Stage set for Glenn

Former Riverdale standout has the size and skills to make NFL draft history

Georgia offensive lineman and former Riverdale standout Cordy Glenn runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis. Glenn is a top prospect in the upcoming NFL football draft.

Georgia offensive lineman and former Riverdale standout Cordy Glenn runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis. Glenn is a top prospect in the upcoming NFL football draft.

Thanks to hindsight, the history Cordy Glenn is about to make appears earth-shattering — no football player from the Clayton or Henry counties has ever been selected in the first round of the NFL draft.

But the former Riverdale High standout and University of Georgia offensive lineman faces that real possibility when the draft’s first round begins Thursday at 8 p.m.

“There’s been a lot of good players to come out of Clayton County,” Glenn said. “That would definitely be something I’d be very proud of.”

Of course, the Southern Crescent hasn’t produced as large a pro prospect as Glenn before. The area’s most notable past draft picks have been skill players — Morrow’s Andre Hastings (3rd round, 1993), Forest Park’s Hines Ward (3rd round, 1998), Lovejoy’s Tashard Choice (4th round, 2008), Jon

The top NFL draft picks

Several players from the Southern Crescent have gone on to play in the NFL. Here is a look at the top seven draft choices.

Tashard Choice, Lovejoy: A fourth round pick by the Dallas Cowboys in 2008 out of Georgia Tech. He was taken with the 122nd overall pick. The running back has played with Dallas, Washington and is currently with Buffalo. He has 1,216 career yards with nine touchdowns.

Morgan Burnett, North Clayton: A third round draft pick by the Green Bay Packers in 2010 with the 71st overall pick. Despite sustaining a season-ending knee injury in his rookie season, he was a member of the Packers’ Super Bowl championship team. He has 106 tackes and four interceptions heading into this season.

Andre Hastings, Morrow: Considered the greatest player in Morrow history by most. The former Georgia Bulldog standout was a third round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1993 with the 76th overall pick. He also played with New Orleans before ending his eight-year career in 2000 with Tampa Bay. He had 266 receptions for 3,307 yards and 18 touchdowns in 104 games.

Harry Douglas, Jonesboro: A current member of the Atlanta Falcons receiving corps. He was a third round pick out of Louisvillie in 2008 with the 84th overall pick. Entering his fourth season, Douglas has 83 catches with 1,109 yards and three touchdowns.

Emmanuel McDaniel, Jonesboro: Following a standout career at East Carolina, the defensive lineman played seven seasons in the NFL with five different teams. He was a fourth round pick of the Carolina Panthers in 1996. He ended his career with 78 tackles.

Hines Ward, Forest Park: The former Pittsburgh Steeler wide receiver was a third round pick out of the University of Georgia in 1998. He ended what is considered a Hall of Fame-type career last season. Ward holds the majority of the Steelers receiving records. He was voted MVP of Super Bowl XL.

Scott Woerner, Jonesboro: The former Georgia Bulldog standout was a third round draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons in 1981. He also played one season with New Orleans and several in the now-defunct United States Football League. His greatest fame came at Georgia, where he was a member of the 1981 national championship team.

esboro’s Harry Douglas (3rd round, 2009) and North Clayton’s Morgan Burnett (3rd round, 2010).

The 6-footish, 200-poundish athlete is a dime a dozen for NFL scouts. There are far fewer Cordy Glenns — a 6-foot-5, 350-pound lineman with agility, power and experience.

Those qualities have Glenn firmly slated in the first round of numerous mock drafts. Some have Glenn being picked as high was No. 15 overall by Philadelphia (Washington Post), but none lower than No. 23 overall by Detroit (WalterFootball.com). Others have Glenn being picked by Cincinnati (No. 17), San Diego (No. 18) or Cleveland (No. 22).

No matter who picks Glenn, the team will get a four-year starter at Georgia who started 50 games, which is tied for first all-time by an offensive lineman. They’ll get a player with versatility, who played left guard, right guard and left tackle for the Bulldogs. They’ll get a player who overcame brief struggles — first when thrust early into action as a freshman, then when adjusting to left tackle as a senior — to thrive.

Glenn’s time at Riverdale had a hand in honing that perseverence. He played for three different head coaches — Nick Davis in 2004-05, Kevin Jones in 2006 and Jamie Reed in 2007, but all were intense and passionate about football.

That made an impression on Glenn.

“I learned a lot [at Riverdale],” Glenn said. “I learned a lot about the mentality of football. I think it gets you on a good level as far as toughness and your passion for the game. Having passionate coaches at an early age does wonders for you.”

Having precocious size helps, too. By his junior year, Glenn said he was just shy of 300 pounds. Four years at Georgia turned Glenn into an elite-sized lineman.

Now, he’s spent the months since Georgia’s bowl game in the whirlwind of draft day preparation — choosing an agent, competing in the NFL combine and criss-crossing the country to meet with NFL general managers and coaches.

“You just try to take everything in and try to learn as much as you can,” Glenn said. “You just try to take the positive things out of the situations.”

Though projections by NFL draft experts make it seem Glenn a near-certain first-round pick, the former Riverdale standout knows the draft is a fickle process prone to uncertainty and surprise.

He could make history, but Glenn isn’t looking at it that way.

“Just staying humble and staying focused,” Glenn said. “You really don’t know what’s going to happen or what to expect.”