Clint Boling and Kris Durham didn’t have to wait long to hear their names called on Saturday.
Boling, an offensive lineman from Alpharetta, was selected by Cincinnati with the fourth pick of the fourth round, which was the fourth selection of the NFL draft’s third day. Durham, a wide receiver from Calhoun, went six picks later to the Seattle Seahawks.
Getting the call was a big relief for Boiling, and a big surprise for Durham.
“Yeah, I was getting a little antsy,” he said. “I definitely thought there was a chance I’d go [Friday]. But, at this point it doesn’t really matter. I’m on an NFL team now and that’s all that matters. I’m getting an opportunity to play pro football, so I’m not too worried about it.”
Durham was expecting to get drafted Saturday, just not quite so early in the day. He said he was sitting on the couch in the living room of his parents’ Calhoun home talking with his father and his uncle when his phone rang. He didn’t recognize the 206 area code, so he stepped away and took it in a rear bedroom. About the time Seattle GM John Schneider informed Durham they were about to pick him, his named flashed across ESPN’s ticker on the TV screen and the whole house was filled with whoops and hollers of joy.
“I’m still speechless right now,” Durham said. “I think I’m actually still shaking. It was pretty shocking. I knew I was going to get a call, I just didn’t know how early. But I visited Seattle and I love the coaches out there and the facilities and everything top to bottom. It’s a first-class organization, I’m excited to be part of it and I can’t wait to get to work.”
Getting the call from Cincinnati was not a surprise for Boling. Agent Pat Dye Jr. had been told there was a good chance the Bengals would take Boling if he was still available. And after getting several overtures from teams on both Thursday and Friday, they were pretty certain his wait would not be long Saturday.
“We definitely thought it was a possibility,” Boling said. “I know they like Georgia guys up there. It should turn out well, I think.”
Boiling will join several other Bulldogs In Cincinnati, including wide receiver A.J. Green, who was taken by the Bengals with the fourth pick of the first round on Thursday. Other UGA alumni already wearing the orange-and-black. Dennis Roland, Geno Atkins and Robert Geathers are also employed by Cincinnati.
Boling (6-4, 305), a graduate of Chattahoochee High in Alpharetta, is expected to play guard for the Bengals. He leaves Georgia with a reputation as one of the program’s most versatile linemen ever. Boling started an incredible 49 games in his college career and he did it at every position on the line of scrimmage except center.
“His versatility is one of his greatest assets,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “The way NFL rosters are, you only carry about six or seven linemen, so you must have guys that can cross train. It’s one thing to see guys that play tackle one year and guard another year, but it’s another thing to see one play guard and tackle and go from one side to another even in the same game. So they know he can handle it mentally and that’s really helped him a bunch.”
Durham (6-5, 215) busted loose from an injury-plagued career as a senior. As the Bulldogs’ starting split end, he had 32 catches for 659 yards and three touchdowns. He finished with 910 yards on 51 catches and four TDs for his career.
With the selections of Boling and Durham, the Bulldogs have now had five players selected in the 2011 draft. The others were Green, OLB Justin Houston (3rd, Kansas City) and LB Akeem Dent (3rd, Atlanta).
Both Boling and Durham are good friends with former Bulldog quarterback Matthew Stafford, who was the No. 1 overall pick in 2009. as expected, they heard from him on Saturday.
“He told me vacation was on me this year,” Durham said with a laugh. “I said, ‘no, it’s still on you.’”
Late Saturday another one of Staffords good buddies went. Fullback Shaun Chapas was picked by the Dallas Cowboys with the 17th pick of the seventh and final round, 220th overall.
By Chip Towers, The UGA Blog