Bellisari Among 12 Ohio College Players Taken In Draft - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Bellisari Among 12 Ohio College Players Taken In Draft

CLEVELAND (AP) - A dozen Ohio players were selected over the weekend in the NFL draft, including eight from Ohio State and three from Mid-American Conference schools.

Ohio State quarterback Steve Bellisari was selected by St. Louis in the sixth round Sunday, but he won't be competing for a job with Rams quarterback Kurt Warner. The Rams said they will try Bellisari as a safety and on special teams.

"I'm going there to try to run on special teams just like I did my freshman and sophomore year here," Bellisari said.

The Buckeyes' three-year starting quarterback didn't play in last season's final two regular season games after being arrested on drunken-driving charges. He pleaded no contest to the charge and was sentenced to three days in jail.

He returned to the field for the Outback Bowl on New Year's Day.

He passed for 320 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a score as the Buckeyes rallied from 28 points down to tie South Carolina, before losing 31-28 on a last-second field goal.

Bellisari, of Boca Raton, Fla., joins Ohio State linebacker Courtland Bullard, who St. Louis chose earlier Sunday in the fifth round. Bullard, of Miami, Fla., collected 47 tackles last season.

"You see other people get picked and you're just waiting and waiting," Bellisari said. "Then you finally get the call and you just can't believe it's happening."

Dallas also chose more than one Buckeye.

On Sunday, the Cowboys took fullback Jamar Martin, of Canton, an Ohio State co-captain who last season carried the ball a career-high 22 times for 86 yards, and Tyson Walter, an offensive tackle from Bainbridge who started in 49 consecutive games for the Buckeyes. They join Buckeye cornerback Derek Ross who Dallas took Saturday in the third round.

Martin was watching the draft with his family when he got the call from Dallas.

"The whole family was here. It was an experience of a lifetime getting that call," he said.

Martin likes the idea of having ex-teammates with him in training camp.

"It is nice to have some guys I played with in college there to make the transition easier," he said.

Ohio State tailback Jonathan Wells, who rushed 1,294 yards and scored 16 touchdowns last season, is headed to Houston. The Texans chose Wells, of River Ridge, La., in the fourth round with the 99th pick.

"I think the team is going to be very good," Wells said Sunday. "They drafted two good linemen yesterday and I came here to play football, whatever the deal."

Buckeye tight end Darnell Sanders, a Warrensville Heights native who had 18 catches last year for 197 yards and three touchdowns, will return home to Cleveland, after the Browns picked him in the fourth round.

Ross, Martin and Ohio University punter Dave Zastudil were all acquired in draft-day trades, the Cowboys dealing with Kansas City to get Ross and Chicago to get Martin. The Ravens picked up Zastudil in a deal with Denver.

On Saturday, New Orleans picked center Ohio State defensive lineman LeCharles Bentley, a first-team All-American from Cleveland, as the 44th pick in the second round.

From MAC schools, Baltimore chose Zastudil in the fourth round and Toledo running back Chester Taylor in the sixth round. Tennessee chose Akron wide receiver Jack Schifino in the fifth round.

University of Cincinnati defensive back Lavar Glover was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the seventh round. Glover was the 212th pick overall and the last Ohioan selected in the draft.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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