April 24, 2005
NEW YORK - University of New Mexico offensive guard Claude Terrell and outside linebacker Nick Speegle were each selected on Sunday, the second and final day of the 2005 NFL Draft. The St. Louis Rams drafted Terrell with the 33rd pick of the fourth round (134th overall), while Speegle went to the Cleveland Browns with the second pick in the sixth round (176th overall). New Mexico had its best representation in the NFL Draft since 2000 when Brian Urlacher was a first round pick of the Chicago Bears and fellow linebacker Casey Tisdale went in the seventh round to the New England Patriots.
A three-time all-Mountain West Conference honoree and four-year starter for the Lobos at both offensive guard and offensive tackle, Terrell's selection in round four was the best-ever for a UNM offensive lineman. The LaMarque, Texas native was the first Lobo offensive lineman selected in the NFL Draft since guard Ron Shipley in 1991 and just the second picked since 1977.
Terrell was the eighth offensive guard selected in the 2005 draft and the fourth Lobo selected by the Rams organization. Wide receiver Preston Dennard spent six years with the Los Angeles Rams (1978-83) after signing as an undrafted free agent and helped the Los Angeles win the NFC Championship in 1979.
Speegle was one of six linebackers from the Mountain West Conference to be selected in the 2005 NFL Draft, joining Matt McCoy (San Diego State), Kirk Morrison (San Diego State), Adam Seward (UNLV), Ryan Claridge (UNLV) and Brady Poppinga, who played defensive end at BYU. A four-year starter and 2004 first team all-MWC honoree for New Mexico, Speegle finished his career ranked 14th at UNM with 317 tackles in 50 games.
The former Albuquerque La Cueva stand-out was the third New Mexico high school product drafted from UNM since 2000. Fullback Jarrod Baxter (Albuquerque Highland HS) was a fifth round pick of the Houston Texans in 2002, while Urlacher (Lovington HS) was the ninth overall selection in 2000. Speegle, Urlacher and Robin Cole (first round) are the only linebackers in UNM history to be selected in the first six rounds of the NFL Draft.
New Mexico has had six players selected in the NFL Draft (three defensive, two offensive, one special teams) under eighth-year head coach Rocky Long and 59 players selected since the draft's inception in 1936.