FAMU’s former starting quarterback is being scouted by several teams for the NFL draft, which will be Saturday and Sunday.
Between student teaching at Lincoln high school, planning for his May 5 wedding and getting ready for his April 30 graduation, Ben Dougherty is also awaiting the results of the draft.
When asked what he was more nervous about, the wedding or the draft, Dougherty said the draft.
Dougherty said Ursula Jara, his fiancÃ©e, has already said yes, but the destiny of his career is still up in the air.
“It’s a rare thing for a person to get drafted from a HBCU,” said Dougherty, 25, the first FAMU football player to be considered for the NFL Combine in 10 years.
Dougherty said five teams scouted him: The Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, New Orleans Saints, N.Y Giants and Oakland Raiders.
Dougherty said he thinks the Titans are the most interested.
“I’ve talked with them a couple of times,” Dougherty said. “Still, no one can guarantee that I’ll get picked.”
Dougherty said he will be in Saginaw, Mich., watching the draft with his family.
His parents, who now live in Iowa, will meet him in Michigan to support him through what he calls an intense time.
“I think I’ll get picked in the sixth or seventh round,” Dougherty said.
“It is a wait-and-see thing.”
Dougherty said he feels confident that he will be picked by Sunday night. However, if he is not picked, he thinks he’ll be signed as a free agent.
If not signed by Sunday, Dougherty will play for the Calgary Stampeders, a Canadian team. He has a pending contract based on the results of the draft.
Dougherty said he’s really looking forward to being signed by Sunday to fulfill his life-long dream of playing in the NFL.
Dougherty said regardless of the results, he loves the game.
“If I end up playing in Canada, I’ll love it.”
Dougherty recently fired his former agent, in favor of famed agent Drew Rosenhaus.
Rosenhaus is considered one of the most aggressive agents in the NFL.
Rosenhaus has authored a biography and also represents about 40 NFL players.
“My old agent wasn’t working for me like an agent should,” Dougherty said.
Dougherty said Rosenhaus contacted him.
“I was flattered,” Dougherty said. “He normally works with first-round draft picks.”
Dougherty was able to practice with the top quarterbacks in the draft at the NFL Rookie Combine.
It’s tough to compare him to other quarterbacks, Dougherty said.
“Some of their arms might be stronger than mine or some might run faster than me, but I can do everything they can do,” Dougherty said. “In some cases I can do more.”
Dougherty transferred from North Iowa Community College to FAMU during the 2002 season. He began starting as quarterback in 2003.
“FAMU is a great school for quarterbacks,” Dougherty said. “I called every single play for the past two years,” Dougherty said. “And I threw the ball a lot.”
NFL.com stated Dougherty is 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 217 pounds. His pass completion percentage of 62.4 set a school career record.
“In 24 games at A&M, he completed 477 of 764 passes for 5,231 yards, 32 touchdowns, 20 interceptions and carried 289 times for 1,016 with 14 scores.”
Rod Miller, 26, a health physical education student from Sarasota and receiver for the football team said that Dougherty has what it takes to make it in the NFL.
“He’s a man that plays through pain,” Miller said.
“Someone you can depend on.”
“He’s not out for self,” Miller added. “He’s out there for the love of the game.”
Head Coach Billy Joe said Dougherty is the best quarterback he’s had in his 33 years at FAMU.
“He has the size, height, arm, commitment and desire,” Joe said. “There is no reason why he shouldn’t be playing on Sunday this coming fall.”
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