G-E-N-O, Jets, Jets, Jets.
Geno Smith had to wait 24 hours more than he expected to be drafted into the NFL, but his wait ended Friday night when the the West Virginia quarterback and former Miramar Patriot was selected No. 39 by the New York Jets.
Smith had gone to New York expecting to be selected in the first 10 picks of the 2013 NFL Draft. If that would have happened, he would be the first ever quarterback from Broward County to be selected in the first round.
But it didn't, so Smith went back to New York's Radio City Music Hall again Friday expecting to go in the Top 10 of the second round.
He did, but it turned out he wasn't even the first player from Broward County selected Friday.
That honor went to North Carolina running back and St. Thomas Aquinas alum Giovani Bernard, who was selected No. 37 overall by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Bernard rushed for 1228 yards and 12 touchdowns in his redshirt senior season for the Tar Heels. He'll be a change-of-pace back for the BenJarvus Green Ellis.
After Bernard's pick, the question had to be begged — how long would Smith have to wait to hear his name called?
Not long, it turned out.
Smith was finally able to walk out of the green room and onto the stage, and the quarterback's decision to stay in New York for day two proved serendipitous, as he was able to introduce himself to a hoard of Jets fans in the venue only minutes after Bernard was selected.
The pick brought a chorus of cheers from the Jets faithful, who have apparently become less than thrilled with the team's quarterback situation.
"It was tough, but I'm here today because of what I've withstood," Smith told NFL Network after being selected. "It's a dream come true to me to finally live out my dream — the work's just beginning for me."
Smith will immediately be tossed into the New York media buzz saw. Smith is seen as a possible franchise quarterback, but to be the starter in New York, he'll have to leapfrog Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow.
"I'm ready to compete, I'm ready to go over there and try to win a starting job," Smith said."It's time to go, I'm excited... I'm proud to be a Jet, we're going to the playoffs next year."
Bernard's pick at No. 37 was surprising — he was slated to be selected in the third-round selection by those same prognositcators who thought Smith was a top-10 pick.
Bernard has drawn comparisons to Baltimore running back Ray Rice thanks to his size — 5-foot-9, 210 pounds — and his versatility.
After Bernard came back from an ACL tear that kept him out of his true freshman season, he was a top-level between-the-tackles runner. When the Tar Heels switched to a spread offense, he was equally threatening to opposing defense, catching 47 balls and five touchdowns.
Bernard also made himself an elite punt returner when at North Carolina. His 73-yard punt return in the final seconds to give UNC a win over in-state rival N.C. State was one of the top played highlights of the college football season.
Florida's Jon Bostic was selected 50th overall in the second round by Chicago, who could be eying the Palm Beach Central alum to replace Brian Urlacher in the middle of the team's historically vaunted defense.
FIU's Jonathan Cyprien was the first South Florida player selected on day two of the draft. He was selected No. 33 overall — the first pick of the second round — by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Geno Smith's teammate at West Virginia and Miramar, wide receiver Stedman Bailey, was selected in the third round, No. 92 overall, by the St. Louis Rams. Bailey caught a Big-12 leading 114 passes for 1622 yards and 25 touchdowns from Smith in 2012.
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