(WSAV) – It may have taken Richard LeCounte slightly longer than he first imagined, but the Liberty County graduate is going to be an NFL player all the same.
The Cleveland Browns selected LeCounte, a safety out of UGA, in the fifth round with the 169th overall pick in the draft.
LeCounte was the seventh Georgia Bulldog off the board in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Before committing to UGA, LeCounte was one of the most decorated athletes to ever come out of the Coastal Empire. He was ranked as the No. 29 player nationally by PrepStar Magazine for the Class of 2016 and the 12th-ranked player nationally by ESPN.
LeCounte played both sides of the ball at Liberty County, racking up 39 catches for 800 yards and 20 total touchdowns as a wide receiver his senior year while also recording 100 tackles as a safety.
Early projections had LeCounte going higher than the fifth round, but a motor vehicle accident ended his season prematurely and raised injury concerns from pro scouts.
LeCounte is the second local player to be taken in the NFL Draft this year. Long County graduate and University of Kentucky linebacker Jamin Davis went 19th overall to the Washington Football Team.
Liberty County’s list of NFL talent does not end with LeCounte; Patriots linebacker Raekwon McMillan graduated from the Panthers’ program in 2014. He and LeCounte are close friends.