McRath Now a Titan

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Former Southern Miss linebacker Gerald McRath was the second Golden Eagle selected in the fourth round today as he was chosen by the Tennessee Titans in the 2009 National Football League Draft.

McRath, a native of Powder Springs, Ga., was a former Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year during his tenure as a middle linebacker for the Golden Eagles. Over his career, McRath tallied 386 career tackles (214 solos, 172 assists), to go along with 32.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks, seven passes broken up, six forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and one interception.

Despite having one year of eligibility remaining, McRath declared for the draft earlier this year after spending five years with the program that included a pair of redshirt seasons. The additional redshirt came due to a knee injury suffered early in the 2005 season.

Following the bowl season, McRath ranked among the active career leaders through the 2008 season in the FBS including total tackles (third), tackles per game (sixth), assisted tackles (sixth), solo tackles per game (sixth), solo tackles (eighth) and fumbles (20th).

McRath was a two-time team captain for the Golden Eagles, who also earned first team All-Conference USA honors during both his sophomore and junior seasons. Additionally, McRath garnered Freshman All-American honors in 2006.

He received his undergraduate degree from the University in December of 2007 and last month was chosen as the school's Best Male Citizen by the school during its annual Founders' Day celebration.

McRath was the 130th overall pick in the draft and first-ever selection by the Titans of a Golden Eagle. It was the first time that two Southern Miss players were taken in the same draft – as tight end Shawn Nelson also was taken in the same round by the Buffalo Bills – since 2004 when Michael Boley (Atlanta) and Jeremy Parquet (Kansas City) earned selections.

The last time two Golden Eagles were taken in the same round was during the 2004 NFL draft when Greg Brooks (Cincinnati) and Etric Pruitt (Atlanta) were picked in the sixth round.

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