EAST LANSING -- Kirk Cousins was shocked to learn he'd been drafted by the Washington Redskins. He wasn't disappointed.
Cousins, who led Michigan State to back-to-back 11-win seasons for the first time in school history, was taken 102nd overall in the fourth round. He was the second quarterback selected by the Redskins. They also drafted Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III with the second overall pick Thursday.
"I hadn't talked to them in the process at great length and didn't know they were interested, but when I saw a Virginia number on my cell phone, I knew it was a possibility," Cousins said during a teleconference. "When I answered, Coach (Mike) Shanahan told me, 'I can't pass you up and have to pick you.'
"It's a unique situation with Washington picking Robert No. 2 overall, and I didn't expect it, but Coach Shanahan knows quarterbacks. He worked with Steve Young and John Elway, and I think he (felt) getting me in the fourth round was a steal.
"I think Robert is in their immediate plans and the long-term hope for their fan base, but they wouldn't have selected me unless they believed in me. Now it's up to me to learn the playbook and support Robert, and when I get my opportunity to play, Robert will support me."
Cousins was projected to go as high as the second round but said he wasn't disappointed to go in the fourth.
"I was told second or third, but even the day before, you know in the back of your head that anybody can fall and anybody can move up," he said. "I kept an open mind and would be excited wherever I ended up, and it happened in the fourth round. I'm excited for opportunity and have to make the most of it by raising my level to that of an NFL quarterback."
He said he didn't know much about the Redskins.
"Here's what I know about Washington: It's a passionate football city with a fantastic fan base," Cousins said. "I know it's where Sammy Baugh played, and I'm going to have to learn the words to their fight song, 'Hail to the Redskins.' "
Cousins became the second Spartan taken in this year's NFL draft. Defensive tackle Jerel Worthy, who attended Saturday's spring game in East Lansing, was drafted in the second round by the Green Bay Packers on Friday night.
Four other Spartans were drafted Saturday: wide receivers Keshawn Martin and B.J. Cunningham, running back Edwin Baker and safety Trenton Robinson.
The Texans drafted Martin in the fourth round (121st overall).
"I'm a fast, quick receiver that can also return punts and kickoffs," Martin said. "I'm a good fit for the Houston Texans."
Martin scored touchdowns five different ways during his career with the Spartans.
"In college, I liked to compare myself to Percy Harvin," Martin said, referring to the Minnesota Vikings wide receiver. "I'm that type of player who can produce big plays."
The 49ers drafted Robinson in the sixth round, 180th overall.
"I had actually talked to them a couple of days before the draft," Robinson said. "They said they liked me, they asked me some questions and everything. They said they liked me, and they were definitely going to be drafting a safety. I was just excited then, and right now I just don't even really know how to feel. My dream is here, and all I have to do to get where I want to be is work hard and I know I'll have a spot there."
The Dolphins selected Cunningham in the sixth round, 183rd overall. The Chargers picked Baker in the seventh round, 250th overall. Contact George Sipple: 313-223-4796 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @freepspartans. Come back Monday, when beat writer George Sipple answers your questions in a chat at 11 a.m. Free Press columnist Drew Sharp will answer questions about all things Detroit sports in a live chat at 11 a.m. Friday at freep.com/sports.
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This is IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English.
This week, an international court found former Liberian president Charles Taylor guilty of war crimes in Sierra Leone.
Charles Taylor stood silently as Presiding Judge Richard Lussick read the judgment by a special United Nations court in The Hague.
RICHARD LUSSICK: "The trial chamber unanimously finds you guilty of aiding and abetting the commission of the following crimes pursuant to article 6.1 of the statute; planning the commission of the following crimes in the attacks on Kono and Makeni in December 1998, and in the invasion of and retreat from Freetown between December 1998 and February 1999 ..."
The reading of the judgment -- which included details of terrible crimes -- lasted two hours.
The judges found the sixty-four-year-old former president guilty of helping rebels from the Revolutionary United Front. The rebels killed tens of thousands of people and terrorized civilians during Sierra Leone's civil war. The war lasted from nineteen ninety-one to two thousand two. Crimes by the RUF included murder, rape, drafting of child soldiers and sexual slavery.
Judge Lussick said Charles Taylor was publicly involved in peace efforts while secretly financing the hostilities. The court said he received what are called blood diamonds, mined in eastern Sierra Leone. In return, he provided arms, ammunition, communications equipment and planning help to the rebels. But there was not enough proof that his influence amounted to effective command and control of the rebels.
Human Rights Watch spokeswoman Geraldine Mattioli-Zeitner said she was pleased with the ruling.
GERALDINE MATTIOLI-ZEITNER: "We think this is an historic moment. It's the first time a former head of state is prosecuted and judged for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed while he was in office."
The former Liberian leader has denied the charges and can appeal the judgment. Sentencing is set for May thirtieth. He faces a possible life sentence. He is expected to serve any prison term in Britain.
Charles Taylor was arrested in two thousand six -- three years after he was charged and resigned as president. The trial opened in two thousand seven. It was moved from Freetown, in Sierra Leone, to the Netherlands to avoid unrest.
The court heard evidence from ninety-four witnesses for the prosecution and twenty-one witnesses for the defense, including Taylor himself.
The case is expected to be the last major trial for the special court. It was established to try the most serious cases of war crimes during the conflict in Sierra Leone.
People in Sierra Leone welcomed the conviction of Charles Taylor. There were mixed emotions in his native Liberia, where he still has some support. Tamba Cole was among Liberians who welcomed the guilty verdict. He said Taylor has now set an example to other leaders in Africa and around the world. Such crimes will no longer be accepted by the international community, he said.
Charles Taylor is the first head of state to be found guilty by an international court in almost seventy years. The last time was in ninety forty-six, in the trials in Nuremberg, Germany, for war crimes during World War Two. Karl Doenitz -- who briefly led Nazi Germany after Adolf Hitler killed himself -- was found guilty of crimes against peace and war crimes. He spent ten years in prison.
And that's IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English. I'm Steve Ember.
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Add two tablespoons of molasses to your glass of domestic hot water and stir. Drink twice a day. On the list of mildest yet most efficient natural home remedies for constipation.
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With the Kazakhstan Ministry of Information Culture, the Chinese Ministry of Culture, China's State Archives hosted numerous departments and Kazakhstan hosted the "Silk Road - China Silk Art" exhibition on the 17th started in Almaty, Kazakhstan, National City, Kasteyev Art Museum, Chinese Consul General Sun Linjiang Almaty, Kazakhstan, Almaty, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Office Deputy Director Kunayev, Kazakhstan Artists Association Chairman Wu Moer Bekov, nearly 200 to all areas of life took part in Kazakhstan identical trip to the opening ceremony.
Sun Linjiang Consul-General in his speech remarked that Kazakhstan is a vital region about the ancient Silk Road, China and Kazakhstan 18-19 century silk trade was flourishing. He hoped that the exhibition of silk to leave a great impression within the audience of Kazakhstan.
Kunayev declared the ancient silk isn't only the cultural heritage coming from all mankind, but also a symbol of friendship between your two countries and Kazakhstan. As part of his view, the exhibition will further improve the Kazakh people's idea of Chinese culture.
Around 5-3 century BC, Chinese silk, the road throughout the Mongolian Plateau, crossing the Altai Mountains, over the Junggar Basin, come to today's Kazakhstan. This the famous "Silk Road" between China and Kazakhstan became a bridge of friendship and trade.
The silk, the exhibition will be the focus of Sino-Kazakh cultural cooperation projects, has previously exhibited inside Kazakh capital of Astana month, was warmly welcomed with the residents.
An overall of 145 exhibits the exhibition, throughout the physical, models, drawings and narrative form, described in depth towards the audience erosion from your own home towards the workers and reeling silk mulberry silk fabric from the entire process. The exhibition through reproductions and contemporary good reputation for China silk, silk dress displayed fine Chinese silk background and culture. Based on reports, the exhibition floor, a substantial silk flower machine kind is China Silk Museum, the first time in overseas exhibitions. In addition, the exhibition also shows China's first historical archives in the Qing Dynasty China and Kazakhstan to use the silk trade between the two places the precious artifacts to prove the folks of the Sino-Kazakh friendly exchanges involving the two historical origins.
A good good reputation for Chinese silk culture, as well as exquisite silk products for your local audience amazed. An exclusive vacation to come look at the artist's first exhibition Marina constantly use their cameras recorded every silk boutique, she told reporters that China's silk is actually so beautiful, and I derive a great deal of artistic inspiration.
It really is reported this exhibition are going to be displayed first month in Almaty. The exhibition would be the friendship involving the two peoples and Kazakhstan tied a colorful wreath.