NFL Draft coverage a tradition, valuable opportunity for CommRadio students

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — When Penn State All-America running back Saquon Barkley gets selected in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night, student media members from CommRadio will be on hand to report what happens.

And, when some of Barkley’s Penn State teammates get selected later in the draft, those CommRadio students will be there.

For the 10th year in a row, CommRadio — the internet-based station housed in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications -- will be on location for draft coverage. No other college or university in the nation has had student media members staffing the NFL Draft in that manner during the past decade.

This year, the draft will be conducted in Dallas, with senior Eric Ohlson, from State College, and junior Tom Shively, from Ashburn, Virginia, upholding what has become an important tradition.

“Outside of Penn State football, the draft is probably one of the things we cover the most. Everybody contributes and we work hard to do everything we do with it well,” Shively said. “It’s exciting for me to be one of the two people making the trip and we’re all thrilled to be able to do this kind of thing while we’re still in college. Not many people get this kind of opportunity.”

In the past, Penn State students traveled to New York City, Chicago and Philadelphia to cover the NFL Draft.

Ohlson, Shively and dozens of other CommRadio students have been compiling extensive coverage online leading up to the NFL Draft in recent weeks. That included several broadcasts, as well as NFL division draft breakdowns and profiles of draft-eligible players.

Many CommRadio members, anyone interested actually, helped compile profiles of players that then get bound into a book — a nearly 300-page resource that includes player information and statistics to be tapped during draft coverage. Along with Ohlson and Shively, the on-air team April 26-27 will include a rotating group of students reporting from the CommRadio studio on campus. 

“There’s no way we’re going to be able to talk for four hours or more all by ourselves,” Ohlson said. “It’s been a team effort getting ready for the draft and it’ll be that way on the air. Having the chance to do things like this is just amazing, and we take it seriously.”

More than 150 students participate with CommRadio each academic year. It provides news and sports coverage from Penn State with opportunities ranging from advertising and promotions to on-air duties such as conducting play-by-play of sports, covering news or hosting a talk show.

Last Updated April 26, 2018