PISCATAWAY, NJ – Rutgers football defensive standouts Nate Jones (Scotch Plains, NJ) and Raheem Orr (Elizabeth, NJ) were taken in the seventh round of the NFL Draft today. Jones, a cornerback, was the sixth pick by the Dallas Cowboys, while Orr, a defensive end, was the seventh pick by the Houston Texans.
Jones was the fourth pick of the seventh round and No. 205 overall. He enjoyed an outstanding career at Rutgers, and capped it with a tremendous senior campaign. Jones was selected First Team CoSIDA Academic All-America, and was named to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame’s 2003 Scholar-Athlete Class. Jones was also the recipient of the BIG EAST/Aeropostale Football Scholar-Athlete Award. Jones started all 12 games at cornerback in 2003, and was the Scarlet Knights’ third leading tackler with 73 stops. Jones also tied for the team lead with two interceptions.
Regarded as one of the top kick returners in the country throughout his career, Jones averaged 25.7 yards per return, No. 4 in the BIG EAST and No. 21 nationally in 2003. He was No. 6 in the country with 28.3 yards per return as a junior in 2002, including two 100-yard TD returns. Jones finished his career as the No. 3 all-time kick returner in the BIG EAST, with 82 returns for 1,902 yards.
Orr was the ninth selection of the seventh round, and No. 210 overall. He enjoyed a breakout senior season, and was the recipient of the Homer Hazel Trophy as the Scarlet Knights’ Most Valuable Player. Orr was a First Team All-BIG EAST Conference selection as a defensive end, and played in Blue-Gray All-Star Classic on Christmas Day.
Orr capped his senior year with 82 tackles (32 solo, 50 assisted), which led all BIG EAST defensive linemen. He was also first in the league in tackles-for-loss (19.5) and was second in sacks (8.5), and was ranked 14th nationally in TFLs and 31st nationally in sacks. Orr had seven or more tackles in 8 of 12 games, including a season-high 10 vs. Virginia Tech on Oct. 4. As a junior in 2002, Orr recorded 62 tackles and a team-high 4.5 sacks.
Rutgers University * CB * 5-10/180 * Scotch Plains, NJ/Scotch Plains HS
In 2003 – In 2003 – Enjoyed an outstanding senior season, both on the field and in the classroom … Was selected First Team CoSIDA Academic All-American, and was also named to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame’s 2003 Scholar-Athlete Class, one of just eight named from Division I-A … Also selected to CoSIDA All-Academic District II team … Was recipient of the BIG EAST/ Aéropostale Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award, and was awarded a $2,000 scholarship to be applied to graduate or professional studies …Was presented with the “Scholar-Athlete Award” at the Rutgers Football Awards Banquet, award which is given annually to the letterwinner “who has the highest academic average and has demonstrated outstanding football ability” ... Started all 12 games at cornerback, and was also top kick returner, for Scarlet Knights, who registered a 5-7 record, the best since 1998 (tied for fourth best turnaround season in 2003 among Division I-A teams) … Third leading tackler for the Scarlet Knights, with 73 stops … Had 45 initial stops (second highest on team) … Also tied for team lead with two interceptions, had seven pass break-ups, recovered one fumble and forced two more … Was leading kickoff returner for Rutgers, returning 19 kicks for 489 yards (25.7 per return) as majority of opponents tried to kick away from him during the season … Was named BIG EAST Special Teams Player of the Week (Nov. 17) after returning a kickoff 81 yards for a TD vs. Boston College … Was also credited with a forced against Boston College on a punt attempt, which was recovered by Rutgers and eventually converted into a field goal … Was No. 4 in the BIG EAST in kick returns, and No. 21 nationally … Finished his career as No. 3 kick returner all-time in the BIG EAST, with 82 returns for 1,902 yards … Second at Rutgers in both return and yardage for his career … Season-high nine tackles in season-opening victory over Buffalo, including six solo stops … Followed that effort with seven tackles at Michigan State … Had six tackles, three pass break-ups and an interception in win over Army … At Connecticut, he recorded four tackles, and blocked a punt that was scooped up by a teammate and returned 36 yards for a TD …Concluded his career with five interceptions.
In 2002 – Named BIG EAST Co-Special Teams Player of the Year, the first RU player to receive the honor … Earned two BIG EASP Special Teams Player of the Week honors .. . Was also a Verizon Academic All-America selection, the second in program history … Earned honorable mention All-ECAC honors … Returned 26 kicks for 736 yards and two touchdowns … His 28.3 yards per return average was sixth in the country … Had two kickoff returns for 100 yards, becoming just the second player in BIG EAST history to do so (Nate Terry, WVU, 1997) … Opened the game at Tennessee (9/28) with a 100-yard TD return, and returned another kick 100 yards for a TD at Syracuse (10/26) …Was first in the BIG EAST in kickoff return average (28.6 yards) and 22nd in tackles … Finished the season with team high 764 all-purpose yards … Also recorded 84 tackles, third-best on the team (69 solo, 15 assisted) … Had two tackles for loss, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and and two interceptions … Also had seven pass breakups, second best on team, and blocked two kicks … Had a season high 13 tackles vs. Buffalo, including 11 solo stops … Had three tackles and a 20-yard interception return in a 44-0 win over Army (9/14) … Had at least six tackles in 10 of Rutgers 12 games, and eight or more in four games.
In 2001 -- Played in all 11 games as cornerback and the team’s top kick returner… Amassed a team-high 747 all-purpose yards… Made 55 tackles on defense, including 38 solo tackles… Had a season-high eight tackles on two occasions, vs. Connecticut (9/29) and at West Virginia (11/3)… Also intercepted one pass vs. Boston College (11/17) and returned it 70 yards for a touchdown… The 70-yard return was the second-best on the team… Averaged 18.3 yards on kickoffs… Had a season-best of 52 yards vs. Connecticut… Returned seven kicks on two occasions, at Miami (9/8) and at WVU (11/3).
In 2000 – Saw action in 10 games, mostly on special teams … was in on seven tackles (six solo).
Scholastic/Personal -- One of the top players in New Jersey as a senior … Was a first team All-State selection by both the Associated Press and the Star Ledger, and was named to The New York Daily News Tri-State All-Star team … Named to the “Super 100 All-State Football Team” by the New Jersey Football Coaches Association … Was one of 13 players from New Jersey who was honored by the MSG Network as Tri-State Heisman All-Star in December … Rushed for 2,474 yards and scored 33 touchdowns on the ground as a senior … Added three TDs through the air, catching 10 passes for 227 yards … Was named Union County “Offensive Player of the Year” by the Star Ledger, and All-Area “Offensive Player of the Year” by the Courier News … Recipient of the Lou Rettino Award as the best player in the Watchung Conference … On defense, he had six interceptions, 59 solo tackles, 26 assists and two fumble recoveries … He rushed for 362 yards and scored six TDs in a North Jersey 2 Group III quarterfinal playoff game … Rushed for more than 1,600 yards and scored 14 TDs as a junior.
Year GP-GS Solo Ast Tot TFL-YDS INT-Yd FF FR PBrUp
2000 10-0 6 1 7 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
2001 11-5 38 17 55 1-1 1-70 1 0 4
2002 12-12 69 15 84 2-7 2-30 1 2 7
2003 12-12 45 28 73 1-2 2-0 1 0 7 45-29 158 61 219 4-10 5-100 3
Rutgers University * DE * 6-4/260 * Elizabeth, NJ/Elizabeth HS
In 2003 – Enjoyed a breakout senior season … Recipient of the Homer Hazel Trophy as the team’s Most Valuable Player at the annual awards banquet … A major catalyst for the Scarlet Knights, who recorded the fourth best turnaround season in Division I-A by tallying a 5-7 record in 2003 … A First Team All-BIG EAST Conference selection as defensive end … Also selected to play in the Blue-Gray All-Star Classic on Dec. 25 … Finished second on the team in tackles with 82 (32 solo, 50 assisted), which led all BIG EAST defensive linemen … Also finished first in the league in tackles-for-loss (19.5) and was second in sacks (8.5) … Ranked 14th nationally in TFLs and 31st nationally in sacks … Orr had seven or more tackles in 8 of 12 games, including a season-high 10 vs. Virginia Tech on Oct. 4 … Also had 3.0 TFLs and 2.5 sacks vs. the Hokies … Orr also led the team with 19 quarterback hurries ... Was named by The Sporting News as the BIG EAST’s “Littlest Known Pass Rusher” … Served as co-captain of team.
In 2002 - Played in all 12 games, making 11 starts… Amassed 62 tackles, which was fifth on the team and led all defensive linemen… Also had a team-high 4.5 sacks for -38 yards… Had 9.5 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles, also a team high… Had at least four tackles in eight of 12 games… Enjoyed a season-high 12 tackles (nine solo, three assisted) vs. West Virginia (10/12)… Had five tackles and two sacks (-15 yards) and two forced fumbles at Virginia Tech (10/19)… Picked up seven tackles at Tennessee (9/28) and vs. Temple (11/16) … Had three tackles and two forced fumbles at Notre Dame (11/23).
In 2001 - Opened the season as starting defensive end after not playing for two seasons … Season was limited to seven games due to nagging injuries … Imposing physical specimen … Collected 25 tackles … Also had five tackles for loss and one sack … Collected a season-high 11 tackles in win over Navy (10/20).
In 2000 - Was a standout in practice all season ... Did not see any game action.
In 1999 - Sat out the season.
Scholastic/Personal - Regarded as one of the top defensive prospects in the nation following his senior season at perennial state power Elizabeth … Was a three-year starter at linebacker for the Minutemen, and led the team to a 27-6 record and two Central Jersey Group IV championships in that time … Had 146 tackles, three interceptions, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries while leading Elizabeth to an 8-3 record and the Central Jersey Group IV championship in 1998 … A consensus first-team All-State selection … Named Defensive Player of the Year by the Home News Tribune … Also played tight end, catching18 passes for 308 yards and three touchdowns … Follows in a long line of outstanding football players from Elizabeth to attend Rutgers, including Alcides Catanho, Sean Devlin, and the Jackson brothers, Malik and Jamil … Selected to play in the New Jersey North-South All-Star game, and the Governor's Bowl ... Raheem's brother, Thomas, played football at BIG EAST Conference rival West Virginia … Born 11/8/80.
Year GP Solo Ast Tot TFL-Yds Sack-Yds FF FR PBrUp
2001 7 14 11 25 5-11 1-6 0 1 0
2002 12 39 23 62 9.5-49 4.5-38 5 0 1 2003 12 32 50 82 19.5-88 8.5-56 1 0 5
TOTAL 31 85 84 169 34-148 14-106 6 1 6