Archival News Release
This News Release is outdated and posted here for archival purposes only.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 12, 2014
Former Cougar Offensive Linemen Make Jump to NFL
Former College of the Canyons football player Tavon Rooks was selected in the sixth round of the 2014 National Football League Draft by the New Orleans Saints with the 202nd pick, while Karim Barton and Will Latu were signed as undrafted rookie free agents by the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs, respectively.
Rooks is the 12th former College of the Canyons football player to hear his name called during the NFL draft and the first offensive lineman in Cougar football history to be drafted.
A Woodlawn High School graduate, Rooks played for the Cougars in 2010 and earned second-team all-conference honors for his efforts. He transferred to Navarro College, playing for one season, before transferring to Kansas State University for his final two seasons.
Barton, a Verdugo Hills High School graduate, spent the 2009 season at College of the Canyons, anchoring an offensive line that helped the squad collect 1,587 rushing yards.
Following his time at COC, Barton earned a scholarship to Morgan State University where he played for three seasons. The senior was named First-Team Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and took home the MEAC's Offensive Lineman of the Week honors three times.
Latu joined College of the Canyons after transferring from Division II Northern State University in South Dakota. After two years with the Cougars the Gibbs High School alum went to Abilene Christian University to finish his collegiate football career.
Barton and Latu become the eighth and ninth Cougars to be signed as free agents, since football was reinstated in 1998.
In addition to Rooks, Barton and Latu, College of the Canyons currently has four former players on current NFL rosters – Domata Peko (Cincinnati Bengals), Jason Pierre-Paul (New York Giants), Mychal Rivera (Oakland Raiders) and Caylin Hauptmann (Seattle Seahawks).