Football players hoping to hear their names

Four former Gophers could be selected in this year’s NFL Draft.

by Max Sanders

For a select few, Thursday marks the beginning of the dream. Collegiate football hope a culmination of years of hard work and on-field performance will be rewarded when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell walks to the podium and reads each the names of the newest entrants to the National Football League. Minnesota will have its share of players looking to hear their names called between Thursday night and Saturday. Here is a look at each Gophers player hoping to be taken in the 2010 NFL Draft, and a look at when, or if, they can expect to hear their name called. Eric Decker, WR Outstanding wide-out Eric Decker is the cream of the crop of this yearâÄôs Minnesota class. A Biletnikoff Award finalist his junior season, Decker was off to an equally strong senior season when an ankle injury in the teamâÄôs eighth game against Ohio State ended his season. At the time of his injury, Decker led the Big Ten conference in receiving yards per game with just under 95 yards per game. 2009 Stats: 50 receptions, 758 yards, 5 touchdowns CBS Sports Projection: 7th wide receiver; 2nd Round Lee Campbell, MLB Campbell is one of three Gophers linebackers hoping to hear their names called during one of the three days of the draft. The middle linebacker had his strongest season as a senior, leading the team in individual tackles, total tackles and tackles for loss. 2009 Stats: 119 total tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss , 1.5 sacks CBS Sports Projection: 34th ILB, undrafted Simoni Lawrence, OLB CampbellâÄôs partner on the line backing unit, Lawrence played just two years with the Gophers after transferring from Valley Forge Military Academy , but his impact was felt in both seasons. Though he started in just five games his junior season, Lawrence ranked fifth on the team in total tackles, was second on the team in tackles for loss and had four sacks. His senior season, Lawrence started all 13 games, registering a career best in total tackles with 85. 2009 Stats: 85 total tackles, eight tackles for loss, two sacks. CBS Sports Projection: 22nd OLB, 6-7th round Nate Triplett, LB After starting just one game his junior season, Triplett broke through in his final year, starting all 13 games at linebacker. Triplett tied for second on the team his senior season with two interceptions, and also registered 105 total tackles, including five for a loss. 2009 Stats: 105 total tackles, five tackles for loss, two interceptions. CBS Sports Projection: 33rd OLB, undrafted