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Inside dish: Staying power/Sporting News


Never Forget 31-0
<TABLE class=bdy cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=770 border=0><TBODY><TR vAlign=top><TD>Inside dish: Staying power
<TABLE cellSpacing=2 cellPadding=0 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD>Story Tools: </TD><TD>
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<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=440 border=0><TBODY><TR vAlign=top><TD>Matt Hayes /
<!-- Meta Tag For Search --><!-- meta name="author" content="Matt Hayes"--><!-- meta name="source" content="SportingNews"--><!-- meta name="eventId" content=""--><!-- meta name="contentTypeCode" content="1"--><!-- meta name="editorContentCode" content="15"--><!-- meta name="blurb" content="It's becoming a trend. Players are staying in school for their senior year. Matt Hayes runs down the top five returnees (besides Matt Leinart)."--><!-- meta name="modDate" content="January 26, 2005 19:23:43 GMT"-->Posted: 19 hours ago<SCRIPT> // front-end hack to remove postedTime from Rumors page until a better way can be determined if (document.URL.indexOf("/name/FS/rumors") != -1) document.getElementById("postedTime").style.display = 'none'; </SCRIPT> </TD><TD width=10> </TD><TD align=right><!--this is for sponsorships or brandings--><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" align=right border=0><TBODY><TR><TD><!-- workingCategoryId: 24--></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
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<!-- esi: /widget/story/videoAndPhotoGallery?contentId=3346840-->Southern California quarterback Matt Leinart's decision to return for his senior season shocked many, even though it has become a trend. For the most part, players who have stayed for their final seasons raised their NFL stocks--from Peyton Manning to Roy Williams to David Pollack.

The top five players, besides Leinart, who spurned the draft and what they must do to increase their draft status:

QB Omar Jacobs, Bowling Green. He has played only one season, yet he already is being compared to Byron Leftwich. Another big season could vault him past Leinart.

LB A.J. Hawk, Ohio State. Hawk wants to improve his pass-rushing ability. He could move into the top 10, maybe the top five, draft picks with a big senior season.

RB DeAngelo Williams, Memphis. He needs a year to get stronger. One NFL scout compares him to former Mississippi star John Avery, who didn't last long in the NFL because he couldn't take the pounding.

DT Rodrique Wright, Texas. The concern: He gets lost in games. He has unlimited potential but must prove he can play with consistency. DE Mathias Kiwanuka, Boston College. He must improve his upper-body strength and pass-rushing technique. He could develop into a top 10 pick.


Hawk should be the favorite for the Butkus Award.
Hawks' interception last year was such a snap-shot of his true athleticism and his tough play when the defense stuggled shows his true character. I feel next year Hawk will blossom as the main leader for 05's team. IMO
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