Miami running back Frank Gore is skipping his senior season and will enter the NFL draft, becoming the second Hurricane in as many days to make that jump.
“I think it’s time to move on,” Gore said Friday.
He has already signed with agent David Levine.
Miami coach Larry Coker was among those who said Gore’s stock would considerably rise if he stayed for 2005. Gore had two major knee injuries in college, and was occasionally slowed by knee trouble this season. He still had a team-best 945 yards, capping a career in which he ran for 1,975-yards and 17 touchdowns.
Gore has a 2-year-old son and a mother who is seriously ill with kidney disease, and he wants to begin providing for them. He knows a strong 2005 season would likely translate into a more lucrative NFL contract, while another knee injury would probably end his pro plans.
Ultimately, Gore — who missed the 2002 season with torn right knee ligaments, then most of the 2003 campaign with a similar injury to his left knee — opted against taking a risk.
“Me and my mom talked (Thursday) night, and then I just sat down and made my decision,” said Gore, who acknowledged that his mother’s wish for him to leave school early played a huge role in his choice.
Gore also thanked Coker and other Miami coaches for “not forgetting about me when I got hurt,” and said he believed they had his best interests in mind when advising him to stay for the 2005 season.
Gore becomes the 10th Miami player to leave school early for the draft in the last four seasons.
Miami has produced 40 first-round draft selections since 1987, the most of any school. There were a record six Hurricanes chosen in the opening round of last year’s draft.