Valdosta Daily Times

April 27, 2013

UPDATED: Panthers draft VSU's Kugbila in fourth round of NFL Draft

Ed Hooper
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Surrounded by family and friends, Edmund Kugbila, the former Valdosta State offensive lineman that helped lead the Blazers to the 2012 national championship, had his dream come true Saturday.

Kugbila was selected in the fourth round (108th overall pick) of the NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers, the highest a VSU player has ever been selected in school-history.

"When you come to DII, you hear, 'You're not good enough,'" Kugbila told the Times, minutes after being selected. "Everybody's dreams come true. My dream is coming true right now. It is an unbelievable feeling."

A two-time All-Gulf South Conference selection and a third team All-American in 2012, Kugbila joins former Valdosta State linebacker Larry Dean, the school's all-time leader in tackles, as active NFL players that once wore the Blazers' black and red.

"My heart is racing and it feels like the national championship but even more exciting," Kugbila said. "I can't talk right now."

Carolina's pick of Kugbila came just 10 picks after the Philadelphia Eagles selected  Southern California quarterback Matt Barkely to open the fourth round.

Kugbila said he had "no idea" the Panthers were going to take him, saying he worked out of the offensive line coach once and spoke with the team occasionally.

Kugbila will travel to Carolina next week.

More on Kugbila's pick will be available in Sunday's edition of The Times.