One day after Bernard Pierce was the Baltimore Ravens' third-round pick, two of his Temple teammates were selected in Saturday's portion of the NFL draft.
The Chicago Bears selected tight end Evan Rodriguez with the 111th overall pick in the fourth round, while the Detroit Lions took outside linebacker Tahir Whitehead with the 138th pick in the fifth round. Saturday was the final day of the three-day draft.
The trio ties the school record for the most players drafted in a single year. The other times were 1946, 1975, 1980, and 1987.
"This shows where Temple came as a program," Whitehead said. "Going to Temple, we weren't a bunch of five-star recruits. It was a bunch of two- and three-star guys, who were coming in there ready to work.
"That ability and mind-set has allowed us to be in the position that we are in today through good coaching."
The 6-foot-1, 242-pounder from North Bergen, N.J., said the Bears want him to be their "movement guy."
"They told me I'm going to play tight end, fullback, and slot," Rodriguez said. "So hey, wherever they put me, I'm going to give it my all."
His 2011 numbers: 35 catches for 479 yards (both led the team) and two touchdowns. He caught 69 passes in his career.
Whitehead was the defensive most valuable player in December's New Mexico Bowl. The 6-1, 236-pounder finished the season with a team-best 131/2 tackles for a loss, 70 total tackles, five sacks, four forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries.
The Newark, N.J., native came a long way since entering Temple as a safety in 2008. But that doesn't mean he's satisfied with just being an NFL draft pick.
"No matter if you are a rookie coming in or a 10-year vet, I feel as though you'll always have room to grow more," said Whitehead, who's determined to make an impact. "You can always be a student of the game.
"I will never be satisfied and never content."