Sanders, McCann drafted to NFL

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Cornerback Bryan McCann catches a return kickoff in the SMU vs. Navy game. (CASEY LEE/The Daily Campus)

Former SMU wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders was taken by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Sanders is now the highest SMU player to be selected in an NFL draft since 1987. Bryan McCann, also a former Mustang who played cornerback and returned kickoffs, signed with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent.

In his senior year as a Mustang, Sanders was named an Honorable Mention All-American by SI.com, and was also named to the All-Conference USA first-team. In the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, Sanders caught seven passes for 124 yards and a touchdown to help SMU to a 45-10 win over Nevada.

In his career at SMU, Sanders owns a majority of the receiving records, including career catches, touchdown catches and yards, single-season and single-game receptions and single-season yardage. He also holds SMU records for career 100-yard-receiving games (16) and season 100-yard games (6), which he set in 2008. Sanders is also the only Mustang ever to hold four 600-yard receiving seasons; no other player even has three.

And finally, Sanders added a new element to his repertoire in his senior year: punt returns. In SMU’s first game of the 2009 season, Sanders returned a punt for a touchdown against Stephen F. Austin, the first time for SMU since 2003. He was 10th in the nation in punt return averages, and was a first-team All-C-USA punt returner.

McCann is the C-USA active leader in career interceptions and ran the fastest 40-yard dash of any prospect in the entire country. He was viewed as a possibly third round pick but was left undrafted. Immediately after the draft, four teams showed interest in signing McCann: the Cowboys, the Indianapolis Colts, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Houston Texans.

Wide Receiver Emmanuel Sanders awaits a snap at the line of scrimmage during play against Navy on Oct. 17, 2009. (Casey Lee/ The Daily Campus )

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