as expected.... LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell to forgo senior season at LSU By MELINDA DESLATTE, Associated Press Writer January 10, 2007 AP - Jan 10, 6:32 pm EST BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell said Wednesday he'll skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft. "It kind of hit me toward the end of the season that I was going to make that jump," Russell said at a news conference. After a standout performance in the Sugar Bowl last week, the 6-foot-6, 257-pound Russell had been expected to declare early for the draft. Russell, a native of Mobile, Ala., threw for 6,525 yards and 52 touchdowns in three seasons with LSU, two as a full-time starter. He threw for 332 yards and two TDs in the Sugar Bowl to help the Tigers (11-2) beat Notre Dame 41-14. Had he stayed, Russell would have been considered a strong Heisman Trophy contender. He also would have been under the oversight of a new offensive coordinator after Jimbo Fisher accepted Florida State's coordinator job. ADVERTISEMENT "We gave him every bit of information that might allow him to choose -- either go or stay," coach Les Miles said. He said he thought Russell and his family made a good decision and predicted Russell could go as high as No. 1 in the draft. Russell, who brought his family to the news conference, said he hadn't yet signed with an agent. When asked what his draft preference was, Russell replied, "Whoever picks first and whoever pays the most." His departure starts a two-man competition to replace him between Matt Flynn, who will be a senior next season, and Ryan Perrilloux, who will be a sophomore. Miles said Flynn had the edge for the job, but he wouldn't decide until after spring practice. Russell faced a Jan. 15 deadline to declare for the draft. USC's Jarrett will enter NFL draft By KEN PETERS, AP Sports Writer January 10, 2007 LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Dwayne Jarrett, the leading receiver in school history, announced Wednesday he will skip his senior season at Southern California to enter the NFL draft. "The biggest thing was the challenge. I'm ready to compete on the next level," Jarrett said at a campus news conference, choking up as he talked about leaving. When he began to sob quietly, his mother, Camille, stepped to the podium and hugged him. "My teammates, without them I couldn't have done any of this," he said. While Jarrett is leaving USC, coach Pete Carroll again insisted that he's staying. Asked if he had closed the door on the possibility of becoming the Miami Dolphins' coach, Carroll said, "Yeah. I thought I said that yesterday. ... I'm not wavering." Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga, in the market for a coach since Nick Saban left to take the Alabama job, had met with Carroll for four hours on Sunday in Costa Rica, where the coach was vacationing. Jarrett, a 6-foot-5, 215-pounder from New Brunswick, N.J., ends his college career with 216 catches for 3,138 yards and a Pac-10-record 41 touchdowns in 38 games. "He knows he has to leave, but he doesn't want to leave," Carroll said. The lanky, sure-handed wide receiver capped his impressive three years at USC by making 11 receptions for 205 yards and two TDs in a 32-18 victory over Michigan in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1. Carroll said Jarrett finished the season with good momentum, and that he is confident he will be picked in the first round of the draft in April. The only question, the coach added, was how high he will go. Camille Jarrett said her son intends to finish his degree in sociology at some point. "Even when he was really young and talked about playing in college and the NFL, we always said that he was going to get his degree," she said. The 21-year-old Jarrett, a two-time first-team All-American, caught 70 passes for 1,015 yards and 12 touchdowns this season despite missing one game and being limited in several others because of an early-season shoulder injury. The Trojans were 11-2 this season and 36-3 during Jarrett's career, which almost ended shortly after it began because of a case of homesickness during his freshman year. But he stuck it out. Jarrett caught 55 passes for 849 yards and 13 touchdowns as a freshman and had 91 receptions for 1,274 yards and 16 TDs as a sophomore. He broke Keary Colbert's school record of 207 receptions, and surpassed Ken Margerum's Pac-10 record of 32 TD catches early in the season. Jarrett finished ninth in the Heisman Trophy voting, and figured to be a leading candidate as a senior had he stayed in school. He faced a Jan. 15 deadline to declare for the draft. Jarrett likely will be the only USC underclassman this year to leave school for the NFL. The Trojans finished No. 4 and figure to be at or near the top of the 2007 preseason rankings. After the 2005 season, USC lost five underclassmen, including Heisman winner Reggie Bush. The previous year, 2004 Heisman winner Matt Leinart considered coming out early, but decided to return for his senior season with the Trojans.