In last spring’s NFL Draft, only one Nebraska player was chosen among the first 104 picks – cornerback Prince Amukamara (No. 19).
But then four of the next 50 picks were Cornhuskers: Eagles kicker Alex Henery (No. 105) and three Redskins – running back Roy Helu (120), safety DeJon Gomes (146) and receiver Niles Paul (155).
Overall, seven Nebraska players were drafted last year.
Sunday at the Meadowlands, Amukamara and Helu/Gomes/Paul meet for the first time as pros. Amukamara sustained a foot injury early in training camp that kept him out of the Giants’ first nine games.
Polling each of the Redskins’ ex-Huskers on Wednesday, they weren’t surprised Amukamara went so high.
Paul: “We knew he was a first-rounder our junior year. Coming into college together like we did, Prince was always just naturally gifted in a way that’s kind of unexplainable.”
Helu: “I don’t know about first-round talent [but] freshman year, I knew that he was special. A competitor. That’s the first thing that stuck out. He had the skill set back then but I don’t know if he was fully bought into playing defense.”
Gomes: “Athlete-wise, I could tell within the first couple weeks. The things he could do on the field, in the weight room, on the basketball court.”
Yet it’s Helu and Gomes who can claim having started an NFL game before Amukamara, who has 12 tackles and one interception in four games since his return.
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