Strong and Oladokun drafted


BROOKINGS, S.D. ( — South Dakota State running back Pierre Strong, Jr. was selected in the fourth round of the National Football League Draft Saturday by the New England Patriots. Strong was the 22nd pick of the fourth round and the 127th overall.

Strong finished his career third on the all-time rushing charts at SDSU with 4,527 yards. He rushed for 1,000 yards in three separate seasons (2018, 2019, 2021), including leading the Football Championship Subdivision with 1,668 yards during the 2021 campaign en route to being named a Walter Payton Award finalist and consensus All-America honoree.

South Dakota State quarterback Chris Oladokun became the second Jackrabbit to be selected in the 2022 National Football League Draft as he was taken by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the seventh round on Saturday. Oladokun was the 20th pick of the final round and the 241st overall selection.

In his only season with the Jackrabbits, Oladokun started all 15 games during the 2021 campaign and completed 238-of-382 passes for 3,164 yards and 25 touchdowns against only seven interceptions. Oladokun was an honorable mention all-Missouri Valley Football Conference selection and a member of the league’s All-Newcomer Team.

It marks the sixth time that SDSU has had two players picked in the same draft – the most recent being in 1976, with defensive tackle Todd Simonson (sixth round, Houston Oilers) and defensive end Bob Gissler (14th round, Miami Dolphins) selected.

Following the draft, offensive lineman Aron Johnson and safety Michael Griffin II agreed to terms as free agents with the Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans, respectively.