Updated 8:20 p.m.
For the first time in the current draft era, William and Mary has seen two players drafted into the NFL in the same year.
Defensive end Adrian Tracy was selected by the N.Y. Giants in the sixth round of the NFL Draft Saturday, while defensive tackle Sean Lissemore went to the Dallas Cowboys a round later. The Giants, which hosted Tracy on an official pre-draft visit earlier this month, used the 184th overall pick (15th pick of sixth round) on the former Tribe captain, while Lissemore was the 234th player taken (27th pick of seventh round).
Tracy, who came to Williamsburg as a walk-on, graduated from the College a semester early this past December in order to prepare for the draft in Miami. He finished second in the CAA with 12 sacks and racked up 22 tackles for loss his senior season.
“First and foremost, I was just excited and relieved that I was selected,” Tracy said. “I was a little antsy and I didn’t know where and when I was going to go, but those questions were answered once I got that phone call. I was just very excited and that was the sentiment of my whole family, who witnessed this as well.”
The defensive end was invited to the NFL combine in February, where he worked out for NFL scouts. He projects to switch to outside linebacker for the Giants.
“I had [the Giants] as one of the teams that I visited, but I have been getting calls from about 22 teams in the last two days and the Giants weren’t one of them, so I wasn’t 100 percent sure,” Tracy said. “But that’s how this process has worked so far, the teams that you weren’t as interested in you as you initially thought turn out to be the ones who go after you the strongest.”
One round after Tracy was taken by the Giants, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones gave Lissemore a call and made him aware of the team’s selection.
“I was getting a lot of calls from other teams, offering me free agent deals, but that was the first time Dallas called me,” Lissemore said. “I was surprised, but obviously I’m pleased.”
The selection capped a long afternoon for Lissemore, whose name was tossed about as anywhere from a fifth-round pick to an undrafted free agent.
“I was sitting here for six hours [waiting],” he said. “I was starting to fall asleep when the phone call came. Now it’s a party.”
Dallas Head Coach Wade Phillips said that the Cowboys were pleased with the pick.
“[Lissemore is] another smaller-school guy, and he’s got a high-motor,” Phillips said. “That’s kind of what you look for in this area. We feel good about [him].”
The senior had little contact with Cowboys officials before the draft, and did not count Dallas as one of his seven official visits. He said he knew little about the team’s defensive situation.
“I know that they run the 3-4 front, and I know their nose tackle is a Pro Bowler,” Lissemore said. “That’s pretty much it.”
Lissemore recorded 6.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss in a standout senior season, earning All-American honors. Both he and Tracy participated in the Texas vs. the Nation Collegiate All-Star game in February.
The afternoon raised the number of Tribe players drafted in the past two years to three. Cornerback Derek Cox was taken with the 73rd overall pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars last year, recording four interceptions and 72 tackles over his rookie season in 2009. Previously, no College player had been drafted since Darren Sharper, who was taken by the Green Bay Packers in the second round of the 1997 draft.
Two other College players were also signed by NFL teams as undrafted free agents. Quarterback R.J. Archer signed with the Minnesota Vikings, while safety David Caldwell inked a deal with the Indianapolis Colts.
Sports Editor Mike Barnes contributed to this report.