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April 28, 2007

Darrelle Revis added to Pitt's rich NFL Draft legacy by being selected in the first round today by the New York Jets. Revis was the 14th overall selection by the Jets, who orchestrated a trade with the Carolina Panthers to get the standout cornerback.


An Aliquippa native and graduate of Aliquippa High, Revis is the second member of his family to star at Pitt and then be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Revis' uncle, Sean Gilbert, was taken with the third overall pick in 1992 (by the Los Angeles Rams) after playing defensive line for the Panthers from 1990-91.


Revis is the 22nd Pitt player drafted in the first round since 1960 and the first since receiver Larry Fitzgerald went to the Arizona Cardinals in 2004 with the third overall selection.


Moreover, Revis is the first Pitt defensive back to go in the first round since corner Tim Lewis was picked by Green Bay (11th) in 1983. For the Jets, it was the first time they took a corner in the first round since 1994.


The Jets showed their eagerness to acquire Revis by leapfrogging the Pittsburgh Steelers, another team that reportedly was very high on the Pitt product and had the 15th pick. New York gained the 14th overall selection and a sixth-round pick (No. 199) from Carolina in exchange for the Jets' 25th overall selection, the first of their two second-round picks (No. 59) and their fifth-rounder (No. 164).


Revis watched the draft from his grandmother's home in Aliquippa with over 60 family members and friends. There was a "Pittsburgh paparazzi" also present with each of the city's four television stations along with four different newspapers huddled in the living room.


When Revis' name was announced on ESPN as the Jets' pick, the roar from his assembled family members could be heard all the way to New York City's Radio City Music Hall, where this year's draft is being held.


"I feel great, man," Revis said. "I was just sitting here watching all these picks and just to see my name on the screen was great."


The two-time first team All-Big East selection didn't get much action on his side of the field in 2006. When he did, Revis made opponents pay to the tune of two picks for touchdowns and a spectacular 73-yard punt return TD against West Virginia that was selected ESPN's College Football Play of the Year.


"We really liked him on tape in term of his toughness, his play at the line of scrimmage, his athleticism, his size, his speed," Jets head coach Eric Mangini told "All those things were very good. Then you factor into the equation his special teams value and the return ability that he has.


"More importantly than that, we spent a lot of time with him. He spent a day here with us. We talked to him prior to that and we did our research. We liked him as a person and to me that is the most important thing, the core Jets values, and he has those. When you combine those with the other aspects, I just think it was a solid pick."


"I am a team player," Revis told the Jets' website. "I want to get to New York and focus on learning the system and meeting my new teammates.


Revis entered this year's draft with a year of eligibility left. Upon his announcement, Pitt head coach Dave Wannstedt said that some NFL team was going to be very lucky to gain his cornerback's services.


"Having coached in the NFL, I know what teams are looking for," Wannstedt said. "Darrelle has both the necessary tangibles and intangibles.


"He's got all the physical and mental tools you are looking for to play corner in the NFL."


Darrelle Revis Selected in the NFL Draft's First Round by the New York Jets

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