Heyward-Bey To Forgo Senior Year
Jan. 7, 2009
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - University of Maryland junior wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey will forgo his final year of eligibility and enter the 2009 NFL Draft.
For Heyward-Bey, an All-American in 2007 and a two-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection, it was tough decision to leave the University.
"After the bowl game I sat down with my mom, my aunt and Coach (Ralph) Friedgen to explore my options and felt like the time is right to take my game to the next level." Heyward-Bey said Wednesday. "It was a very difficult decision. I love the University of Maryland and everything people have done for me the last four years. Not only the coaches, but also the players and support staff.
"It was a great experience. I want to thank the student body, the fans and Coach Friedgen for their support and allowing me this opportunity. I look forward to always being a Terp."
He ends his career as one of the most prolific wideouts in school history. He ranks second in career receiving yards (2,089), third in receptions (138) and tied for third in TD catches (13).
"Darrius has made a tremendous contribution to our program over the last four years," Friedgen said. "He is the kind of young man we want representing the University of Maryland, both on and off the field. We wish him nothing but the best in the NFL."
This past season Heyward-Bey posted team-highs of 42 receptions for 609 yards (14.5 ypc) with five receiving touchdowns en route to honorable mention All-ACC honors. He also ranked third on the team in rushing with 202 yards on 15 carries (13.5 ypr).
He continued to be a big-play threat in 2008, posting three plays in excess of 60 yards.
A native of Silver Spring, Md., Heyward-Bey burst onto the scene in 2006 as redshirt freshman by recording 45 receptions for 694 yards, earning second-team All-ACC honors and first-team freshman All-America accolades from The Sporting News and Rivals.com.
The following year he posted career highs in catches (51) and receiving yards (786) on his way to honorable mention All-America honors from Pro Football Weekly.
The NFL Draft is scheduled for April 25-26. Underclassmen have until Jan. 15 to enter their name in the draft.