|On last day to declare for NFL draft, DeSean Jackson and Reggie Smith go pro|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 15 January 2008 15:08|
Jackson, California's spectacular receiver and punt returner, had an underwhelming junior season as a receiver. Still, his decision to bypass his senior season wasn't a big surprise.
He had 65 receptions for 762 yards and six touchdowns for Cal (7-6) while battling injuries. He returned one punt for a touchdown in the season opener against Tennessee, giving him a Pac-10 record six punt returns for scores in his career.
Jackson had 59 catches for 1,060 yards and nine TDs in 2006. He finished his Cal career third in school history with 2,423 yards receiving and 22 TDs.
Smith, a cornerback who also returns kicks, became the third Sooners junior to declare for the draft. He joins linebacker Curtis Lofton and receiver Malcolm Kelly.
Smith, who missed the Fiesta Bowl with a toe injury, started 13 games in 2007 and was fourth in the team in tackles with 78. He had three interceptions and one fumble recovery, which he returned 61 yards for a touchdown against Miami.
LSU, which has to replace 11 senior starters from the national championship team, got some good news when linebacker Darry Beckwith and defensive end Tyson Jackson announced they would return to school for their senior seasons.
Defensive end Kirston Pittman also might return to the team if the NCAA approves his application for a sixth year of eligibility, coach Les Miles said.
Pittman missed 2005 and 2006 with injuries but took a medical redshirt for only one of them. He started all 14 games this season and finished with team highs of 13 1/2 tackles for losses and eight sacks.
Mirian Segar, LSU's associate athletic director for student services, said it could take three to four weeks for the NCAA to decide Pittman's status once the paperwork has been filed.
Beckwith started 12 games at middle linebacker and made 65 tackles. Jackson had 36 tackles and 3 1/2 sacks.
Tennessee running back Arian Foster also will return for his senior season. He led the Vols with 1,193 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2007. He also caught 39 passes for 340 yards.