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January 15, 2006Sunday is the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NFL draft and several Trojans are taking that option and leaving school. Running backs LenDale White and Reggie Bush have already made their official announcements and they were joined by guard Fred Matua over the weekend. White and Bush are expected to be first round picks while the jury is still out on where Matua would be selected.
Offensive line coach Pat Ruel was unhappy with some of the agents talking with players and trying to convince them to turn pro. This appeared to be the case with Matua, who will not be a high pick, but decided to at least get a paycheck and help out his family.
Matua has hired an agent already, Stephen Feldman, and has submitted his paperwork to the NFL.
Matua was a 2nd team All-Pac-10 selection and could be selected as high as the 4th round.
Matua's teammate on the line Winston Justice has also submitted his paperwork and will opt for the professional football route as well.
According to Scott Wolf of the LA Daily News, Justice made the decision to turn pro but has not officially announced yet.
Justice will certainly be a much higher pick than Matua, and his situation is much more understandable. He has an NFL body and should be a freak at the combines.
The NFL will not release the names of the underclassmen until Wednesday and until that time players are allowed to change their minds and stay in school.
Safety Darnell Bing sold SID Tim Tessalone that he would also leave for the NFL. He is expected to make things official on Monday.
Mississippi State NEWS