Mountaineers' WR depth likely hurt by Reynaud's NFL draft choice

Updated: January 10, 2008, 9:00 PM ET
Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Darius Reynaud will forgo his final year of eligibility at West Virginia and enter the NFL draft, The Associated Press learned Thursday.

A person in the Mountaineers athletic department confirmed Reynaud's departure. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the school had not yet made an announcement.

The 5-foot-10 Reynaud was the top receiving threat in West Virginia's run-oriented spread offense. He had 733 yards receiving this season and scored two touchdowns in a 48-28 Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma, helping the Mountaineers (11-2) finish the season ranked No. 6 in the country.

His 64 catches tied for the fourth-most in a season in school history and his 12 TD catches matched Chris Henry's school record set in 2004. Reynaud was named to the all-Big East second team for a second straight season. He finished in the top 10 in school history in kickoff return yards and all-purpose yards.

Reynaud said after the Fiesta Bowl he was struggling with his decision.

Quarterback Pat White will again be the foundation of West Virginia's offense next season under the direction of new coach Bill Stewart, who took over after Rich Rodriguez left for Michigan on Dec. 16.

Reynaud submitted paperwork to the NFL's draft advisory committee last month and his projection in April's draft wasn't immediately known. Stewart didn't return a telephone message Thursday.

A senior who is expected to graduate in May and earn eligibility for a fifth season, Reynaud and his longtime girlfriend have a 2-year-old daughter.

Reynaud's departure leaves the Mountaineers with a big need at wide receiver. No other WVU player had more than one TD catch this season and running back Steve Slaton, who has yet to announce his decision for next fall, was the second-leading receiver with 26 catches for 350 yards. Wide receiver Dorrell Jalloh was third with 24 catches for 272 yards.

Reynaud is the second WVU player to declare for the NFL draft. Defensive end Johnny Dingle, a senior, said last month he would give up the extra year of eligibility he'll earn by graduating.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press