Football

Seven Miami Hurricanes taken in 2015 NFL Draft

Anthony Chickillo runs through drills as the University of Miami Hurricanes hold Pro Day, their local combine for the NFL Draft at Greentree Field on the Coral Gables campus. NFL coaches, assistants and general managers watch several Hurricanes do combine-like activities: run, jump, lift, agility drills, etc. on April 1, 2015.
Anthony Chickillo runs through drills as the University of Miami Hurricanes hold Pro Day, their local combine for the NFL Draft at Greentree Field on the Coral Gables campus. NFL coaches, assistants and general managers watch several Hurricanes do combine-like activities: run, jump, lift, agility drills, etc. on April 1, 2015. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

The University of Miami’s 2015 NFL Draft treasure chest began filling Thursday when tackle Ereck Flowers and receiver Phillip Dorsett went in the first round.

It rose Friday with linebacker Denzel Perryman drafted in the second round and tight end Clive Walford and running back Duke Johnson going in the third.

On Saturday, it approached capacity when offensive guard Jonathan Feliciano and defensive end Anthony Chickillo entered another passage in their football lives.

Feliciano was chosen 128th overall — the 29th pick in the fourth round — by the Oakland Raiders, joining former and future teammate Walford.

Then, to cap the Hurricanes’ most productive draft since eight players were selected in 2011, Chickillo went 212th overall to the Pittsburgh Steelers in a compensatory pick following the sixth round.

That’s seven Canes drafted after a 6-7 season, the 41st consecutive year UM has had a player drafted.

“It’s awesome!” Feliciano said by phone after posting on Twitter “Davie we did it!! #WesternHigh #Canes #RaiderNation.’’

“I was stunned, actually,” he said. “Just so happy I’ll be there with Clive. I’ve never been on the West Coast, and I’m excited to see what’s out there.’’

Tweeted Chickillo from his home in Tampa: “Blessed to be a part of the Steelers organization!”

Center Shane McDermott of Hypoluxo signed as an undrafted free agent with Dallas.

“Happy to be a Dallas Cowboy!!” he posted on Twitter. “Can’t wait to get to work!”

UM quarterback Ryan Williams, who was slated to be the Canes’ starter before his career was derailed by a serious knee injury in the spring of 2014, signed as an undrafted free agent with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Linebacker Thurston Armbrister signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars, defensive tackle Olsen Pierre signed with the Chicago Bears and quarterback Jake Heaps signed with the New York Jets.

Also not drafted was cornerback Ladarius Gunter, who was expected to sign a free agent contract or get some type of tryout.

Hurricanes coach Al Golden, a panelist Saturday during a Sports and Ethics session put on by the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics & Public Trust, was thrilled for his program.

“I’m excited for those guys,” Golden told the Miami Herald. “A lot of them worked their tails off. In the case of Denzel and Clive, those guys chose to come back and develop, and it paid off for them.

“We couldn’t be happier.”

The two players who departed UM after their junior seasons were Flowers, who went ninth overall to the New York Giants; and Johnson, who went 77th — the 13th pick of the third round — to Cleveland.

Feliciano said he received a text from Golden saying: “Congrats Jon! Well done! Fired up for the U! God Bless! Al.”

Feliciano’s mother, Alicia, said her family “sat down and cried our eyes out” when Jon’s name was called.

“He had a tear in his eye but he was running around going crazy,” she said.

Alicia Feliciano, 44, has had her share of misery, and Saturday’s news lightened her heart. She had malignant skin cancer removed from her knee when she was 14, had uterine cancer in her late 20s, breast cancer in 2008 and breast cancer again on the other side in 2014, though the latter went into remission “as of a couple weeks ago,” she said.

She said she is awaiting more surgery for a “double inguinal hernia” that was already surgically repaired in October.

When asked if her son was getting her a gift, Alicia Feliciano said, “I don’t want a house. I don’t want a car. There are a lot of great moms out there, and I don’t need to be rewarded. My reward was him getting his college degree.

“I just want him to enjoy his life, enjoy the NFL and when he has children make sure he is the best father in the world.’’

Miami Herald sportswriter Michelle Kaufman contributed to this report.

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