said.

Bilukidi won’t have a lot of time to celebrate. He will graduate with a degree in sociology on May 6 and then report to mini-camp on May 10.

The historic effect of the moment is already being felt in Georgia State’s football program. Ward said he was receiving email after email and text after text from current players Saturday afternoon who said they are going to work even harder now that they’ve seen one of their own get chosen by a NFL team.

Curry said Bilukidi-to-the-NFL and the move to the Sun Belt will help recruiting because high school players want to know if professional football is a possibility.

“I’ve heard from our players and players around the state because of the recent moves, guys who are getting the word out,”‘ Curry said. “Hopefully, it will also show that those who stay the course and don’t make mistakes that are not correctable will benefit.”

– Doug Roberson, ajc. Please be my twitter friend at @ajcgsu

77 comments Add your comment

Ben M

April 28th, 2012
5:04 pm

Congrats Christo on making GSU Sports history!!! First of MANY to come!!!

Chicken Bone

April 28th, 2012
5:09 pm

Awesome job Christo! We are so looking forward to see you play for the Raiders this fall. You are the first and we are very proud of you. Best of luck to the first PANTHER in the NFL!!!


April 28th, 2012
5:10 pm

Congrats Christo!! This deserves to be on the sports front page Doug!

Chicken Bone

April 28th, 2012
5:13 pm

Doug, What about Evan Bostic? Is he expected to be drafted too?


April 28th, 2012
5:16 pm

Welcome to raider nation. You are now part of a great legacy and great football tradition. See you in Oakland my good sir!

Doug Roberson

April 28th, 2012
5:23 pm

There’s a possibility for bostic


April 28th, 2012
5:24 pm

Congratulations to Christo Bilukidi!! Also to the Georgia State football program and the GSU Panther Nation.

This is huge to me. GSU has played football for only two years and has already produced a drafted NFL player. This should/will be a huge recruiting selling point to high school prospects. The GSU football program continues to add legitimacy as a football program.

A proud 2nd generation GSU alumni.


April 28th, 2012
5:29 pm

Congratulations Christo, could not be prouder. You will always be the first Panther drafted into the NFL. Cannot wait to hear you introduce yourself on TV. THE Georgia State University has a nice ring.
Go Panthers.


April 28th, 2012
5:53 pm

Agree with gsu01 should be on front Page. This is HUGE!! Way to go Christo.


April 28th, 2012
6:19 pm

I’m just curious about a couple of other programs from Georgia. Has anyone from Geogia Southern been drafted? How about Tech other than WR S Hill? I’m just still stunned and stoked about Bilikudi being drafted. Wow!!

Lewis Grizzard's Ghost

April 28th, 2012
6:27 pm

I always knew you boys would be as good as the North Ave. team … Congratulations, brother! Now go and make us all proud!


April 28th, 2012
6:33 pm

Congratulations, Christo !!!! Congratulations, GSU. Confirmation/Reaffirmation for Coach Curry,

Go, Raiders! (Pride and Poise; Commitment to Excellence.)

Give em hell, Bill


April 28th, 2012
6:36 pm

In 2 yrs of football ga state has the same amount of players drafted this year as ga tech could there be a new sheriff in downtown atlanta

GT fan

April 28th, 2012
6:38 pm

Does anyone know where Ashland College is??? ESPN lists its CONF as Div II/III.

Well, they had a player get drafted too.

MEMO to all college football players: If you can play, the NFL will find you!


April 28th, 2012
6:53 pm

Anderson Hill from Tech went in the 3rd round. You know what a 6th round pick usually does? Not make the roster. Just the facts.


April 28th, 2012
7:12 pm

You do when you only have 4 pic in the draft

Nfl idiot

April 28th, 2012
7:28 pm

Gstateben – good post. Tom Brady still hasn’t made the Patriots roster, neither did Terrell Davis, or Zach Thomas.


April 28th, 2012
7:35 pm

Not that I think Christo will match this fact, but Tom Brady was taken with the 199th pick in 2000 in the sixth round. There is always a chance for him to succeed once he gets to Oakland. Draft position means little sometimes. Ask Ryan Leaf and Aundray Bruce, among many high draft busts.


April 28th, 2012
7:37 pm

sorry nfl idiot. you typed faster. did not mean to jump on your bandwagon.


April 28th, 2012
7:39 pm

Troll on GASO GNAT!!! Christo will make it! Count on it! He had three guys blocking on him most of the time in our god forsaken LONG GONE 3/4 defense. Hope Arkansas State has big and fast linebackers and linemen to play the 3/4 defense. Can’t wait to see the PANTHERS in a four down linemen defensive set in 2012…………….. Anthony Midget will make a huge difference going forward with our defensive strategy!


April 28th, 2012
7:40 pm

Congrats to Georgia State and Christo Bilukidi! Awesome news. Great to hear of local teams that are up and coming. Too much talent in Atlanta for G. State not to make gradual improvements over time. Good luck, Panthers!


April 28th, 2012
7:47 pm

Congrats Christo. Proud to be a GSU grad today.


April 28th, 2012
7:56 pm

Congrats- This reaffirms everything that these players and coaches have put so much hard work in to. This is really big deal. Very proud. Now shock some more people, and actually make the team.
Go Panthers, bleed blue

Sly Ty

April 28th, 2012
8:02 pm

This is a proud day for all of us Panthers, especially that these Final Exams are kicking all of our tails this week. Great way to end the GSU finals week. Congrats classmate!!!!!


April 28th, 2012
8:06 pm

I’m very pleased and proud to see this made the front of the website as a (big and bold) headline.


April 28th, 2012
8:12 pm

Performance against Lambuth sealed the deal!


April 28th, 2012
8:30 pm

Way to go little brother GSU, your Dawg daddies are watching and like the progress.

Chicken Bone

April 28th, 2012
8:36 pm

@ATLYO, A little jealousy goes a long way. Maybe you’ll meet Christo on the gridiron in the NFL someday. Oh wait, you probably missed your phone call from the Raiders. lol

Erika Ward

April 28th, 2012
8:38 pm

Many congrats Christo!! We couldn’t be more thrilled at what you have achieved…no small feat. Looking forward to seeing you shine as a Raider! We’ll miss you next year!


April 28th, 2012
8:57 pm

Hopefully we will see Christo when the Raiders visit the Dome on October 14th.


April 28th, 2012
9:43 pm

This is awesome news! So proud of Christo and GSU. Thanks AJC for keeping us up-to-date on these sorts of things! Much appreciated.


April 28th, 2012
9:49 pm

Congrats Christo! We are very proud of you. Great day to be a Panther.


April 28th, 2012
9:52 pm

lol Tom Brady was a 2 time First Team All Conference and holds several Michigan records. What kind of accolades does Christo have? I realize there was no conference affiliation.


April 28th, 2012
10:08 pm

Congrats GSU Football. Good Deal!!!


April 28th, 2012
10:22 pm

HBCU Classic Sports
2012 Draft Update:

Christian Thompson, S, SC State – Baltimore
Ryan Davis, DE/OLB, Bethune – Jacksonville
Mario Louis, WR, Grambling – Houston
Marquette King, P, FVSU – Oakland
James Dekle, G, Prairie View – Arizona
Kevin Elliott, WR, FAMU – Jacksonville
Demario Pippen, RB,Tuskegee – Denver
LaMont Bryant, TE, Morgan St – Baltimore
Bryan Tymes, TE, FAMU – San Francisco
Jared Green, WR, Southern – Carolina
Donovan Robinson, DE, Jackson St – New York Jets
Adrian Hamilton, DE, Prairie View – Dallas
Antonio Dennard, CB, Langston – Jaguars
Paul Cox, WR, Mississippi Valley St – Chargers
Nicolas Cooper, RB, Winston Salem St – Packers

stay tuned…

Die Troll 2: Troll Harder

April 28th, 2012
10:26 pm

Panther Nation, if Christo’s name gets called in the game vs. the Falcons, show the guy some love. He’s earned it!


April 28th, 2012
10:40 pm

I feel like I need to go buy a Raiders jersey and get it customized with his name on it lol…I’M SO PUMPED! One big moment after another here lately!

African in ATL

April 28th, 2012
10:40 pm

Congrats Bilukidi for that achievement, hard work really pays. I wish you all the best in your NFL career.


April 28th, 2012
11:22 pm

Christo, I think you take a moment to commemorate the late great Al Davis. One of the true legends and pinoneers of the NFL, a self-made man, of the likes we will never see again in this lifetime. Congrats.


April 28th, 2012
11:45 pm

Wow… This is HUGE!!!! Congrats!!!! Gooooooooo panthers!


April 29th, 2012
12:52 am

Congrats Christo!!! From one soon to be GSU graduate to another, I hope that all your dreams come true whether they are in the NFL or outside of it.


April 29th, 2012
12:55 am

Congrats to Christo Bilukidi and the GSU Panthers !!

Thank you HBCU Classic Sports. Good luck to all the HBCU Athletes !!


April 29th, 2012
1:54 am

Congratulations Christo! Great day to be a Panther. Best of luck moving forward.

D.M. From Loganville

April 29th, 2012
2:35 am

Proud parent of a up and coming Senior at GSU and a incoming Freshman. I attended the first game at the Dome 2 yrs ago and can honestly say I love the school. A major milestone for the program and for this young man!!! I’m sure there will be more to come, and I will be watching them all grow up.

New GSU student

April 29th, 2012
5:43 am

Great news for GSU!

Go Panthers!


April 29th, 2012
6:50 am

So glad more folks use my user name. Imitation is the greatest…

Congrats to Christo! This is an incredible accomplishment. I believe Bostic and Yandell Have an outside shot of making rosters. The fact that CB53 has only played organized football for 5 years is tremendous. Proud of our #PantherFamily!


April 29th, 2012
8:19 am

Congrats Christo!!!!!Great human interest story. Glad to hear more about this young man.

One piece of advise; don’t take any calls from Caleb King! He’s not your friend!

Go Panthers

April 29th, 2012
8:33 am

Wow! 6th round magic. If it worked for Brady!!!!!!


April 29th, 2012
9:18 am

Yes!!!! Soooo proud of you Christo. Recruits have every reason to look at GSU now. Chance to play for NFL legend……check
Play in div1A…..check
Play in pro stadium……check
Get a world class education…..check
Have a chance to go to NFL……CHECK!!!!!


April 29th, 2012
10:41 am

Work harder now Christo! I want to see you when the raiders play the falcons this season!

Show our current GSU players that if you put in the work and determination you can make it to the NFL!