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BING HAS REASON TO CELEBRATE TROJANS DB IS DRAFTED BY OAKLAND.

Byline: MATTHEW KREDELL Staff Writer

Darnell Bing followed through with plans to go out and celebrate with family and friends at a Long Beach sports bar Saturday night, even though there was nothing to be happy about.

After thinking he would be drafted in the late first or early second round, the USC safety was not selected during the first day of the NFL draft.

Bing took the disappointment in stride, figuring there was no reason to stop the celebration since he knew his NFL dreams were going to come true at some point.

The Oakland Raiders made that dream come true Sunday, drafting Bing with the fourth pick in the fourth round, 101st overall.

"I would say it was pretty shocking," Bing said of falling to the second day. "I was sitting there watching everyone's name go by. I have no idea what happened. Now I have to be satisfied with this situation and make things happen for myself."

Bing was glad to be chosen by Oakland, which is close enough that his family can go to games. The Raiders, who chose Texas safety Michael Huff in the first round, plan to move Bing to outside linebacker.

"Someone told me my hitting will fit right in with the Oakland Raiders because they have that nasty style," Bing said.

Bing might have cost himself a lot of money by deciding to forgo his final year of eligibility. Teams seemed to label him as a 'tweener, not good enough in coverage for safety or big enough for linebacker.

The Raiders want him to add 10 pounds to his 6-foot-2, 227-pound frame.

"I really don't regret it," Bing said of coming out early. "I think everything will work out for me. I'm pleased with the situation I'm in, and the choice I made."

Bing was one of four Trojans selected Sunday, bringing USC's total for the draft to 11, the most by the team since the draft was limited to seven rounds in 1994.

David Kirtman, tired of watching the draft, took his nephew to the mall when he got a phone call from Seattle telling him the Seahawks were taking him with the 31st pick in the fifth round. The fullback went to high school in Mercer Island, Wash., just across Lake Washington from Seattle.

"I always hoped that Seattle would take me," Kirtman said. "I've been a huge Seahawks fan since high school."

Other Trojans drafted were defensive tackle LaJuan Ramsey, in the sixth round by Philadelphia, and guard Fred Matua, in the seventh by Detroit.

UCLA safety Jarrad Page went to Kansas City in the seventh round, giving the Bruins three draft picks. Four Bruins signed free-agent contracts: quarterback Drew Olson with Baltimore, linebacker Spencer Havner with Washington, offensive lineman Ed Blanton with the New York Jets, and cornerback Marcus Cassell with Carolina.

Fresno State safety Tyrone Culver became the second Palmdale High product drafted when he was taken in the sixth round by Green Bay. He joined Derek Hagan, who went in the third round.

Morehouse College running back John David Washington (Campbell Hall High of North Hollywood), the son of actor Denzel Washington, signed as an undrafted free agent with St. Louis.

matthew.kredell@dailynews.com

(818) 713-3607

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Bing defensive back Darnell Bing, who thought he would be selected in the first or second round of the NFL draft, was picked in the fourth round by Oakland Raiders.

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

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NFL DRAFT GRADES

- Matt Kredell
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 1, 2006
Words:586
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