When Adam Podlesh punted for Jacksonville Jaguars special teams coach Joe DeCamillis during a workout at the University of Maryland last month, the wind chill was around 35 degrees.
"I thought I punted pretty decent considering the weather, and I'm sure he took it into effect," Podlesh recalled last night. "I wasn't sure how interested they were."
Apparently, the Jaguars were quite interested in the only Terp to be named All-Atlantic Coast Conference four straight years. The Jaguars used their fourth-round pick yesterday in the NFL draft on Podlesh.
Picked higher than any other punter or kicker in this year's draft, Podlesh is expected to replace Chris Hanson, who finished with the lowest net average in the league last year (33.4).
"Absolutely it looks like they're looking for a punter to take over next year," Podlesh said. "It seems like they definitely want me to be the guy."
Podlesh thought he might be taken late in the third round after receiving a call from a Jaguars scout late Saturday night. Jacksonville wound up trading down to get another pick later in the draft, and took Podlesh in the fourth round.
"I got a call and he said, 'I'm Brian from the Jaguars, you're our No. 1 priority for drafting and we're on the clock,'" Podlesh said of his Saturday night conversation. "I turned pale white. You never know. Things could change. Priorities could change."
Podlesh was one of two locals to be picked yesterday in the fourth round.
Offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod of Towson was selected by the New Orleans Saints with the 125th overall pick. Bushrod became only the fourth Tiger to be drafted by an NFL team, the first since Tony Vinson in 1994.
It marked the first time a Towson player was picked before the fifth round.
"They actually brought that to my attention this past week; it's a great honor. I'm kind of just lost for words right now," Bushrod said while driving to Towson last night from his family's home in King George, Va.