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Miami, Nebraska still waiting for 1st player taken in draft

Miami and Nebraska dominated college football from the 1980s through the early 2000s. Since the Hurricanes and Cornhuskers played for the 2001 national championship they have been trending in the wrong direction, and both are coming off losing seasons in 2019.

So maybe it should be no surprise that neither the Hurricanes nor Cornhuskers had a player taken in the NFL draft's first three rounds. Heading into Saturday's final four rounds, Miami is still trying to extend a streak of having at least one player drafted that started in 1976. Nebraska will try to avoid a second straight season of no drafted players after having its 56-year streak snapped last year.

Other prominent college programs without a selection after Friday's second and third rounds were Washington, Michigan State, Oklahoma State and Stanford. Through three rounds, none of the power five schools in North Carolina had a player drafted. The first North Carolina college player drafted was safety Kyle Dugger from Division II Lenoir-Rhyne, taken in the second round by New England. In the third round, running back Darrynton Evans from Appalachian State was selected by Tennessee and Alex Highsmith from Charlotte was picked by Pittsburgh.

Meanwhile, national champion LSU tied a record with 10 players taken in the first three rounds and the Southeastern Conference had a record 40 players drafted overall. Miami was the No. 1 producer of NFL players for years in the 1980s and '90s while winning four national titles. The U. surged again in the early 2000s, winning another national title and playing for another. Miami had a string of 14 straight seasons with at least one player being selected in the first round that ended in 2009.

This is now the third straight season the Hurricanes have gone without a first-round selection. Miami, coming off a 6-7 season that ended with three straight losses, is likely to avoid the embarrassment of no draft picks. Saturday could be a good day for several Miami players with receivers Jeff Thomas and K.J. Osborn, linebacker Shaq Quarterman and defensive end Jonathan Garvin all candidates to be picked.

Nebraska won three national titles in the 1990s, but have not even reached a bowl game the last two seasons under coach Scott Frost, a former Huskers quarterback. This is the fourth straight season Nebraska has not had a player drafted during the first three rounds. Defensive tackle Khalil Davis and cornerback Lamar Jackson are probably good enough to keep the streak of no drafted players from reaching two in a row on Saturday.

Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and https://appodcasts.com/category/ap-top-25-college-football/

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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