WVU, Clemson CBs also heading for draft

Updated: January 7, 2005, 8:31 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Miami: Wide receiver Roscoe Parrish will skip his senior season and enter this year's NFL draft, according to his new agent, Drew Rosenhaus, who said Parrish will hold a news conference Thursday to announce the decision formally.

Parrish was Miami's top receiver this season, catching 43 passes for 693 yards. He also averaged 16.2 yards per punt return, running two back for touchdowns. One was in the Hurricanes' 27-10 Peach Bowl victory over Florida on Dec. 31.

He was named the co-MVP of that game.

The 5-foot-9, 172-pound Miami native was the first player offered a scholarship by Larry Coker after Coker's promotion to head coach four years ago.

Parrish is the fourth Miami player to declare early for the draft in the past two seasons. Sean Taylor, Kellen Winslow and Vince Wilfork were first-round picks in 2004.

Georgia: Middle linebacker Odell Thurman has signed with a sports management agency and has formally declared he will forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

"That definitely is the plan," the paper quoted Thurman's uncle, Danny Thurman, as saying.

ESPN.com's John Clayton reported Wednesday that Thurman was planning to go pro because of economic pressures.

Thurman hired Atlanta-based STL Sports Management to represent him in contract negotiations. According to agency head Safarrah Lawson, Thurman could be selected anywhere from the late first round to the second round depending on how he performs at pre-draft workouts.

Thurman, an all-SEC selection the past two seasons, was suspended for the first three games of this season for violating team rules. The junior finished with 65 tackles, a significant drop from his sophomore season, when he finished 111 regular-season tackles.

Danny Thurman and Lawson said Thurman decided to go pro so he could provide financially for his family, which includes five brothers, his child and another child due this spring.

Thurman joins All-America junior safety Thomas Davis, who hired Atlanta-based agent Tood France, in declaring for the draft. Junior defensive tackle Gerald Anderson is also contemplating going pro, as is junior guard Max Jean-Gilles, but his wife says he is leaning toward returning for his senior season.

Oregon State: Brandon Browner, a cornerback whose combination of size and speed could make him a first-round pick, has decided to leave Oregon State, the university announced late Thursday.

Browner, a 6-foot-4 sophomore, is eligible for the draft because he redshirted in 2002. In a statement, the school said it did not know if he has hired an agent.

Browner started all 23 games in his Oregon State career. As a redshirt freshman in 2003, he intercepted six passes and was named the Pac-10 freshman of the year.

Browner earned honorable mention all-conference honors this season after entering the year as a candidate for the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation's top defensive back.

"I'm disappointed I won't have the opportunity to coach Brandon for a year or two more," head coach Mike Riley said in a statement. "This does, however, open up an opportunity for someone else to step up and make an immediate contribution."

Browner's apparent decision to turn professional is a sharp turn from comments he made to The Oregonian newspaper last month. As the Beavers practiced for their Insight Bowl game against Notre Dame, Browner said the draft was tempting but he was staying in Corvallis for at least his junior season.

"They say this year's class is pretty weak, so it would be a good opportunity," Browner said. "But at the same time, I have a fellowship with my teammates here. I feel like I ould be letting them down."

Oregon State will open the 2005 season with three new starters in the defensive secondary. The last time the team did not return at least two starters in the defensive backfield was in 1989.

West Virginia: Cornerback and return specialist Adam "Pac Man" Jones said Wednesday that he will forgo his remaining eligibility to turn pro.

Jones, the Big East's special teams player of the year, led the Mountaineers in tackles this season and had three interceptions. He said preliminary paperwork returned to him Monday grades him as a potential first-round pick.

Underclassmen have until Jan. 15 to declare for draft and have until Jan. 19 to withdraw their names.

Clemson: Cornerback Justin Miller said he will forgo his remaining eligibility to turn pro.

Miller, a three-year starter, is the Atlantic Coast Conference's career leader in kickoff return average. This season, he returned three kicks for touchdowns, including a kickoff against Florida State and a punt against Wake Forest.

"He made a great contribution to our program as a defensive back and as the best kick returner I have ever coached. Some of his records will be hard to break," Tigers coach Tommy Bowden said.

Nebraska: Cornerback Fabian Washington will skip his senior season, the school officially announced this week. The junior told the Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star on Sunday that he would make that move.

Washington told the newspaper that it would be hard to leave his "good friends" behind but that his family is "not in the best situation financially." He has retained agent Brian Mackler, according to the Journal Star.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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