Rice set Gamecocks' career touchdown reception mark

Updated: January 8, 2007, 7:06 PM ET
Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Sophomore Sidney Rice, South Carolina's career leader in touchdown receptions, is giving up his final two seasons to enter the NFL draft.

Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier confirmed through a spokesman Sunday that Rice would go pro.

Spurrier was "disappointed and wished [Rice] would've stayed around another year," spokesman Steve Fink said.

In two seasons, Rice caught 23 TDs to set the school's career mark. With 1,090 yards receiving this year, Rice became the first South Carolina wideout to break the 1,000-yard mark twice in his career. The only other 1,000-yard season in Gamecock history was by former Green Bay Packers star Sterling Sharpe.

Rice had 11 100-yard games, also a school career record.

He caught 72 passes this year and leaves sixth all-time on the school list with 142 receptions.

Underclassmen had until Jan. 15 to declare for the draft. Rice has until Jan. 20 to withdraw his name from consideration and return to school.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press