Pitt’s Qadree Ollison picked in the 5th round by Falcons | TribLIVE.com

Pitt’s Qadree Ollison picked in the 5th round by Falcons

Jerry DiPaola
Pittsburgh’s Qadree Ollison (30) runs through the tackle of Clemson’s Tanner Muse (19) in the first half of the Atlantic Coast Conference championship NCAA college football game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018.
Pittsburgh offensive lineman Jimmy Morrissey (67) celebrates with running back Qadree Ollison (30) after he scored the second of his three touchdowns against Virginia Tech in the second half of an NCAA football game, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh won 52-22.(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Pitt running back Qadree Ollison waited a bit more than two hours Saturday, but he finally heard his name called in the fifth round of the NFL Draft when he was picked 152nd overall by the Atlanta Falcons.

Ollison is the second Pitt running back drafted in the past three years, joining the Steelers’ James Conner, a third-round pick in 2017.

Ollison replaced Conner, who missed the 2015 season with a knee injury, and ran for 1,121 yards that year and was named ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year.

He finished his collegiate career with 2,859 yards, seventh all-time at Pitt, after leading the team last season with 1,213.

Entering the draft, the Falcons were in the market for a running back to back up Devonta Freeman after losing Tevin Coleman in free agency.

“The Falcons are getting a great back and person in Qadree,” Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi said. “Production-wise, he is one of the best ever to carry the ball at Pitt, with two 1,000-yard seasons. He also got it done for us on special teams.

“Most importantly, Qadree was a vital leader for us, on and off the field. We wish him the very best in Atlanta.”

After he received the good news from the Falcons, with owner Arthur Blank calling him personally, Ollison spoke glowingly about his love for the game of football.

“I’ve played this sports since I could walk,” he said on a video tweet from the Pitt football account. “This is something I’m 110 percent dedicated to. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a real long time.”

He also didn’t forget how he got to the fifth round of the draft.

“I love Pittsburgh. I love everybody there,” he said. “Coach Narduzzi and coach (Andre) Powell (running backs coach) did so much for me. I tell people all the time, Pitt made me into the kind of player I am right now.”

Five other Pitt players got calls from the NFL after the draft.

• Running back Darrin Hall, another 1,000-yard rusher, agreed to stay in his home state and join the Cleveland Browns. Hall is a native of Youngstown.

• Fullback George Aston agreed to join Denver Broncos.

• Linebacker Elijah Zeise of North Allegheny agreed to terms with the San Diego Chargers.

• Offensive lineman Alex Bookser of Mt. Lebanon will attend the San Francisco 49ers’ minicamp, starting Thursday. He also has been invited to the Detroit Lions’ minicamp May 9.

• Defensive end James Folston will sign with the Arizona Cardinals.

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Pitt
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.