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Hall of Honor wideout Muhsin Muhammad to announce second round pick

Dan Morgan, Mike Rucker, Muhsin Muhammad, Steve Smith Sr.

CHARLOTTE — Muhsin Muhammad has headed back to Michigan to bring a future Panther home with him.

The Hall of Honor wide receiver will be on the mic tonight at the NFL Draft, announcing the 39th pick in the second round.

He was going to pull double duty tonight before the Panthers traded the 33rd overall choice to Buffalo last night in a deal to move up to get Xavier Legette.

"You don't know if they're going to trade them, or I don't know what's going to happen there," Muhammad said last week. "You know, I just buckle in my seat belt and go along for the ride.

"I got the easy job, which is just calling the name out, making sure I pronounce it right."

The move carries double significance for Muhammad, since he was also a second-rounder of the Panthers in the 1996 draft.

He was born in Lansing, Mich., and starred at Michigan State before coming to the Panthers, and still has family in both Lansing and Detroit.

"So yeah, it should be a friendly crowd for me," Muhammad said. "Hopefully, I don't get booed or anything like that, but it should be a pretty friendly crowd, and it should be pretty exciting to be able to get up there and start this new era with the Panthers."

No one's booing him in Detroit; they're saying "MOOOOOOOSE," just as fans at Bank of America Stadium did so often during his career.

Muhammad was the 43rd overall pick in 1996, in the Panthers' second season.

He caught 860 passes for 11,438 yards and 62 touchdowns in his 14-year career and was inducted into the Hall of Honor last fall.

But the day his name was called, he couldn't have dreamed of any of that unfolding in Charlotte.

"I just remember a nervousness, you know, this anticipation. It's a mix of that along with excitement," Muhammad said. "There's this mystique about it, and then there's the reality of it, and they all collide, and once you hear your name called on TV, and you, you start figuring out where am I going to live, all these things are kind of swirling through your mind. And prior to the draft, I hadn't thought about a lot of it. It just led to some of the unknowns, right?"

He was the ninth receiver taken in his draft, but played in more games than any of the receivers drafted above him (including top overall pick Keyshawn Johnson), and had more catches and yards than any of them other than Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison.

While he cataloged those chosen before him, he said his motivation was internal.

"I was motivated because I wanted to be great at what I did," he said. "I don't want to say I fell into the second round. I think I was supposed to be picked in the second round. And because I was picked in the second round, it did set some expectations for me. And I felt like I wanted to both live up to those expectations, but I wanted to exceed them and I wanted to prove that maybe I should have been a higher pick than that. I wanted to make them have second thoughts and regret it."

Asked about the comparisons to the rest of his class, Muhammad just laughed.

"I'm proud of what I accomplished," he began. "You know, I'll just say that."

View photos of former wide receiver, Muhsin Muhammad at his Hall of Honor photo shoot.

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