The NFL Draft came and went over the weekend with - for the 13th time in 14 years - nobody from South Dakota State being selected. That wasn’t surprising - nobody was projected to go.
But then free agency started Saturday evening and no news of any signings. Same with Sunday.
If nobody gets picked up, and there’s still time for that to happen, this will end a five-year run for the program of getting at least one rookie into an NFL training camp.
Meanwhile, the Jackrabbits faced plenty of new pros last season - a total of 14 as of Sunday night. That’s two draft picks (one from Kansas, one from Southeastern Louisiana) plus 12 rookie free agents.
That number doesn’t include players SDSU met in previous seasons (like Southern Utah QB Brad Sorenson, a seventh-round pick), the three guys from Illinois State (because the Jacks didn’t play the Birds in 2012 despite being in the same conference) or KU QB Dayne Crist, who has a tryout scheduled.
What does this all mean?
Nothing, necessarily. It’s just interesting that the first SDSU team to advance out of the second round of the playoffs had less pro talent (at least in the senior class) than other recent editions. Maybe a bunch of guys from other classes will go on to get pro opportunities, but the seniors - as the coaches said as far back as media day - were better collectively than individually.
Likewise, having pro prospects didn’t mean much by way of success for other teams. Southeastern Louisiana, for example, produced three news pros; same with Youngstown State. Neither of those clubs made the Football Championship Subdivision postseason. And two-time defending champ NDSU didn’t have any new pros as of Sunday night.
Add this to the list of reasons why people love sports. You just never know.
Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.