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Pitt's McCoy puts decision to go pro on hold

| Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009

After what was described as an emotional meeting with Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt Friday, Panthers star tailback LeSean McCoy is delaying his decision on whether to declare for the NFL Draft.

McCoy's parents, Ron and Daphne, and brother, LeRon, accompanied him to the meeting at Pitt's Duratz Athletic Complex on the South Side. Afterward, LeRon McCoy said his brother was overwhelmed by the gravity of the decision and will wait until next week to make up his mind.

"We had a great meeting, and coach Wannstedt put the options on the table," said LeRon McCoy, who has spent three seasons in the NFL as a wide receiver. "LeSean is going to take some time to think about what he wants to do. It's a very hard decision."

The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NFL Draft is Jan. 15.

Wannstedt did not return phone calls from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review seeking comment, but told that the meeting lasted a couple of hours.

"I tried to present him with facts and truth more than anything else; he's going to go home, sleep on it over the weekend, and we plan on talking Monday and I think he'll have a decision, a definite decision, the first of next week," Wannstedt said. "I think that we left it at 'Go home and sleep on it. Think about the pros and cons of coming back; think of the pros and cons of leaving.' He's got to make a decision in his heart what he wants to do."

Two McCoy family members told the Pittsburgh Trib Thursday that the two-time, first-team All-Big East selection - who rushed for 1,488 yards and 21 touchdowns on 308 carries this past season - would bypass his final two seasons of eligibility to turn professional.

Leaving early
A look at where Pitt players who entered the NFL Draft with eligibility remaining since 1990 were selected:
Player Position Year Round No. Team
Darrelle Revis CB 2007 1st 14th N.Y. Jets
Greg Lee WR 2005 Undrafted/free agent
Larry Fitzgerald WR 2004 1st 3rd Arizona
Antonio Bryant WR 2002 2nd 63rd Dallas
Ramon Walker DB 2002 5th 153rd Houston
Curtis Martin RB 1995 3rd 74th New England
Sean Gilbert DL 1992 1st 3rd St. Louis
Keith Hamilton DL 1992 4th 99th N.Y. Giants
Curvin Richards RB 1991 4th 97th Dallas

LeRon McCoy said Wannstedt laid out the facts, as well as the pros and cons, of going pro but did not try to persuade the McCoys one way or the other. Wannstedt coached 16 seasons in the NFL, including head-coaching stints with the Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins.

"Coach Wannstedt is very supportive of LeSean in everything he does," LeRon McCoy said. "It's more about what he thinks is the best option for him. LeSean wants to make sure his decision is the right one.

"He's going to use the time available to do that."

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