Terps tight end Davis to declare for NFL draft

Updated: January 3, 2006, 4:17 PM ET
Associated Press

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Maryland tight end Vernon Davis will skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft.

"Maryland was a great place for me, a large part of my success and ability to make the decision to leave early," Davis said Tuesday. "I came a long way since I stepped in the door and I will always have good memories of my time as a Terp."

Davis led Atlantic Coast Conference tight ends with 51 receptions in 2005. His 871 receiving was the fifth-best in school history, and he scored six touchdowns.

He's the third Maryland football player in the last three years to leave early for the draft, joining defensive tackle Randy Starks and linebacker Shawne Merriman.

Davis participated in the evaluation service offered to underclass players by the NFL, in which personnel directors and scouts make an assessments of potential draft status. The committee's recommendation was that Davis figures to be a first-round selection.

"He is the best player I have had the privilege to coach," tight ends coach Ray Rychleski said. "We would have loved to have him for another year, but I understand why he is going and we wish him the best."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press