SALT LAKE CITY, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Utah quarterback Alex Smith announced Tuesday he will declare for the NFL draft, joining other stars who plan to leave school early for a pro career.
Smith, a junior and a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, was the latest of a number of players who have announced they will skip their senior seasons in the fall of 2005.
The Utah star threw for 2,952 yards and 32 touchdowns with four interceptions while leading the Utes to a perfect 12-0 season.
"After weeks of evaluating future opportunities with my family, I have decided the best decision for me is to forgo my senior year at Utah and declare myself eligible for the 2005 NFL draft," Smith said.
Others who have declared include quarterback Aaron Rodgers of California, wide receivers Chris Henry of West Virginia and Troy Williamson of South Carolina and running backs Ciatrick Fason of Florida, Ryan Moats of Louisiana Tech, Marion Barber of Minnesota and Verland Morency of Oklahoma State.