Football - Sun, Apr. 24, 2005
Oskaloosa--In the 255th and final pick of the 2005 National Football League (NFL) draft, the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots selected William Penn Statesmen tight end Andy Stokes. Stokes, who finished his three-year collegiate career at Penn with 104 receptions, 1,578 receiving yards, and ten touchdowns, becomes the 30th "Mr. Irrelevant", being selected last in the draft. "I'm excited to be part of the Patriots' organization," Stokes said. "It is definitely one of the best programs in the NFL right now and I'm really happy to be a part of that. I look forward to the challenge ahead." Irrelevant Week Founder Paul Salata made the selection announcement, putting Stokes in exclusive company. In 1976, Kelvin Kirk, a wide receiver from Dayton, was selected 487th by the Pittsburgh Steelers to become the inaugural Mr. Irrelevant. Other Mr. Irrelevant's include Missouri state senator Bill Kenney (1978), a quarterback from Northern Colorado, and Marty Moore, a linebacker from Kentucky, who is thus far the most successful Mr. Irrelevant, playing eight years in the NFL, including being the only selectee to participate in the Super Bowl, playing for the Patriots in 1997 (Super Bowl XXXI). Statesmen Football Head Coach Todd Hafner is very proud of his former player and is looking forward to seeing him excel at the next level. "Andy is very deserving of the honor of being drafted," Hafner said. "He is a great person and a hard worker in addition to being a great football player. With all of his attributes, he'll do very well in the future. The Patriots are a smart organization; they don't pick people they don't want to make their team. I couldn't be prouder of Andy and everything he has done to get to where he is." In addition to being drafted to a pro team, Stokes, as Mr. Irrelevant, has several other duties designated for him. He will be sent to Newport Beach, Calif., to be the center of attention at the 30th annual Mr. Irrelevant Week. During the week, which begins June 20, Stokes will attend banquets, serve as the grand marshal of a parade at Disneyland, and receive the Lowsman Trophy, the Mr. Irrelevant Week's answer to the Heisman Trophy. Stokes becomes Penn's fourth football star to reach the profession ranks, joining Wilbur Young (1969-70), who played for the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Diego Chargers, Bruce Polen (1970-71), who played for the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs, and Jim Portese (1983), who played for the Arizona Wranglers. Stokes will have very little time to bask in the joy of being drafted as he goes straight to work, reporting to training camp this week.