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William Penn's Stokes is 'Mr. Irrelevant'

Andy Stokes didn't intend to be "Mr. Irrelevant," but somebody had to descend to No.

BOSTON (April 24, 2005) -- Andy Stokes didn't intend to be "Mr. Irrelevant," but somebody had to descend to No. 255.

The William Penn tight end was the final pick of the NFL draft, selected by the two-time defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.

Stokes will be center stage at the 30th annual Mr. Irrelevant Week, a bash starting June 20 at Newport Beach, Calif. He'll attend banquets, take part in a parade and get the Lowsman Trophy, the Mr. Irrelevant Week's answer to the Heisman Trophy.

It was a long wait for Stokes, who finished with 42 receptions for 753 yards at William Penn, an NAIA school in Oskaloosa, Iowa, with an enrollment of less than 1,500 students.

He's just happy to have a chance to earn a roster spot with New England.

"I'm excited for that," Stokes said. "I think I have to come in there as if I was a free agent, and I have to really impress them."

The St. George, Utah, native was a quarterback in high school before moving to tight end.

"(He's) kind of the all-time, small-school pick that I think we've had," New England coach Bill Belichick said. "He's an athletic guy, a guy that we see a lot of upside potential with. He's a smart, hard-working kid."

Paul Salata, who founded the "Mr. Irrelevant" award in 1976, announced Stokes' selection in New York. The University of Dayton's Kelvin Kirk earned the first distinction.

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