Bob Crable walked off the golf course Thursday evening in Myrtle Beach, S.C., with the NFL Draft on his mind and the notion that his 39-year run as an answer to a trivia question was about to come to an end.
Shockingly, it didn’t.
After Notre Dame unanimous All-American Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah slipped through all 32 picks of the first round Thursday night, the 61-year-old Crable remains as the only Irish linebacker ever to be selected in the first round.
The New York Jets plucked ND’s career (521), single-season (187) and single-game leader in tackles (26) with pick No. 23 of the 1982 draft. Owusu-Koramoah was projected to go in the middle of the first round.
Instead, he’ll be touted as one of the best players available when rounds 2 and 3 unfold Friday night, beginning at 7 p.m. EDT (ABC, ESPN, NFL Network).
Offensive tackle Liam Eichenberg, tight end Tommy Tremble and offensive guard Aaron Banks are the other Irish players projected as day 2 picks.
Owusu-Koramoah would have been Notre Dame’s 10th first-round pick in a 10-draft span (2012) under Kelly. Still the nine picks comprise a huge improvement over the two first-rounders the Irish produced in the previous 12 drafts (2000-2011), in center Jeff Faine and quarterback Brady Quinn.
The three-day, seven-round draft concludes Saturday in Cleveland. Coverage of round 4-7 starts at noon EDT.
“From what I understand Jeremiah is a phenomenal kid, and everything he gets, he deserves,” Crable said. “I didn’t get to follow his career as closely as I would have liked, because my son was still playing, but I was impressed with what I did see.”
All Praises to The Most High, perpetually.— J. Owusu-Koramoah (@j_owuu) April 30, 2021
There’s nothing new under the sun. Appreciate all the support and love, get back soon! 💯
Matthew Crable recently completed his senior season at NAIA power St. Francis (Ind.), playing a delayed and diluted schedule affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I don’t like to tell people what position my son plays all the time, because I’m a defensive guy,” Bob Crable said with a laugh. “I break out in hives when I think about my kid as a quarterback.”
Crable lives in the Cincinnati area, where he played his high school football at Moeller. He calls himself semi-retired but spends his working hours investing in the stock market and cryptocurrency.
“I tell people that I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to be when I grow up,” he said.
Owusu-Koramoah, one of 45 draft prospects who have agreed to participate in the draft festivities virtually, is likely trying to figure out why he’s still without a team after Thursday night.
Five players who ESPN classified as linebackers were selected in round one, but a closer look reveals maybe teams were just shopping down a different aisle. Two of them, pick 31 Jayson Oweh (6-5, 257) and pick 32 Joe Tryon (6-5, 259), are really edge defenders.
The other three — pick 12 Micah Parsons (6-3, 246), pick 17 Zaven Collins (6-5, 259) and pick 19 Jamin Davis (6-4, 234) are all considerably larger than the 6-2, 215-pound Owusu-Koramoah, who possesses elite coverage skills.
“They’re going to love him,” ND coach Brian Kelly said of the team that eventually drafts the 2021 Butkus Award winner, “because he is a tool that you can use in many different situations in the NFL.”