Goes to Green Bay in 5th Round 4/27/03
linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer, an All-Southeastern Conference
pick in 2002, was selected in the fifth round of the NFL Draft
by the Green Bay Packers Sunday.
The Packers traded up to obtain Hillenmeyer, getting Philadelphia’s
166th selection by offering their pick later in the sixth
round and a seventh-round pick.
Hillenmeyer led all SEC defenders with 116 solo tackles
and 168 total stops during the 2002 season. He moved to middle
linebacker for the Commodores last year after playing three
seasons at outside linebacker.
The Nashville native and graduate of Montgomery Bell Academy
was the sixth middle linebacker overall taken in the draft.
He will compete against veteran starter Hardy Nickerson among
others for the Green Bay job. The Packers used the draft to
strengthen their defense, selecting a pair of Oregon State
defenders, Nick Barnett and James Lee, and Ohio State defensive
end Kenny Peterson in addition to Hillenmeyer.
Hillenmeyer was the first Vanderbilt player selected since
four Commodores were taken in the 2001 Draft.
Hillenmeyer also continues Vanderbilt’s tradition
of producing NFL-caliber linebackers. He becomes the fourth
Commodore backer since 1998 drafted by the NFL, joining Jamie
Winborn and Matt Stewart in 2001 and Jamie Duncan in 1998.
Another former Vanderbilt linebacker, Shelton Quarles, was
a starting linebacker for the 2002-03 Super Bowl champion
Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Hillenmeyer combines excellent physical size (6-4, 242) with
a superb understanding of the game, and is expected to benefit
at the next level from his experience at both middle and outside
The draft marks another honor for Hillenmeyer during his
senior campaign. In addition to earning First-Team All-SEC
status by conference coaches, Hillenmeyer added two prestigious
academic honors this year. Last October, he was named as one
of six “National Scholar Athletes” by the College
Football Hall of Fame and National Football Foundation. He
followed that award by becoming Vanderbilt’s first football
player named First-Team Verizon Academic All-American in two