Eastern Kentucky University defensive end Noah Spence was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the 39th pick in the 2016 National Football League (NFL) Draft on Friday.
The Buccaneers took Spence with the eighth pick in the second round.
Spence is the 33rd EKU football player to be drafted by an NFL team and the first since Antwaun Molden was picked in the third round by the Houston Texans in 2008. The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania native is the sixth Ohio Valley Conference football player to be picked in the second round of the NFL Draft.
Spence ended his junior season at EKU by being chosen as an All-American by the Associated Press, STATS, Walter Camp Foundation and College Sporting News. He was also chosen as the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) National Defensive Performer of the Year by College Football Performance Awards.
Spence announced in December that he would forgo his final season of collegiate eligibility and enter the draft. In January, Spence had an outstanding performance at the Reese’s Senior Bowl.
The 6-foot-3 defensive end finished the season ranked fourth nationally in tackles for a loss (2.0/game) and fifth in sacks (1.05/game). Overall he had 22.5 tackles for a loss and 11.5 sacks, the fourth-most in EKU single-season history.