Madisonville's Jerome Felton drafted by Lions in 5th round

April 27, 2008

(WVLT/nfldraftscout.com) -- From Madisonville to Motor City, former Sequoyah High School standout Jerome Felton was drafted Sunday by the Detroit Lions in the 5th round. Felton, a fullback, was the 146th player taken in the 7 round draft.

Felton has quietly developed into one of the most dominant scoring machines in college football. Blessed with the quickness and lateral agility of a tailback, this bruising runner inside the red zone has outstanding body lean, as he was tackled behind the line of scrimmage only 15 times during his career for minus-22 yards on 575 rushing attempts while scoring 63 times on the ground. The school's all-time record holder in scoring with 414 points, he also excels in the classroom, twice earning Southern Conference academic accolades with a 3.25 grade point average in Political Science.

Born in Duren, West Germany, where his mother, Sabrina Felton-Curtis was a former professional gymnast, Jerome took the ACT as a seventh grader as part of Duke University's Talent Search program. His score was high enough to allow him to enroll in summer and night courses at Hiwassee College, where between the seventh and 11th grades he completed 19 hours of college credit courses.

At Class AAA Sequoyah High School, Felton excelled as a fullback and middle linebacker,

Earning team Offensive Most Valuable Player honors three times. He was also a three-time All-County and All-Region choice, rushing for more than 3,000 yards and recording more than 300 tackles in his three-year career.

Felton served as team captain as a senior, rushed for 1,300 yards and finished second on his team with 104 tackles. He was named an All-American Scholar and an Outstanding African-American Student of Tennessee, in addition to receiving the 2001-02 United States National Minority Leadership Award. He is listed in the Who's Who Among American High School Students and was the recipient of Sequoyah High School's Academic Excellence Award.

Felton enrolled at Furman in 2004, turning down scholarship offers from Tennessee Tech and Duke. That year, he appeared in every game, starting the final seven at fullback. He shared Furman Freshman of the Year honors with strong safety Andrew Thacker, as Felton ranked fourth on the team in rushing with 300 yards on 66 carries (4.5 avg), led the team with 10 touchdowns on the ground and finished second in scoring with 70 points. He snared five passes for 51 yards (10.2 avg) and a score and also posted an assisted tackle.

In 2005, Felton garnered Academic All-Southern Conference honors, adding first-team overall accolades. Despite suffering a right index fracture early in the season, he ranked 13th nationally and second in the league in scoring with a school season-record 124 points, an average of 8.86 points per game. He ran for 18 touchdowns and caught two other passes for scores, as he rushed 182 times for 940 yards (5.2 avg). He also made 18 catches for 144 yards (8.0 avg) and averaged 77.4 all-purpose yards per game while recovering one fumble.

As a junior, Felton broke his own school season-record and ranked fourth in the nation in scoring with 140 points, an average of 11.67 points per game. He appeared in 12 games, sitting out the Appalachian State game after suffering a right ankle sprain the week prior vs. Chattanooga. He finished second on the team with 707 yards on 162 carries (4.4 avg), including 23 touchdowns. He gained 85 yards on 13 catches (6.5 avg) and had one solo tackle. He also averaged 66.0 all-purpose yards per game.

Felton was the only Division 1-AA player listed on USA Today/Sports Weekly's preseason All-American team in 2007. He went on to lead the team in rushing with 705 yards and 12 touchdowns on 165 carries (4.2 avg). He also caught 11 passes for 59 yards (5.4 avg) and a score, finishing with 80 points for the season.

The Furman fullback started 43 of 48 games for the Paladins. He holds the school rushing records for fullbacks with 2,652 yards on 575 carries (4.6 avg). He set the Furman career-records with 63 touchdowns on the ground, 67 total touchdowns and 414 points scored. He snatched 46 passes for 334 yards (7.3 avg) and amassed 2,986 all-purpose yards on 621 touches, an average of 60.94 yards per game. He also recorded a pair of tackles and recovered two fumbles.

Career Notes
On 575 carries, Felton produced 241 runs that resulted in first downs (41.91%)...On 92 third-down rushes, he converted 76 carries into first downs (82.6%) and 17-of-20 fourth-down rushing attempts (85.0%) also resulted in first downs...Had 50 carries for 10 yards or longer, including eight runs for longer than 20 yards...Was tackled behind the line of scrimmage on just 15 of 575 rushing attempts (2.61%)...On 93 goal-line runs, he produced 86 positive runs (88.09%)...Ranks eighth in school history with 575 carries for 2,652 yards, surpassing the previous high for a Furman fullback of 1,984 yards (1981-84) by Dennis "Dinky" Williams...Against Southern Conference competition, he gained 1,426 yards with 43 touchdowns on 321 carries (4.44 avg) in 28 contests...His 63 touchdowns on the ground broke the school career-record of 53 set by Louis Ivory (1998-2001) and rank second in Southern Conference annals Adrian Peterson of Georgia Southern (66, 1998-2001)...His 67 total touchdowns topped the old Furman all-time record of 53 by Ivory and rank second in conference history, topped only by Adrian Peterson (87)...Holds the school career-record with 414 points scored, topping the previous mark of 312 points by Danny Marshall (2000-03)...His 414 points rank second in Southern Conference history behind Adrian Peterson (524), recently passing Chaz Williams of Georgia Southern (374)...His 11 consecutive games scoring at least once (last two games of 2005 and first nine played in during 2006) tied the Southern Conference record held by Chaz Williams of Georgia Southern (2002) and Louis Ivory of Furman (2001)...Ran for 23 touchdowns in 2006, breaking the previous Furman season-record of 19 by Louis Ivory in 2001 and that total rank fifth on the Southern Conference annual record charts behind Adrian Peterson (28 in 1999 and 25 in 1998) and Chaz Williams (27 in 2002 and 25 in 2004) of Georgia Southern...His 23 total touchdowns in 2006 broke Felton's own school season-record of 20 in 2005...Felton's 124 points scored in 2005 and 140 points in 2006 rank hold the top two spots on Furman's season-record list...His 140 points in 2006 rank fifth on the Southern Conference record books, topped by Adrian Peterson (174 in 1999, an NCAA Division 1-AA record and 156 points in 1998) and Chaz Williams (162 in 2002 and 152 in 2004) of Georgia Southern...Felton set school and Southern Conference game-records when he rushed for six touchdowns vs. Western Carolina in 2006, topping the previous conference mark of five touchdowns by J.R. McNair of Wofford (vs. Chattanooga, 2003), Peterson (vs. The Citadel, 1998) and John Settle of Appalachian State (vs. Davidson, 1986) and one of the oldest school records, topping Furman's old mark of five scores by William Gressette vs. Presbyterian in 1915 and again vs. Erskine in 1916...His five touchdown runs in the first half of that 2006 Western Carolina clash tied Peterson's (vs. The Citadel in 1998) Southern Conference record...Cos DeMatteo of Tennessee-Chattanooga (36 points vs. Mississippi Valley State, 2000) matched Felton's Southern Conference game record for points scored (36 vs. Western Carolina, 2006)...Felton's six touchdown runs in that 2006 Western Carolina game were one short of the NCAA Division 1-AA game-record of seven scores by Archie Amerson of Northern Arizona vs. Weber State in 1996...Ran for a career-long 60-yard touchdown vs. Elon College in 2007...Credited with 45 touchdown-resulting blocks for his career.

High School
Attended Sequoyah (Madisonville, Tenn.) High School, playing football for head coach Don Kerley...Excelled as a fullback and middle linebacker, earning team Offensive Most Valuable Player honors three times...Three-time All-County and All-Region choice, rushing for more than 3,000 yards and recording more than 300 tackles in his three-year career...Served as team captain as a senior, rushed for 1,300 yards, and finished second on his team with 104 tackles...Named an All-American Scholar and an Outstanding African-American Student of Tennessee, in addition to receiving the 2001-02 United States National Minority Leadership Award...Listed in the Who's Who Among American High School Students and was the recipient of Sequoyah High School's Academic Excellence Award.

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