Vanderbilt all-time leading rusher Zac Stacy moved one step closer to his dream of playing professional football Saturday when he was selected by St. Louisin the fifth round of the ongoing NFL Draft.
Stacy, a two-time All-Southeastern Conference running back, was taken as the No. 160 overall pick by the Jeff Fisher-coached Rams.
Stacy, a product of Bibb County High School in Centreville, Ala., becomes the first Commodore running back taken in the draft since the Houston Oilers tabbed Corey Harris as a second round selection in 1992. He also becomes the first Vanderbilt player drafted by the Rams since tight end/receiver Chuck Scott was selected in the second round in 1985.
Vanderbilt Coach James Franklin said Stacy is a very deserving selection for the Rams.
"I'm very happy for Zac. He's a team-oriented winner who has enjoyed a tremendous career, consistently performing at a very high level against the best competition in college football," Franklin said. "Zac will go down as the greatest running back ever at Vanderbilt.
"But even more than what Zac has accomplished on the field, he is an outstanding young man, and a credit to his family, teammates and coaches, and this university," Franklin added.
Under Franklin, Stacy produced arguably the two greatest seasons ever by a Commodore back. Those productive seasons in 2011-12 helped Stacy finish his career with 3,143 rushing yards, 511 yards more than the total compiled by Frank Mordica, the Commodores' No. 2 all-time back who produced 2,632 yards form 1976-79.
As a junior in 2011, he set a single-season team record with 1,193 rushing yards and tied another with 14 rushing touchdowns. His performance was a big factor in helping Vanderbilt advance to the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. In 2012, Stay became the first Vanderbilt runner to post back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons by totaling 1,141 rushing yards in the Commodores' 9-4 campaign, capped by a victory over N.C. State in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl. He finished his Commodore career by receiving Music City Bowl MVP honors after rushing for 107 yards and a touchdown.
Stacy also holds two other important Commodore rushing records, establishing a new mark with 30 career touchdowns and setting the school record for longest rushing attempt with a 90-yard score in Vanderbilt's victory at Wake Forest.
Stacy's 2011-12 achievements drew plenty of attention. He became the first Commodore runningback ever to earn All-SEC honors from coaches and writers in consecutive seasons.
Stacy completed an undergraduate degree in Educational Studies from Vanderbilt's Peabody College last December.
Stacy becomes the 17th Commodore taken in the NFL draft since 2000. Two former standouts were picked last year: cornerback Casey Hayward by Green Bay in the second round and defensive end Tim Fugger in the seventh round by Indianapolis.
Several other Vanderbilt players could be selected as the draft continues through today in New York City.
Former Vanderbilt offensive tackle Chris Williams is also a member of the St. Louis Rams.