Jermichael Finley Leaves for NFL

Finley is headed to the NFL (Will Gallager/IT)

Texas sophomore tight end Jermichael Finley is leaving UT for the NFL.

Jermichael Finley is turning pro.

Last week, Texas lost junior running back Jamaal Charles to the NFL. On Monday, Finley informed UT officials that he will also put his name in for 2008 NFL Draft.

In a release from Texas, Finley said:

"The NFL is every football players dream and when my NFL grade came back, it was encouraging and I felt like it was in my best interest to enter the draft. I've worked really hard for three years at Texas to prepare for this and I think I'm ready for the challenge. Coach Chambers and all of the coaches have helped me improve and taught me so much that I can't thank them enough.

"I want to thank Coach Brown for the great opportunity he gave me and everything I learned from him. He's a great man. Playing at Texas was the experience of a lifetime. Austin, the campus, every one in the football program and the fans have all treated me so well. It's a first class place and I'll really miss it. The win in the Holiday Bowl, getting another 10 wins and the team coming together capped off a great experience for me at UT.

"I really enjoyed the opportunity to help out the younger guys, especially Josh Marshall) and Blaine Irby). They're both great guys and will be great players so I look forward to watching them and all of the Longhorns. The future is bright at Texas and I'll always be a Longhorn."

Texas head coach Mack Brown said in a release:

"Jermichael is a great kid who has worked hard to improve in each of his three years with us. He finished his career ranked among the most productive receiving tight ends in school history and handled himself well both on and off the field during his time at Texas. He's leaving in good academic standing and we hope he will come back to finish his degree in the future. We thank him, support him and look forward to following him in the NFL."

This past season, Finley caught 43 passes (No. 2 on UT's single-season tight end list) for 563 yards (No. 3 on UT's single-season tight end list) and two TDs, averaging 13.1 yards per reception. His 74 career receptions for 935 yards put him at No. 4 and 6, respectively on Texas' all-time list for tight ends. The athletic tight end also pulled down five TDs while at Texas.

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