Cal Poly's Courtney Brown Selected by the Dallas Cowboys
April 30, 2007
Elmhurst, Ill. - Cal Poly cornerback Courtney Brown was lone Great West Football Conference player selected in the 2007 National Football League draft, as he was chosed in the seventh round by the Dallas Cowboys.
Brown (6-2, 205, Saint Mary's College High School, Oakland, Calif.) was the second pick in the seventh round and the 212th selection overall. He is the 13th Mustang to be drafted in the seventh round or higher and the third in as many years.
Following the draft Sunday afternoon, several Great West players signed free-agent contracts with NFL teams - Mustang linebacker and Buchanan Award winner Kyle Shotwell signed a free-agent contract with the Oakland Raiders, three members of North Dakota State's Great West Football Conference championship team have signed free agent contracts with three different teams Sunday -- strong safety Craig Dahl with the New York Giants, halfback Kyle Steffes with the New York Jets and defensive tackle Justin Frick with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and two players from UC Davis signed contracts - Elliot Vallejo has agreed to terms with the Arizona Cardinals while record-setting wide receiver Tony Kays has agreed to a contract with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Brown tied the Cal Poly Division I-AA school record for interceptions in a season with seven thefts in 2005 and added one more last season to raise his career total to 10. The two-time first-team All-Great West Football Conference selection had seven pass breakups last season and 29 for his Mustang career.
At a Pro Day held in March at San Jose State, Brown posted the fastest 40-yard dash time of 4.32 seconds as well as the highest vertical jump at 41.5 inches. In addition, Brown recorded the second-fastest 10-yard time of 1.46 seconds and was No. 4 in the short shuttle (4.07 seconds).
Brown was recruited as a wide receiver but moved to the defensive side of the ball after his freshman season at Cal Poly.
Two Mustangs were drafted in the third round the last two years. Last year, defensive end Chris Gocong became Cal Poly's highest draft choice ever, chosen in the third round with the 71st pick overall by Philadelphia. Linebacker Jordan Beck was drafted in the third round, the 90th selection overall, by Atlanta in 2005.
Two former Mustangs have been drafted in the fourth round -- wide receiver Jimmy Childs by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1978 and wide receiver Robbie Martin by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1981. Wide receiver Cecil Turner was a fifth-round selection of the Chicago Bears in 1968.
Shotwell (6-1, 235, Goleta, CA), Cal Poly's third consecutive winner of the Buck Buchanan Award presented to the nation's top defensive player in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) by The Sports Network, notched 122 tackles last fall and completed his Mustang career with 392 career tackles, No. 2 all-time at the school.
Shotwell participated in a Pro Day at Cal Poly in late March and ran the 40 once in 4.56 seconds, the short shuttle in 4.42 and the three-cone drill in 6.94. He also had a 35.5-inch vertical jump, a 10-foot-1-inch broad jump and did 23 bench presses.
Strong safety Dahl, a 6-foot-1, 213-pounder from Mankato, Minn., was a projected late round NFL draft pick but wasn't selected. However, he received a number of offers after the draft was completed and signed a free agent contract with the New York Giants.
Dahl was part of a defense that ranked eighth nationally in scoring defense (13.4 ppg) and ninth in total defense (253.64 ypg). A first team CoSIDA Academic All-American and three-time all-conference performer, he was a member of the winning North squad at the IntaJuice North South All-Star Classic on Jan. 13 at Galena Park ISD Stadium in Houston.
Dahl came up with the interception that set up the game-winning drive in the 28-24 win at UC Davis. He was third on the team with 61 tackles including 32 solo stops, 3.5 tackles for loss and one sack, while adding two interceptions, a fumble recovery and one forced fumble. Dahl became the program's all-time leader in solo tackles in 2006.
Halfback Steffes, a 5-foot-11, 209-pounder from Dickinson, N.D., signed a free agent contract with the New York Jets. He will report May 11th to the Jets mini-camp.
Steffes, a three-time all-conference selection, became the first NDSU running back to rush for over 1,000 yards three times in a career and finished second all-time with 3,952 yards. Steffes completed the 2006 season with 1,250 yards (113.6 ypg) and 13 TDs on 237 carries. He caught 23 passes for 160 yards.
Defensive tackle Frick, a 6-foot-3, 295-pounder from Yankton, S.D., will report to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Thursday and participate in the mini-camp Friday through Saturday. Frick will be reunited with former NDSU assistant coaches Casey Bradley and Todd Wash, who are on the Buccaneers staff.
Frick, who earned all-America and all-conference honors this season, recorded 39 tackles including 18 solo stops, six tackles for loss and five sacks from his defensive line position. He was credited with one forced fumble, a fumble recovery and four pass breakups. Vallejo and Kays both enjoyed standout careers at UC Davis helping the Aggies maintain a consecutive seasons winning streak that stands at 37 years entering the 2007 season.
Vallejo, a 6-foot-7, 315-pound tackle from Salinas, earned All-Great West Football Conference first-team honors this past season while also being selected as the winner of the program's Outstanding Lineman Award. He started all 11 games at right tackle, ending his career with 32 consecutive starts. Vallejo, who began his career at UCLA before transferring to UC Davis, was also an All-GWFC second-team pick as a junior.
Vallejo is currently finishing studies for his degree in material science and engineering.
Kays, a 6-1, 195-pound receiver from nearby Elk Grove, is UC Davis' all-time receptions leader after finishing his four-year career with 207 catches for 2,752 yards and 17 touchdowns. The two-time All-GWFC first-team pick earned a trio of All-America honors as a junior in 2005 after leading the NCAA Div. I-AA statistics with a school-record 93 receptions. He totalled 1,213 yards and three touchdowns during a season which was highlighted by a 212-yard performance against Cal Poly and a school-record 15 receptions against Portland State.
Kays followed that spectactular season with another as a senior, finishing with 66 catches for 879 yards and eight touchdowns. He is a two-time winner of the program's Jerry Norris Award as most valuable and inspirational player, only the third Aggie to do so.
Kays recently graduated with a degree in economics.