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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

McGahee Will Test NFL Draft

January 15, 2003|From Associated Press

Sophomore Willis McGahee, who set Miami records this season with 1,753 yards rushing and 28 touchdowns, decided to forgo his final two seasons of eligibility and make himself available for the NFL draft despite suffering a career-threatening knee injury in the Fiesta Bowl.

McGahee probably will be examined by nearly every NFL team between now and April's draft -- and the results could determine how high he gets selected.

McGahee tore two ligaments in his left knee in the fourth quarter of Miami's 31-24 double overtime loss to Ohio State on Jan. 3.

After surgery last week, doctors were optimistic McGahee would be able to play again.

If McGahee is unable to play again, he would collect on a $2.5-million insurance policy he took out just before the Fiesta Bowl.

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Quarterback Eli Manning said he will return for his senior season at Mississippi instead of making himself available for the draft.

Manning is the Mississippi career leader in yards passing with 6,519 and touchdown passes with 52.

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The latest group of players making themselves available for the draft include Andre Johnson, a junior who led Miami with 1,092 yards receiving; Kelley Washington, who had more than 1,000 yards receiving as a freshman at Tennessee but played in only four games last season before undergoing neck surgery; junior tight end Ben Watson, the third-leading receiver at Georgia last season with 31 catches; Stanford junior offensive tackle Kwame Harris and junior free safety Ken Hamlin, the career leader at Arkansas with 381 tackles.

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Gary DeLoach, 48, defensive coordinator at North Texas the last three years, was hired as secondary coach at UCLA.... Quarterback Adrian McPherson, kicked off the Florida State team in November, has enrolled at Murray (Ky.) State. McPherson faces a charge of grand theft for allegedly stealing a blank check from a business in Florida and the $3,500 he received from it.... Alabama Coach Mike Price hired his son, Eric, as offensive coordinator and receiver coach. Eric Price was a quarterback assistant with the New York Jets since 2001.

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