Miami RB joins Parrish in leaving early
"I think it's time to move on," Gore said Friday.
He has already signed with agent David Levine.
Roscoe Parrish, Miami's leading receiver this season, made his decision to leave school Thursday.
Miami coach Larry Coker was among those who said Gore's stock would rise considerably if he stayed for 2005. Gore had two major knee injuries in college and was occasionally slowed by knee trouble this season. He still had a team-best 945 yards, capping a career in which he ran for 1,975-yards and 17 touchdowns.
Gore has a 2-year-old son and a mother who is seriously ill with kidney disease, and he wants to begin providing for them. He knows a strong 2005 season would likely translate into a more lucrative NFL contract, while another knee injury would probably end his pro plans.
Ultimately, Gore -- who missed the 2002 season with torn right knee ligaments, then most of the 2003 campaign with a similar injury to his left knee -- opted against taking a risk.
"Me and my mom talked [Thursday] night, and then I just sat down and made my decision," said Gore, who acknowledged that his mother's wish for him to leave school early played a huge role in his choice.
Gore also thanked Coker and other Miami coaches for "not forgetting about me when I got hurt," and said he believed they had his best interests in mind when advising him to stay for the 2005 season.
Nash led the 5-6 Tigers with 792 yards and seven touchdowns this past season.
"I'm excited about the chance to play in the NFL," Nash said. "I've always had that as a dream and I'm looking forward to doing everything I can over the next few months to make it a reality."
Nash ran for 1,254 yards and a 5.0 average in his two-year career, which featured 12 rushing TDs and 36 receptions for 281 yards and two more scores.
"Damien is a very talented football player, and I think he's got the ability to play at the next level," Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. "I always view this as a positive situation, especially when someone looks into it properly and does it the right way."
Tennessee : Free safety Jason Allen has filed for the NFL draft but is leaving his options open, according to a (Nashville) Tennessean report.
Underclassmen have until Jan. 15 to declare for the draft, and they can withdraw their names until Jan. 19 -- provided they don't sign with an agent.
"I haven't signed with an agent, and I'm not going to," Allen told the newspaper. "That way, if I get a different feeling at the last minute, I can back out of it. But I don't expect that to happen."
Allen, a 6-foot-2 200-pounder who led the SEC in tackles this season, told The Tennessean that he got a second-round grade from the NFL draft advisory committee and believes he can improve on that with strong testing sessions.
He moved to free safety this season after playing cornerback as a sophomore and would prefer to play cornerback in the NFL, according to the newspaper.
Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer and defensive coordinator John Chavis still plan to visit Allen at his home in Muscle Shoals, Ala., Saturday, The Tennessean reported.
"I don't know if it's my place to change his mind," Fulmer told the paper. "We're just going to discuss his options. We've done that with all our players."
Information from The Associated Press and SportsTicker was used in this report.
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