The board game that his brother was setting up was quickly put away. Karl Klug suddenly had more important things to deal with because he had just officially become a professional football player. Klug, a 6-foot-3, 275-pound defensive lineman and Caledonia High School graduate, was selected by the Tennessee Titans in the fifth round (142nd overall) of the NFL Draft on Saturday.
“I was relaxed during the fourth round because I knew nothing was going to happen,” Klug said. “Based on the teams I’d talked to, Tennessee being one of them, there was an outside chance in the fifth.
“I was just trying to stay relaxed, and my brother was setting up a board game when we found out. We didn’t end up playing.”
That’s because Kevin received a call from a Titans representative after the team confused the brothers’ cell numbers.
“Kevin gave me the phone, and he was pretty excited,” said Karl, who watched Saturday’s telecast with his brother, girlfriend (Stacy) and roommate (Justin) in the basement of his house in Iowa City, Iowa. “I thought someone was screwin’ with him at first.”
But the call turned out to be an invitation to join the Titans after a standout career as a defensive tackle at the University of Iowa.
That makes Klug the first area athlete to be drafted since Rushford, Minn., native Steve Heiden went to the San Diego Chargers in the third round of the 1999 draft.
Klug, who played defensive end and linebacker at Caledonia, said he’ll play defensive end in the NFL and welcomes the chance to return to the position he played for the Warriors.
He was the 14th defensive end selected and joins a team that also picked Washington quarterback Jake Locker and USC defensive tackle Jurrell Casey in earlier rounds.
The Titans have a new coach in Mike Munchak.
Tennessee’s starting defensive ends last season — Jason Babin and Jacob Ford — may not be back.
Babin, who had 12½ sacks, is a free agent, although the Titans are expected to try to sign him once the lockout is over. Ford, who had three sacks, is a restricted free agent, and Tennessee can match any contract offer he receives.
Tennessee also has defensive end Derrick Morgan, who was its first-round choice in last year’s draft.
“I’ll be looking at the roster and learning more about the situation,” Klug said. “For now, I’ll just keep working out in Iowa City.”