UNION COUNTY — Teams in the National Football League drafted 259 players from Thursday through Saturday, April 29 to May 1. The total included five from the University of Oregon and two from Oregon State University and none from Eastern Oregon University.
But 64 years ago, Eastern tied Oregon State University for the highest number of players the league drafted from the state.
Pro football teams drafted two players from Eastern and two from OSU, according to the website pro-footballreference.com. The players from Eastern were Jack Harmon, an end, whom the Baltimore Colts drafted in the eighth round, and Bill West, a back, whom the Detroit Lions took in the 13th round. Harmon was the 90th player taken, and West was the 155th player drafted.
Harmon and West were members of the 1956 Eastern team that won the old Oregon Collegiate Conference title. While the pros drafted the pair, they never played in the NFL.
Union County’s connection to the NFL draft does not end there, though.
The Washington Football Team in 1981 drafted Tom Flick, who lived in the Cove area while growing up, in the fourth round. Flick, who was a star quarterback at the University of Washington in the late 1970s and early 1980s, played in the NFL for seven seasons.
Flick now is a motivational speaker who has made several appearances in Union County, including one in the 1990s in Cove in which he spoke of living there as a child. Flick, who later went to high school Bellevue, Washington, said he searched for the house his family lived in Cove but couldn’t find it.