The Minnesota Vikings took USF defensive back Mistral Raymond 170th overall in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL Draft on Saturday. Raymond becomes the fifth Bulls’ defensive back to be selected in the last three NFL Drafts and the seventh defensive back overall.
During his two-year playing career with USF Raymond went from walk-on to starter and captain as a senior earning second-team All-BIG EAST honors after recording 56 tackles, 4.5 TFL, an INT and seven PBU.
“Mistral is a great success story,” said USF head coach Skip Holtz. “He walked-on and really earned his way into this position and I’m excited about the opportunity he has. He’ll bring a lot of flexibility to the Vikings because he can play corner and safety. He has great range, and when you combine it with his work ethic, he’ll definitely have a chance to succeed at the next level.”
The Bulls defensive back that prepped at Palmetto HS played in 25 games with USF and started 15 over his two year career, recording 96 tackles, 6.5 TFL, two INTs and seven pass break-ups.
“It has been a long journey and I’m so grateful to everyone that has helped me along the way,” said Raymond. “I’ve worked extremely hard with this goal in mind, and now that it is real, I’m just excited to represent my family and USF as I move on to the NFL. I had great visits with the Vikings and I knew there was a chance they’d take me. I’m glad they did and I’m going to work as hard as I can to help them win games in the future.”
Raymond is the fifth Bulls’ defensive back to be selected over the last three NFL Drafts and the seventh defensive back overall. In 2010 safety Nate Allen was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the second round and corner Jerome Murphy was picked by the St. Louis Rams in the third. In 2008, the Dallas Cowboys took Mike Jenkins with the 25th overall pick and Trae Williams was picked by the Eagles in the fifth round.
“I’m so happy for Mistral,” said defensive backs coach Rick Smith. “I know this is a dream come true for him. He was a wonderful young man to coach and he did everything we asked him to do. He’s an old-school type player and he’s got so much passion for the game, which is going to help him be successful in the NFL.”
Raymond is the Bulls 10th NFL Draft pick over the last three years and 18th overall in the program’s 14-year history.