Underclassmen: News review and updates

As the Thursday deadline approaches for underclassmen entry into next April's NFL Draft, there's been a flurry of activity. Some confirmed news has arrived and a lot of speculation is still flying around. Here's the latest from what we've heard.

Matt Jones /QB/ Arkansas

Even though Arkansas quarterback Matt Jones hasn't closed the door on entering the 2004 NFL Draft, Razorback coach Houston Nutt is "90 percent" certain the junior will return for his senior year.  Nutt said he has spoken with Jones a hopes to have an answer from him in the next few days. 

Kirk Morrison /LB/ San Diego State

Mike Sullivan of the North County Times is reporting that San Diego State linebacker Kirk Morrison will announce Monday whether he will declare for the NFL draft or return for his senior season but says he was "leaning slightly" toward leaving for the draft.  After spending a week at the East-West Shrine Game Morrison claims to have been told he'd be a third round pick should he run in the 4.5 range prior to April.

Antrel Rolle /CB/ Miami

Antrel Rolle announced he will be staying in Coral Gables for his senior season.  As we reported on December 31, Rolle was never given the guarantee he'd be a first round choice which was a major determining factor in his decision.  Rolle publicly stated, "I have decided to remain at the University of Miami for my senior season and work towards getting my degree.  I look forward to providing leadership to the team and am confident we will continue UM's history of excellence."

Devard Darling /WR/ Washington State

After originally stating he would return to Washington State for his senior season, rumors are now swirling in Pullman that the speedy receiver may be changing his mind.  

Andrew Walter /QB/ Arizona State

Arizona State passer Andrew Walter stated he would stay in school after seeking the advice of former Sun Devil receiver Shaun McDonald.  We reported in October after scouting Walter live against North Carolina that the big armed passer was leaning towards entering the draft.  But soon after that Walter sustained an ankle injury which hampered the late part of his season.

Michael Munoz /T/ Tennessee

Tennessee offensive tackle Michael Munoz announced Friday he will remain at Tennessee to play his senior season for the Volunteers.  "I think coming back will give me an opportunity to achieve several goals, both as an individual and as a team that I have yet to accomplish," Munoz said.  "Playing in the SEC championship game, winning a ring and getting Tennessee back into the national championship picture are at the top of that list," he told in a news conference.

Jamaal Brimmer /S/ UNLV

UNLV strong safety Jamaal Brimmer has decided to return for his senior season after toying with the idea of leaving early for the NFL.  "It's not that I didn't feel I wanted to try and I wasn't ready," Brimmer said Friday. "I felt I didn't want to leave the team yet."  Brimmer was the Mountain West Conference's Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore and barely missed winning the award again last year.

News from LSU

A pair of Tigers have stated they will return for their senior seasons.  Defensive end Marcus Spears said earlier this week he will return to Baton Rouge for the 2004 season and now comes word that cornerback Corey Webster will also be coming back.  In another interesting development we have received an unconfirmed report that quarterback Matt Mauck has informed LSU coach Nick Saban that he will enter the draft.  More on the Mauck story as we receive it.

Ronnie Brown and Carnell Williams

Even after speaking with Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville this weekend and speaking amongst themselves, reports are Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown are still trying to decide whether to return to Auburn for the 2004 season or declare for the NFL draft.

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