DURHAM, N.H.— In addition to the news that University of New Hampshire defensive back  Corey Graham (Buffalo, N.Y.) was drafted in the fifth-round by the Chicago Bears, three other Wildcats will have an opportunity to make NFL rosters. Wide receiver David Ball (Orange, Vt. ) will join Graham in Chicago as a free agent, wide receiver Aaron Brown (Central Square, N.Y.) will work out with the Buffalo Bills and offensive lineman Tucker Peterson (Clarendon, Vt.) has been invited to the Washington Redskins camp.
UNH has had 11 players drafted in the history of the program, the most recent prior to Graham being Walter Payton Award winning running back Jerry Azumah, when he was picked in the fifth round by the Chicago Bears in 1999. The highest draft pick ever for a player in the Wildcat football program was third, when linebacker Steve Doig was picked by the Detroit Lions in 1984.
    The New Hampshire football program has had several players compete in the NFL in recent years. Presently Dan Kreider is with the Pittsburgh Steelers and helped them win a Superbowl. Also Randal Williams has had a long NFL career and is with the Oakland Raiders.
    Ball had an amazing year for the UNH football team and received tremendous media coverage after breaking several NCAA receiving marks, including the I-AA record for touchdown receptions in a career. He surpassed the mark of NFL legend Jerry Rice, who caught 50 touchdown passes while playing at Mississippi Valley State. Ball completes his career with 58 touchdown catches. Ball also finished second among the NCAA leaders with 4,655 receiving yards and he tied Rice’s mark for 100-yard receiving games with 23. He also was second all-time among the top I-AA players with 28 games with at least one touchdown catch.
        Most recently, Ball competed in the East West Shrine game at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas on January 20th.
        In 2006, Ball led the Atlantic 10 Football Conference with 13 touchdown receptions and was ranked among the top 10 in the nation in nearly every receiving category. His 93 receptions in 2006 broke his own University mark of 87, which he set last season. In addition, he completed his third straight campaign with over 1,000 receiving yards after compiling 1,114 yards in 2006 and averaging 85.7 receiving yards per contest.
        His other major honors and awards this season include being named a Walter Camp All-American for the third straight season, an AFCA All-American and an Associated Press first-team All-American. He finished fifth in the voting for the Walter Payton Award and he was named first-team All-Atlantic 10. At the annual banquet, Ball was also named the Most Valuable Player and had his No. 3 retired.
    Brown was the caught 39 passes for 435 yards and four touchdowns last season and averaged 33.5 yards per contest. At 6-3, 210 pounds he had the height, size, strength and speed needed to get a look in the NFL. Over his career, he caught 136 passes for 1,541 career receiving yards and 14 touchdowns.
    Peterson, at 6-2, 310 pounds, started three straight seasons on the offensive line for the Wildcats and proved to be one of the best to ever play at UNH. Last season he earned all-conference and All-America honors and he was also named a team tri-captain for 2006. He has been a key to UNH’s productive offense and passing game, helping to lead UNH to the NCAA quarterfinals three consecutive times.
    Graham’s stock went up as the draft grew closer, as he recovered from injury and was able to undergo speed and agility tests for the pro scouts. Last season, he played in seven games due to injury, but still finished as UNH’s eighth leading tackler with 41 total tackles and he was tied for the team lead in interceptions with two. He also broke up three passes and forced a fumble.
    For his career, he recorded 12 career interceptions and 302 career tackles which places him fourth on UNH’s all-time career tackles list.
    Graham was also an outstanding kick returner for the ‘Cats. Last season in limited action he averaged an incredible 32.3 yards per kick return and scored one touchdown. He also returned 11 punts with a long of 51 yards.
    In 2005 Graham was named a second-team All-Atlantic 10 selection as both a defensive back and as a return specialist. In kick returns, he was ranked eighth in all of I-AA football by the NCAA with an average of 25.1 yards per return that season. His season best in tackles was 110 in 2004. He was a starter for four straight seasons and was a team tri-captain in 2006.
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