State Colleges

Giants select Fort Scott CC product Pierre-Paul at No. 15

Just like that, Jason Pierre-Paul's whole life changed.

The New York Giants selected the Fort Scott Community College product and South Florida defensive end with the No. 15 overall pick in Thursday night's NFL Draft, guaranteeing him millions upon millions of dollars.

Not bad for a guy that was riding buses around Kansas in the Jayhawk Conference less than two years ago.

"I really didn't care where I got drafted," Pierre-Paul said. "The important thing to me is going to be how I play, not where I was selected. This is my dream... I want to show the world what I can do."

Last year's No. 15 pick _ Houston Texas linebacker Brian Cushing _ received a four-year, $14 million contract with $10.435 million in guaranteed money and an extra $4 million in escalator clauses that could make the deal worth as much as $18 million.

Pierre-Paul played for Fort Scott in 2008 and was named first team all-Jayhawk and second-team NJCAA All-American in his one season with the Greyhounds. He left South Florida with one year of eligibility remaining.

"I knew 100 percent he'd play in the NFL," Fort Scott coach Jeff Sims said. "But did I know he'd get drafted in the first round? No way. Junior college is just so far away from the NFL."

Pierre-Paul, who is represented by Drew Rosenhaus, was also selected ahead of Georgia Tech defensive end Derrick Morgan. Morgan was rated ahead of Pierre-Paul in almost all of the pre-draft rankings for defensive ends.

"He was always No. 1 and I was always No. 2, and I guess I kind of assumed he'd go before me," Pierre-Paul said. "I had some good meetings with teams the last week."

Pierre-Paul is the highest selection in the NFL Draft from the Jayhawk since Coffeyville and Florida safety Reggie Nelson went No. 21 to the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2007.

"It's tough to track down all the records, but we think (Pierre-Paul) might be the highest pick of all-time not just from the Jayhawk, but also from the NJCAA," Sims said. "The detractors might get on him for leaving early or being kind of raw, but when they meet him they realize that he's a good kid."