CLEVELAND — Day two of the NFL Draft didn’t just see a lot more sun, but also a lot more picks and opportunities for the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals to build their futures, and for players with Ohio ties to realize their dreams of playing in the NFL.
St. Ignatius grad Liam Eichenberg was selected by the Miami Dolphins early in the second round.
Eichenberg's achievement was one that some saw coming years ago.
“I’d been doing this for 47 years and you could tell Liam had the potential to be a great player. The difference between the good and a great, you can have all the intangibles, the size the speed, but if you don’t have the heart and the will to do that, you won’t go very far,” said Nick Restifo, Eichenberg's offensive coordinator at St. Ignatius.
Eichenberg started every game over the last three seasons, and Pro Football Focus said he didn’t give up a single sack during the last two. Restifo said the Dolphins are getting a versatile player.
“I think he can play any position. And that’s what makes him even more valuable. If they have a great tackle, he can play guard. If a tackle goes down, he can play tackle. So being versatile like that, I think that’s a great asset,” he said.
Lake Catholic coach Marty Gibbons announced what some believe was the steal of the draft for the Cleveland Browns. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah spoke with head coach Kevin Stefanski.
“We love everything you’re about, you’re going to fit into what we do, you fit what we’re about, and we can’t wait to get you in here,” Stefanski told him.
“I can’t wait either, appreciate you guys," Owusu-Koramoah said.
Clemson lineman Jackson Carman isn't the only one with Ohio ties heading to the league. Ohio State linebacker Pete Werner is heading to New Orleans, a familiar landing spot for Buckeye alums.
“This is an unreal experience. I’m so excited, I can’t wait to get the opportunity and arrive in New Orleans, that’s a place where they like Ohio State guys, when you talk about a lot of guys coming from Ohio State, this is the top place. This is almost the capitol for guys coming out of Ohio State, so it feels great to be one of those guys,” Carman said.
One of the players to watch for on Day 3 of the NFL Draft is Tiffin University and Westlake grad JaQuan Hardy. The running back tore up Division II and is looking forward to having his dream realized of playing in the NFL.