CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now)- With the 2020 NFL draft just a few hours away, Wyoming football players enter the draft looking to make a name for themselves in pro football. Former Cowboys safety, Alijah Halliburton, is excited heading into the draft, for a chance to fulfill a life-long dream.
"I’m thinking that I’m really blessed and thankful for to be in this opportunity to be in this position,” Halliburton said. “To be able to get drafted or free agency. I really don't know what's going to happen but I do know that I’m going to get an opportunity and that's all I ever asked for and wanted so, just waiting to get my opportunity and make the most of it."
Halliburton finished his career at Wyoming with 223 total tackles (129 solo), two interceptions, two sacks, and a forced fumble. He led the team in tackles his senior season with 130, and was named first team All-Mountain West Conference. Halliburton was also name MW Defensive Player of the Week and the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive player of the Week for his performance against Missouri on August 31, 2019, where the Pokes won, 37-31. He recorded 17 total tackles (13 solo), and returned a fumble 79 yards to set up a Cowboys field goal.
In the 2019 NFL Draft, the only Poke that was selected was former Pokes safety, Marcus Epps (6th round, 19th pick). Even though other Pokes went undrafted such as Andrew Wingard and Carl Granderson, they still got to see the field on Sundays.
“I definitely think that lingers in the back of my mind,” Halliburton said. “Marcus and Dewey [Andrew Wingard] were both kind of my mentors and I looked up to both of them, so that definitely lingers in my mind, especially with Marcus because no one thought he would get drafted. In this one [2020 NFL Draft] we’re going to make two get drafted, we're going to see."
He also expects one of his teammates, Logan Wilson, to get drafted.
“Logan has everything and literally anything. Probably the best numbers, all of it to be honest with you. Throughout all the linebackers to be honest with you throughout this draft class. Wherever Logan gets drafted, one, two, or three, or four, I know that he's going to make the most of his opportunity and whatever team has him they're going to be blessed with a nice, great linebacker."
Halliburton believes he brings a lot to a table, and that he can be a valuable asset to an NFL team.
“I’m not just good at safety. I also play special teams for 3-4 years; they're going to get everything out of me, the best of both worlds. I'm going to be going hard on special teams when I can get the opportunity and when I get the opportunity at safety, I’m going to try to be the best. Once I get to a team, I’m going to treat that team as it's my home, just like the University of Wyoming. I just can't wait."
The first round of the NFL Draft will start on Thursday, April 23, at 6:00pm MST.