Former Toppers await destiny in NFL Draft

WKU’s Andrew Jackson celebrates after a defensive stop during their game against Navy at Western Kentucky University on Saturday, September 28, 2013.

Elliott Pratt

Four former WKU football players are hoping to carry on their playing days on Sundays. That process starts tonight in the NFL Draft through Saturday. 

Former All-American running back Antonio Andrews, linebackers Andrew Jackson and Xavius Boyd, and defensive back Jonathan Dowling, who declared after his junior season, will look to have their names called by an NFL team over the next few days.

Andrews led the nation in all-purpose yards for back-to-back seasons and broke his own WKU single-season rushing record. The senior amassed 1,730, good for No. 4 in the NCAA, and scored a Sun Belt best 16 touchdowns. Andrews led the nation with 2,619 all-purpose yards and is a Paul Hornung Award finalist, given to the most versatile player in college football. 

According to, Andrews is projected to be a fourth or fifth round pick in the draft.

Jackson, selected to the Second-Team All-Sun Belt defense his senior year, finished second on the team in tackles (95). Jackson was named the Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year his junior season. has Jackson being drafted in the fifth or sixth round.

The reigning SBC defensive POY, Xavius Boyd, was the only one out of the four to not be invited to the NFL Scouting Combine.

Boyd had a breakout season for the Toppers, leading WKU and the Sun Belt as a whole with 15.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks while picking up 103 total tackles. projects Boyd to be drafted late in the seventh round or go as a priority free agent.

In Jonathan Dowling’s junior season he posted 67 tackles, with three interceptions and six forced fumbles.

As a sophomore, his first season at WKU, he recorded 68 tackles and picked off six passes. He earned first team All-Sun Belt Conference honors both years.

According to, Dowling is projected as a fourth or fifth round pick.