Once overlooked, Troy's McKelvin becomes top NFL prospect

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Leodis McKelvin has that unshakable cornerback's confidence.

So when the bigtime colleges passed on signing him out of high school, he figured he'd just prove them wrong and two years as a backup for Troy didn't faze him either.

Now McKelvin is poised to go to the next level. He's one of the top-rated defensive players in next weekend's NFL draft, a projected Top 10 pick and the latest Troy defender to become a coveted pro commodity.

Defensive end Osi Umenyiora helped the New York Giants win a Super Bowl championship, and he and Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware both made the Pro Bowl.

The speedy 5-foot-11, 186-pounder also has plenty of credibility as a return man.

He led the nation with three punt returns for a touchdown as a senior - averaging 18-point-3 yards per return.

McKelvin was a late qualifier academically and received some interest from big-name schools out of high school in Waycross, Georgia, but their scholarship offers never came.

He said being overlooked pushed him to prove that was a mistake.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)