Minnesota junior running back Laurence Maroney said after the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl on Friday that he would enter the 2006 NFL Draft.
In a recent chat with SportsNation, Mel Kiper talked about Laurence Maroney's pro prospects.
Jason (Wisconsin): Who do you rate as the top three running backs in college, including underclassmen?
Mel Kiper: Reggie Bush is No. 1, DeAngelo Williams is No. 2 and Laurence Maroney is No. 3.
Maroney carried 26 times for 109 yards as the Gophers lost 34-31 to the Virginia Cavaliers. He ran for 1,464 yards and 10 touchdowns this season.
He was a third-team All-America selection and an All-Big Ten selection, leading the conference in rushing. He finished third nationally with 135.5 yards a game despite missing time with an ankle injury.
The Gophers might have been distracted in what could be coach Glen Mason's final game at Minnesota. He has a year left on his contract, but school officials want to make a decision about next season by Saturday night when they must either terminate his assistants' contracts or see them roll over to 2006.