Terps' Barton picked by Raiders in 5th

UM mate Ogle selected by Browns in 6th round

Nfl Draft

April 19, 1999|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Eric Barton loved the vibes he received from Raiders coach Jon Gruden yesterday after Oakland selected the Maryland linebacker in the fifth round of the NFL draft.

"Coach Gruden said I was a steal in the fifth," said Barton, who finished his collegiate career as the fourth-leading tackler for the Terps with 417. "They say I have a chance to play a lot. I'm very excited about going to Oakland. They have a great owner in Al Davis and a young, upbeat coach in Jon Gruden."

Barton, a first-team All-ACC pick as a senior, said he hoped to prove himself on the special teams and then gain significant playing time at outside linebacker.

"They don't have a lot of outside linebackers," said the 6-foot-3, 229-pound Barton, who was the 146th player chosen. "So my chances are good."

Barton grew up in Alexandria, Va., loving the San Francisco 49ers, even though he was surrounded by Washington Redskins fans, and now he lands just across the bay from San Francisco.

"I came close to my team," Barton said with a laugh. "I had hoped to go in the fourth round after I scored high in a couple of private workouts in College Park. I ran a 4.6 in the 40 and had a 39 1/2-inch vertical leap."

Barton's agent, Steve Hayes, said that St. Louis and Miami talked about taking the Atlantic Coast Conference's leading tackler in the fourth round.

"But St. Louis got lucky and took Ohio State quarterback Joe Germaine in the fourth round and Miami wound up taking a running back [Cecil Collins] and a safety [Bryan Jones] in the fifth round," Hayes said. "Eric has a great future in the NFL."

Hayes also represents former Terps defensive end Eric Ogbogu, who played for the New York Jets last season and was the only Maryland player drafted last year.

The Terps improved upon that by one yesterday when their other talented senior linebacker and captain, Kendall Ogle, was selected in the sixth round by the expansion Cleveland Browns.

The 6-1, 231-pound Ogle was one of three ACC linebackers chosen by Cleveland, which also took Clemson's Rahim Abdullah in the second round and Virginia's Wali Rainer in the fourth round.

Ogle's agent, Kevin Pompey, said: "Kendall will play in the NFL whether it's in Cleveland or someplace else. He has the kind of drive and desire to excel in everything that is hard to find. What he did today after the draft is a perfect example of what kind of person he is."

After watching the NFL draft in Lexington, Ky., yesterday with his family, Ogle left immediately for a seven-hour drive to College Park last night so he could make his Monday classes.

Pompey believes that Ogle and Barton did not receive the recognition they deserved on a national level because their team only won five games the past two years.

Ogle finished as Maryland's seventh all-time leading tackler with 356 and was an honorable mention All-ACC choice last fall.

Another local player, Morgan State tailback Jerome Hinton, signed a free-agent contract with the Seattle Seahawks, reuniting with former Bears coach Stump Mitchell, a running backs coach in Seattle. Hinton, who transferred to Morgan after his junior year at Arizona, rushed for 877 yards and six touchdowns in his only season at Morgan.

Pub Date: 4/19/99

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