Updated, 8:40 p.m. ET
The New York Jets have announced tonight that they have signed this year’s No. 1 draft choice, defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson from Temple, the 30th overall selection in the April draft.
The Wilkerson signing is the latest in a busy day of contractual work for GM Mike Tannenbaum and the Jets’ front office that included the announcement of the signing of fifth-round WR Jeremy Kerley. That leaves just third-round DT Kenrick Ellis’ signing to be announced from among the Jets’ six-member Draft Class of ’11.
In three seasons with the Owls, Wilkerson really came on. He started his last 25 games with the Mid-American Conference program, during which he had 16.5 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss. His wingspan came in handy as he deflected 11 passes in his career. After his sophomore season he turned in his uniform No. 96 for No. 9 — “the single digit,” Tannenbaum said of Temple tradition, “means he had a very successful offseason.”
Wilkerson, of course, can’t wear No. 9 as an NFL D-lineman, but he will be wearing his other Temple uni number, 96, as a Jet when he takes the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center practice fields for the start of camp practices on Monday (closed to the public) and then at open practices on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Early this week Wilkerson spoke with newyorkjets.com about the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the owners and players. He could well have been referencing his signing today also when he said, “It’s a long, long dream for me getting to the point where I’m at.”
The dream for “Mo” and Green & White fans now is that, with all the preliminary events out of the way, he hits the ground running and contributing to the Jets’ vaunted defense as much and as soon as possible.
Tags: Jeremy Kerley, Mike Tannenbaum, Muhammad Wilkerson
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