Pitt's McCoy could change mind

Updated: January 9, 2009, 6:46 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh running back LeSean McCoy did not attend a post-bowl team meeting Thursday, possibly indicating that he may change his mind and declare for the NFL draft.

[+] EnlargeLeSean McCoy
Charles LeClaire/Getty ImagesLeSean McCoy had said he would return to Pitt for his junior season.
McCoy and his family met with coach Dave Wannstedt on Friday afternoon. McCoy told Wannstedt he'd take the weekend to finalize his decision about entering the NFL draft, a source told ESPN's Joe Schad.

McCoy, coming off the best freshman and sophomore seasons by any Pitt running back, said in late November he would return for his junior season.

McCoy has received information from the NFL draft advisory committee that has prompted him to reconsider his original stated desire to return to Pitt.

As late as Monday, Wannstedt said McCoy told him after the Panthers' 3-0 loss to Oregon State in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 31 that he wasn't turning pro.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Wannstedt said earlier this week in his postseason news conference that he spoke to McCoy and his family and "LeSean believes, and his mom and dad believe, that he's excited about being here and we all believe that this next year will do nothing but enhance his opportunities for the National Football League."

If McCoy leaves for the pros, he would follow the path of former Heisman Trophy runner-up Larry Fitzgerald, the Arizona Cardinals wide receiver who spent only two seasons at Pitt before turning pro.

McCoy, from Harrisburg, rushed for 1,488 yards and 21 touchdowns this season and 2,816 yards and 35 TDs the past two seasons. Former Heisman Trophy winner Tony Dorsett ran for 2,690 yards in his first two Pitt seasons.

If McCoy wants to enter the April 25-26 draft, he must file an application by Jan. 15. Because he spent the 2006 season at a prep school, he would be eligible for the draft.

According to the Post-Gazette, Wannstedt said he's been told McCoy would be a "late first- to early second-round" draft pick.

Before Pitt beat rival West Virginia in November, McCoy said: "There's a lot of stuff I've got to prove. I don't think I did enough here at this university. There's a lot left to achieve."

Various scouts estimate that McCoy would be a mid first-round to an early second-round draft pick.

ESPN college football reporter Joe Schad and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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