USC tailback LenDale White is expected to announce today that he will make himself available for the NFL draft, Coach Pete Carroll said Tuesday night.
"I talked to him. Look for an announcement about his decision, possibly [today]," said Carroll, who declined to comment further.
Sunday is the deadline for declaring for the April draft.
White, who declined to discuss what he will announce, said he has a news conference scheduled at 1:30 p.m. PST in his hometown of Denver to reveal his decision.
"It will be a relief [today] after I do it," White said by phone from Denver late Tuesday.
White, 6 feet 2 and 235 pounds, rushed for 3,159 yards and scored 57 touchdowns in three seasons. He is thought to have improved his draft stock by rushing for 124 yards and three touchdowns in the Rose Bowl against Texas.
"I think he's out of here," tailback Desmond Reed said Monday.
White, who would be considered one of the front-runners to win the Heisman Trophy next season, maintained throughout the season and bowl preparations that he had not made up his mind about whether he would declare for the draft or return for his senior year.
But there were hints that he was leaning toward turning pro.
A few weeks before the Rose Bowl, Carroll conducted a seminar for his players about the advantages, disadvantages and realities of leaving for the NFL before exhausting their eligibility. White did not attend.
White met briefly with Carroll last Thursday, the day after the Rose Bowl, but he had not sought feedback as of Tuesday, Carroll said.
At least one of USC's draft-eligible players, however, will return for his final season. Junior flanker Steve Smith said Tuesday that he wanted to wait to announce his decision, but a source close to the situation said Smith would return in 2006.
On Tuesday, Carroll met on campus with junior offensive lineman Winston Justice and junior safety Darnell Bing.
Justice said he had made a decision but would not announce it until perhaps Sunday. However, after meeting with Carroll and Athletic Director Mike Garrett, he said his decision could change.
Bing said he had hoped to decide by Tuesday, but "would have to wait it out." Bing said the process was "not fun at all," and that he was not leaning one way or the other.
Carroll said he spoke again Tuesday with Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush, who is regarded as a potential top pick in the draft and is expected to announce that he will turn pro. Carroll met with Bush and agent David Dunn on Monday. Carroll said he had been in on meetings between Bush and four agents, but the junior running back has not asked his advice on choosing a representative.
"I just try to be there to support him and make sure that the information is coming across really clear," Carroll said.
Defensive lineman Walker Lee Ashley, who signed a letter of intent in 2005 but did not qualify for admission, said he was enrolled in classes. "It feels good," Ashley said. "I'm ready to get started."