April 22, 2002
Twelve members of the 2001 UCLA football team are now members of teams in the National Football League.
Six Bruins were selected in this past weekend's NFL Draft, a total exceeded by just six schools in the entire country. Since the end of the draft, six more Bruins have signed free agent contracts with NFL teams.
Linebacker Robert Thomas, a 2001 Butkus Award finalist and first-team All-American, was selected in the first round (No. 31) by the St. Louis Rams. UCLA has now produced a first-round choice in nine of the last 12 years.
Tailback DeShaun Foster, the No. 3 rusher and No. 2 touchdown producer in UCLA history and a second-team All-American in 2001, was the second pick of the second round (No. 34 overall) by the Carolina Panthers. Safety Marques Anderson, a 2001 Thorpe Award semifinalist and third-team All-American, was a third round selection (No. 92) by the Green Bay Packers. Defensive end Kenyon Coleman, the 2001 defensive winner of the Morris Trophy (Top Pac-10 Lineman) and a fourth-team All-American, was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the fifth round (No. 147). Tight end Bryan Fletcher, a second-team All-Pac-10 selection in 2001, was picked in the sixth round (No. 210) by the Chicago Bears and long snapper Jeff Grau was a seventh round choice (No. 230) by the Washington Redskins.
Wide receiver Brian Poli-Dixon, the fifth-leading career receiver in UCLA history, and defensive tackle Anthony Fletcher have signed with the San Diego Chargers. Fullback Ed Ieremia-Stansbury is a member of the Houston Texans and fullback Matt Stanley has signed with the San Francisco 49ers. Linebacker Ryan Nece, a 2001 Butkus Award semifinalist, is a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and defensive tackle Ken Kocher has signed with the Green Bay Packers.