Notre Dame, Ind. - Two former Notre Dame football standouts were selected on the first day of the 2006 National Football League (NFL) Player Draft on Saturday. Tight end Anthony Fasano was the first Irish player selected, taken by the Dallas Cowboys in the second round with the 53rd pick overall. A short time later, Fasano was joined by former Irish wide receiver Maurice Stovall who was chosen by Tampa Bay with the 90th overall pick in the draft.
The NFL Draft is scheduled to continue on Sunday with rounds four through seven. Player selection can be seen live on ESPN beginning at 11 a.m. Eastern time. The following are brief biographies on the players selected Saturday (players listed alphabetically by last name):
Verona, NJ (Verona HS) A native of Verona, New Jersey, Fasano was a three-year starter at tight end for Notre Dame. Fasano was one of three finalists for the 2005 John Mackey Award that annually recognizes college football's finest tight end. Fasano also was one of four recipients of the 2005 Nick Pietrosante Award, given each year to the Notre Dame football player who best exemplifies the qualities of courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and pride. He finished his Notre Dame career with 92 receptions for 1,112 yards and eight touchdowns. Those totals rank him among the most productive tight ends in Irish football history as he has the second-most receptions and receiving yards by a Notre Dame tight end. Fasano ranked third on the team in catches in '05 with 47 receptions for 576 yards and two touchdowns, highlighted by a seven-catch, 93-yard outing against Michigan State. As a junior in '04, Fasano was second on the team with 27 catches for 367 yards and four touchdowns. The top single-game performance of Fasano's Irish career came against Purdue in '04 when he caught a career-high eight passes for 155 yards to set a school record for single-game receiving yards by a tight end. Fasano is enrolled in the Mendoza College of Business and is scheduled to graduate in May with a bachelor's degree in Marketing.
Philadelphia, PA (Archbishop Carroll HS) One of Notre Dame's breakout performers during the team's offensive explosion in 2005, Stovall was one of the most prolific receivers in Irish football history over the course of his career and his '05 season ranks among the most productive ever produced by an Irish receiver. Stovall finished his career third in Notre Dame history for touchdown receptions in a career with 18, fourth in receiving yards with 2,195, and fourth in career receptions with 130. Stovall started all 12 games at receiver in '05 and made 23 career starts. He had more than 100 yards receiving in six games in '05 when he made 69 catches for 1,149 yards (16.7-yard average) and 11 touchdowns. The 11 scoring catches ranks tied for second on the Irish single-season touchdown catches list. In his final game with the Irish, Stovall set a Notre Dame bowl record for receiving yards with 126 yards on nine catches (second in ND bowl history) against Ohio State in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Stovall had a record-breaking day against BYU in '05 with a school-record 14 catches for 207 yards (fifth in Irish history) and a school-record four touchdowns. He was one of four recipients of the 2005 Nick Pietrosante Award, given each year to the Notre Dame football player who best exemplifies the qualities of courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and pride. Enrolled in the College of Arts and Letters, Stovall is on track to graduate from Notre Dame in May with a degree in Sociology and Computer Applications.