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Texans select Mr. Irrelevant, S Lonnie Ballentine

Posted May 10, 2014

With the 256th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Texans selected Memphis safety Lonnie Ballentine who earns this year’s Mr. Irrelevant honors.

With the 256th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Texans selected 6-foot-3, 215-pound, Memphis safety Lonnie Ballentine who earns this year’s Mr. Irrelevant honors.

As Mr. Irrelevant, Ballentine will be invited to Newport Beach, California for a week-long celebration in his honor. Balentine, who will be awarded The Lowsman Trophy and get a trip to Disneyland, had no idea what Mr. Irrelevant was.

“I’m really excited,” Ballentine said in a conference call Saturday. “It’s a dream come true. As far as Mr. Irrelevant, I don’t know what it means. I just don’t know. I know it’s the last pick of the draft.”

The Memphis, Tennessee native had been watching the draft, all 255 picks, to remember all the players that were selected ahead of him.

“Honestly, I wanted to see every player that went in front of me, every player that was going,” Ballentine said. “I was going to remember that. I’m going to remember that. That’s how I’m going to work and be motivated to come in and to prove everyone wrong.”

Ballentine, who admitted to have tears running down his face during the conference call, said he was invited for a pre-draft visit to Reliant Stadium.

“I met with Mr.(Rick) Smith, Coach (Romeo) Crennel, Coach (Bill) O’Brien, so meeting with those guys I really felt that they were honest and good guys and of course they’re great coaches,” Ballentine said. “I mean, meeting with them, I felt that Texans were one of the teams that were really pursuing me. It felt great.”

In his four years as a Tiger, Ballentine played in 42 total games, registering 141.5 tackles, three interceptions, two fumble recoveries, and 13 pass deflections. He started all 12 games his final season and ranked fifth-overall in tackles for Memphis in 2013. Following junior year, he was named All-Conference USA Honorable Mention and was awarded one of the Iron Tiger awards for his strength and conditioning work during 2011 spring drills.

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