Williams & Leinart staying, Tuck goes pro

In a shocking development Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart announced he will be back for his senior season at Southern California and try to lead the Trojans to an unprecedented third straight national championship.

After weeks of speculation Notre Dame defensive end Justin Tuck announced he will enter the NFL Draft while Memphis running back DeAngelo Williams is returning for his senior season.

Even after a poor junior campaign when he struggled with injury, Tuck decided to move his game to the next level.

"After much thought and consideration, I have decided to make myself eligible for selection in the upcoming NFL Draft and will not return to Notre Dame for a fifth season," Tuck said. "The coaching staff at Notre Dame did a great job preparing me for the NFL. Coach Willingham and Coach Mattison, along with the rest of the staff, have been a very positive influence in my personal growth on and off the field. I know that I'm ready to test my skills and meet the challenges of the National Football League. I'd like to thank the Notre Dame community, the students, the faculty, the alumni, and all of my teammates for their outstanding support."

With the skills he's shown in the past rushing the quarterback, Tuck could easily slide into the late part of round one.

Williams announced in a packed room of supporters that he will return to to play his senior season. A key factor in the Tigers second consecutive bowl bid, he has rewritten the rushing records at Memphis.

Charting Williams decision, he was all set to enter the draft until his injury in the GMAC Bowl.  Even after that Williams was interviewing with agents up until the final seconds.  But it was a last minute push by head coach Tommy West, and some sincere opinions from agents who told him staying in school was the best option, which helped Williams make his choice.

Once healthy and ready to go Williams will be one of the top back in the nation this season and a first round pick in April of '06.

In other news defensive tackles Rodrique Wright of Texas and Haloti Ngata of Oregon have signaled they will return for their senior campaigns.  

In a mild surprise, San Diego State linebacker Matt McCoy will enter the draft.



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