Jamaal Charles is headed to the NFL.
Seven days after Texas' 52-34 win over Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl, Charles announced that he will forgo his final year of eligibility and enter the 2008 NFL Draft.
In a release, Charles said:
"UT is a wonderful place and everyone has been so good to me. But, playing in the NFL has always been my dream and when the NFL report came back, I was happy with the grade and felt like it was best for me to enter the draft. Now, it's my job to get ready for all of the NFL workouts and make everyone proud. I may be going to the NFL but I'll always be a Longhorn. I'm definitely going to continue working towards my degree. Finishing school is really important to me because I want to have a good life after football."
Charles become just the second player in Texas head coach Mack Brown's tenure to decide to leave early for the NFL, joining former Longhorn teammate Vince Young.
Brown also released a statement, saying:
"We appreciate everything Jamaal has done for Texas and want to wish him all of the best. He has been a great player for us and more importantly a tremendous person, student and representative of our program. We thank him, support him and look forward to following his career in the NFL."
A unanimous first-team All-Big 12 selection, Charles rushed 258 times for 1,619 yards (No. 5 on the UT single-season list) and 18 TDs this season, while catching 17 passes for 199 yards.
Charles finishes his UT career with 533 carries for 3328 yards and 36 touchdowns. His total yardage is No. 4 on the all-time Texas rushing list, behind only Ricky Williams, Cedric Benson and Earl Campbell.