Kittitian Erasmus James selected by Minnesota Vikings in NFL first round draft 2005

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS – St. Kitts-born Erasmus James has been selected in the first round (18th pick overall) of the National Football League (NFL) Draft by the Minnesota Vikings.

James is the second Badger defensive lineman (joining Wendell Bryant) in the past four seasons to be selected in the first round of the draft. James was the third defensive end selected. A former Badger Defensive End, James is the 23rd first-round draft choice in Wisconsin State University history and the ninth of the Coach Barry Alvarez era (15 seasons). The Badgers have had at least one first-round pick in six of the past seven NFL drafts.

James was Wisconsin’s first consensus All-American since 2000 last season. He was a finalist for the Lombardi, Nagurski, Bednarik and Hendricks Awards. James, who knocked out two Penn State quarterbacks with clean hits in one game on his way to being named the Big Ten Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year last season, told the Minnesota media that he looks forward to getting cheered in the Metrodome.

“It’s going to feel good,” James said. “I’m just glad to be a Viking.” Coach Mike Tice said James will start out at right end for what should be a vastly improved Vikings defense, one that has been bolstered by free-agent signings. “We think he’s going to bring some athleticism, quickness and some explosiveness and playmaking ability to that position,” Tice said.

James, a 2000 graduate of the Mc Arthur High School in Florida, in an interview with Sports Writer Craig Barnes said he isn’t sure how the Minnesota Vikings will use him on defense, but he knows he will have to prove himself in the NFL just as he did in college.

“I’m definitely going to be competing for that starting job. That’s why they brought me in,” said James.

Located in the northern Leeward Islands of the Caribbean, St. Kitts offers a diverse tourism product developed from the destination’s natural beauty, cultural heritage and rich history. Originally populated by native Carib indians, the island was colonized by the British in 1623 and now offers visitors a wide variety of vacation activities including hiking through the tropical rainforest, riding the scenic railway that connects the island’s sugar plantations, touring Brimstone Hill Fortress, the only man-made UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Eastern Caribbean, and the more traditional vacation pastimes such as watersports, golf, shopping, tennis, gourmet dining, gaming at St. Kitts’ exclusive casino or simply relaxing on one of the island’s sandy beaches. Guests can select from accommodations ranging from intimate plantation inns to larger hotels or resorts.

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