The man who sometimes simply goes by an emoji is now a professional football player.
Former University of Miami cornerback Corn Elder was selected by the Carolina Panthers in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft Saturday afternoon.
Officially named Cornelius Elder, Corn was, arguably, UM’s top defensive back this past season. A former basketball star in his hometown Nashville, Tennessee, Elder showed enough in his four years on the gridiron with the Hurricanes for the Panthers to take him with the 152nd overall pick.
Elder is the third former Hurricane to be drafted this weekend. Tight end David Njoku was selected by the Cleveland Browns during Thursday night’s first round and safety Rayshawn Jenkins was drafted by the Los Angeles Chargers in the fourth round.
Scouts raved about Elder’s potential as a “nickel corner” – typically a third cornerback that comes on the field during passing downs and matches up with smaller “slot” receivers.
“Elder has the three Cs – composure, confidence and competitiveness,” one scout wrote. “He has the instincts and reactive quickness to find his way to the football and his ability to mirror and match gives him a chance to handle slot duties in the NFL.”
2016 was Elder’s best season at Miami. In his first year as a full-time starter and playing under new defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, Elder recorded 76 total tackles, three sacks, forced a fumble, broke up 12 passes and came down with one interception.