WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Notes, Quotes

The Sports Xchange

April 29, 2018 at 10:44 pm.

–South Florida defensive tackle Deadrin Senat was selected in the third round, 90th overall, by the Falcons on Friday in the NFL draft. But he had mixed emotions.

“It hurts,” Senat said. “I see everybody else with their mom and their dad and I don’t have my dad to talk to me. I’m real secretive. I don’t put nobody in my business, but family means everything to me. I just don’t let anybody in and call them family.”

Both of Senat’s parents are deceased.

His mother, Judy, who had diabetes, passed away after complications from a spider bite after she walked home two miles from her job at Popeyes.

“She just collapsed,” Senat said.

His father, Guy, passed away from lung cancer in a hospice.

“I was 20 when my dad passed,” Senat said. “I went down (to Immokalee, Fla.) mid-week and his last words were to move my sister and her kids up to Tampa with me. I told him I didn’t know if I would be able to do it. He said just do it, so I can stay close to my sister. He told me he was giving up. He told me don’t miss a game.”

–The Falcons’ personnel brain trust, including defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel, flew to Boulder, Colo. on owner Arthur Blank’s private plane to hold a private workout for eventual second-round pick Isaiah Oliver on March 14.

“They all came out,” Oliver said. “We just did a little bit of a workout, me and some of my teammates as well. I felt like the workout went really well.

“It was pretty soon after my Pro Day, if I remember correctly. So, it was my first workout. We got some good work in. I really like them and meeting all of them there.”

His father, Muhammad, played cornerback at Oregon and was a world-class decathlete. He was selected in the ninth round of the 1992 NFL draft by Denver and played five seasons in the NFL.

“He taught me a lot,” Oliver said. “He was my coach growing up in all of the sports that I (played). He just really taught me everything that I first learned about football.”

He competed two seasons in the decathlon on Colorado’s track team.

“That was something that I fell in love with, track and field, but football has always been my love,” Oliver said. “I will always do football before anything else.”

The last player to be selected from the University of Colorado by the Falcons was Don Holmes in the 12th round of the 1984 draft.

–The Falcons prioritizing running back depth behind Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman.

The result was the selection of Ito Smith, a quick-twitched running back from Southern Mississippi, in the fourth round (126 overall).

Smith fits the versatile mold of the Falcons’ top two backs. He doesn’t profile as a lead rusher, but expects to be another weapon on third down. He’ll replace Terron Ward, who wasn’t re-signed, as the team’s third back.

“I probably compare to (49ers running back) Jerick McKinnon,” Smith said. “A guy that can do it all: catch out of the backfield, run routes, block, play special teams, run the ball.”

The 5-foot-9, 195-pound Smith was electric throughout his four years at Southern Mississippi, culminating in a first-team All-Conference USA selection his senior year. He led the Golden Eagles in rushing three straight seasons.

“Stop-start running back, really good running skills,” general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. “Catches the ball well. Has return ability. He’s a versatile guy and fits in very well with our offense.”

 

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