Oakland Raiders Draft Hillsdale College's Jared Veldheer

Apr 23, 2010, 21:27 ET from Hillsdale College

HILLSDALE, Mich., April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- For the first time in 30 years, a Hillsdale College football player's name was called during the NFL Draft.

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Offensive lineman Jared Veldheer was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the 3rd round of the 2010 NFL Draft on Friday night. The draft is being held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

"Jared is a fine young man and we are proud to have him representing Hillsdale in the NFL," said Hillsdale College President Dr. Larry Arnn.

The last Charger drafted by the NFL was Nate Johnson in 1980.  Veldheer was the highest draft pick to come out of Hillsdale since placekicker Chester Marcol was picked in the second round by the Green Bay Packers in 1972.  Marcol went on to be named the NFC Rookie of the Year that year.

Veldheer was a four-year starter for Hillsdale, starting all 46 games of his career while never allowing a sack throughout his career. He was named the team's Offensive Lineman of the Year three times and was First-Team All-Region twice.  In 2009, he was named First-Team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association, and led the Chargers to a 10-3 record.  Veldheer participated in the Texas vs. The Nation Bowl in February, and was as one of three Division II players to play in the game.

Veldheer's selection in the 3rd round marked the highest any Division II player has been drafted by the NFL since 1999.  He participated in the NFL Combine in February, and was the only offensive lineman at the combine to place in the top 10 in every test given to the players.  In the weeks leading up to his selection, Veldheer was flown out to Oakland and personally met with owner, Al Davis.

In 2009, Hillsdale qualified for the NCAA Division II playoffs for the first time in its history, defeating Minnesota State-Mankato in the first round before losing to eventual national runner-up Grand Valley State in the second round.  The team's 10-3 record was its best since 1988.

SOURCE Hillsdale College