WMU News

Babin makes WMU history with NFL first-round pick

April 27, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Jason Babin of Paw Paw, Mich., a senior defensive end at Western Michigan University, was chosen by the Houston Texans in the first round of the National Football League draft, held this past weekend in New York City.

Selected 27th overall, Babin is the highest drafted football player in school history and the only Bronco ever selected in the first round. WMU's 10 highest NFL draft selections are listed below.

Houston traded up to acquire Babin, exchanging four draft picks with the Tennessee Titans for Babin and a fifth-round draft choice.

In 2003, Babin was named Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year for the second time, topping the nation in tackles for losses (2.75 per game/33 total) and ranking fourth nationally in pass sacks (1.25 per game/15 total). The 6-4, 276-pound Babin participated in the East-West Shrine Classic and was tabbed a second team All-American by The Sporting News for the second straight season. He registered a team-high 115 tackles in 2003.

Babin finished his career as WMU's all-time leader in tackles for losses (75) and sacks (38) and compiled 299 tackles over 47 career games.

"Jason [Babin] is a special player, a high-motor guy who stayed true to his style the whole year," said coach Gary Darnell. "We got a chance to see one of the more gifted players in the country."

Babin becomes the second Bronco with rights held by the Texans. Wide receiver Jermaine Lewis, who played at WMU for three seasons, 1999 to 2001, is currently representing the Texans as a member of the Frankfurt Galaxy in NFL Europe.

WMU's 10 highest NFL draft selections

2004 Jason Babin, de, 27th overall selection,1st round, Houston Texans
1967 Bob Rowe, de, 43rd, 2nd round, St. Louis Cardinals
1986 John Offerdahl, lb, 52nd, 2nd round, Miami Dolphins
1939 Ray Bray, g, 66th, 7th round, Chicago Bears
1990 Joel Smeenge, de, 71st, 3rd round, New Orleans Saints
1968 Dale Livingston, k, 83rd, 3rd round, Cincinnati Bengals
1985 Tom Toth, ot, 102nd, 4th round, New England Patriots
1989 Kevin Haverdink, ot, 133rd, 5th round, New Orleans Saints
1987 Mark Garalczyk, dt, 146th, 6th round, St. Louis Cardinals
1993 Paul Hutchins, ot, 152nd, 6th round, Green Bay Packers

Media contact: Daniel Jankowski, 269 387-4138, daniel.jankowski@wmich.edu

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