Mike Teel didn't want to be distracted by the NFL Draft on Sunday, so he went out to play golf with his cousins on a beautiful afternoon instead.
That didn't stop the former Rutgers quarterback from checking the draft updates on his phone at every chance.
"I was trying to keep my mind occupied but I was on the Internet updating the Web browser every five minutes," Teel said by phone Monday morning.
The 6-foot-3 Teel finally received a life-changing phone call from Seattle Seahawks coach Jim Mora when he was in the car on the way home from the golf course. The Seahawks took the record-setting quarterback in the sixth round with the 178th pick.
"There was just so much uncertainty. I didn't know if I'd be drafted," Teel said. "I didn't know if I'd be a free agent. I didn't know if I would have an opportunity.
"It's a great situation for me. It's a great opportunity to go out and learn from Matt Hasselback and compete and become an NFL quarterback."
Rutgers Draft Selections
Teel was one of five Rutgers players chosen in the 2009 NFL Draft. Among Big East teams, only Cincinnati, with six, had more.
"I am happy for Mike, Jason, Courtney and Tiquan as they continue their careers in the NFL," Rutgers head football coach Greg Schiano said. "These young men are outstanding individuals on and off the field and we are excited to watch them play on Sundays. Along with Kenny's selection Saturday and the anticipated free agent signings, this has been a great weekend for Rutgers."
Cornerback Jason McCourty (Nanuet, N.Y.) was selected in the sixth round Sunday and safety Courtney Greene (New Rochelle, N.Y.) and wide receiver Tiquan Underwood (Lawrenceville, N.J.) went in the seventh round.
The quartet joined wide receiver Kenny Britt, who was chosen Saturday by the Tennessee Titans and was one of seven New Jersey products taken in the first round.
In the last three NFL Drafts, 10 Scarlet Knights have been selected, the most in a three-year span in school history. The five players selected in this year's draft set a new school record, breaking the old mark of three set in 2007 (Brian Leonard, Cameron Stephenson, Clark Harris).
"It's awesome," Teel said. "I'm happy for every one of them and even the free agent guys are going to be great football players in the NFL, too. It just shows you how much the program has grown in the last five or six years.
"We're at a point where we're putting guys in the NFL consistently and I expect a lot more to come in the future."
Teel was named the MVP of the PapaJohns.com Bowl after finishing the game 22-of-37 passing for 319 yards and two touchdowns. He led the Big East in passing yards per game and passing efficiency in 2008 after throwing for 3,418 yards and 25 touchdowns. He also led the league in punches landed on teammates with one.
Current Scarlet Knights in the NFL
|Brian Leonard||(2003-06)||St. Louis|
|Ryan Neill||(2001-02, 04-05)||Buffalo|
|Joe Porter||(2003-06)||Green Bay|
|Jeremy Zuttah||(2004-07)||Tampa Bay|
In 48 career games, Teel threw for 9,383 yards and 59 touchdowns -- both school records. He finished his career 29-13 as the starting quarterback for the Scarlet Knights.
Seahawks offensive coordinator Greg Knapp said Teel could eventually replace Hasselback, another sixth-round pick of a decade ago. The 33-year-old Hasselbeck, a three-time Pro Bowl passer, missed nine games with a back injury last season.
"Just like Matt was a sixth-round pick, this guy is, too," Knapp told The Associated Press. "Just like Matt wasn't invited to the combine, this guy was not invited to the combine, either."
Teel heads out to mini-camp in Seattle on Thursday and said he's hoping to learn from Hasselback and his backup, Seneca Wallace.
"Obviously, right now Hasselback is the quarterback," Teel said. "Seneca Wallace has played a lot of football there, too.
"I want to learn as much as I can from those two guys. They've done it before. They've played in the National Football League. It's a great opportunity for me to sit behind those guys and learn."
Three Scarlet Knights sign as free agents: Three Scarlet Knights signed NFL free-agent contracts as tight end Kevin Brock (Hackensack, N.J.), linebacker Kevin Malast (Manchester, N.J.) and Jamaal Westerman (Brampton, Ontario) have joined the professional ranks. Brock joined the Carolina Panthers, Malast signed with the Chicago Bears and Westerman agreed to terms with the Jets.
In total, eight players from the 2008 squad have either been drafted or signed free agent contracts, the most of any class in Rutgers history.