April 25, 2005
PULLMAN, Wash. --- Washington State offensive tackle Calvin Armstrong and safety Hamza Abdullah became members of the Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers respectively, Sunday after being taken in the NFL Draft.
Armstrong was picked up by the Eagles with the 37th pick of the sixth round and 211th overall. Abdullah was selected by the Buccaneers with the 17th pick of the seventh round and 231st overall.
"It's a real exciting moment for me," Armstrong said. "They have so many good players there, obviously with them being in the Super Bowl last year. They win a lot of football games and that's what I'm all about, just winning football games. I'm just excited that somebody wanted me and I'm going to do everything I can to help the team."
Armstrong anchored the WSU offensive line on the left side and was invited to play in the East-West Shrine Game in January 2005. The Centralia, Wash., product started 44 games for the Cougs and earned first team All-Pac-10 honors in 2002 and 2004.
Abdullah made 21 tackles in reserve duty as a junior and posted a career-high 70 stops as a senior. The California native added one interception, four forced fumbles and eight passes defensed, ending his WSU career with 104 total tackles, including a career-high 14 tackles against Oregon in 2004.
"When I saw my name I couldn't believe it," Abdullah said. "I actually lost my breath. I was there on the phone with coach [Jon Gruden] and there were so many emotions going through my body I couldn't respond. I think I even got weak in the knees. It's such an exciting time for me and my family. It wasn't just me drafted, it was my whole family and everybody who ever supported me. We did it."
Armstrong and Abdullah join defensive back Karl Paymah as Washington State's three representatives in the 2005 NFL Draft. Paymah was taken by the Denver Broncos in the third round. The 2005 draft marks the second year running in which WSU had three players taken and the first time three or more players were drafted in consecutive years since the 1997-98 season. Three Cougars were taken in the 1997 draft and four in 1998.