The childhood house of former Clemson defensive tackle Grady Jarrett caught fire while his family was watching the NFL draft there on Friday. No injuries were reported and Jarrett was later selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the fifth round on Saturday.
No injuries were reported and Jarrett was later selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the fifth round on Saturday.
Jarrett, widely considered to hold a second-round grade in the eyes of NFL teams, was watching the draft with a gathering of 50 people in his Conyers, Ga., home when they detected the fire. Everyone escaped, but when responders arrived about 10 minutes later, the left side of the house had burned.
The Falcons selected Jarrett on Saturday with the first pick in the fifth round (No. 137).
"It was an unexplainable feeling," the six-foot, 300-pound defensive lineman said. "It was hopelessness. It was disbelief. At that point I wasn't thinking about the draft. There's no feeling that describes watching a house burn. The important thing was everyone got out safe. We lost some things that we can't get back, but for the most part it's just material things and as a family we're just happy to be safe.
"Throughout the night I kept an eye on the draft and that just got me even more down because I was projected to go in the second round. It was just frustration and disappointment, but with Atlanta taking me today it's a blessing. It lifted my family's spirits so high. Everything that was lost can be replaced, man. It's a really special time for us."
Jarrett and his family spent Saturday watching the draft at his cousin's house in Covington, Ga., about 15 minutes away from their damaged home, reports Fox Sports.
Jarrett played four years at Clemson, spending his senior season as a co-captain and finishing it as a first-team All-ACC selection by media and coaches. Over the course of his career, he had 207 tackles (29.5 for loss), 5.5 sacks, 37 quarterback pressures, four fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles.
- Mike Fiammetta