Hurricanes running back Lamar Miller will forego his remaining two years of eligibliity and make himself available for April’s NFL Draft. CBSSports.com’s Bruce Feldman first reported the story, which has since been confirmed by UM.
The move comes as no surprise following a standout year in which Miller posted the third most single-season rushing yards in school history with 1,272 yards. He posted seven 100-yard rushing performances, which is tied for third in school history with Edgerrin James (1998). At one point Miller cracked the top five nationally in rushing yards per game.
As for Miller’s draft stock, many consider him the second best draft eligible running back behind Alabama’s Trent Richardson. WalterFootball.com ranks him second behind Richardson, and ESPN’s Todd McShay has Miller in his Top 32.
Mock draft-wise, Miller has been projected as a mid-to-late first rounder, which, if the projections are correct, would restart Miami’s first-round pick streak that ended in 2008 after 14 seasons. Warren Sapp started the streak when he was selected 12th overall in 1995; the streak ended with Kenny Phillips, who was selected 31st overall in 2008.
It’s no guarantee that Miller will be selected in the first round–players’ draft stocks go up and down throughout the months-long process–but Miller seems to stand the best chance of any Hurricane in recent memory. Leonard Hankerson, Brandon Harris, Orlando Franklin, and Allen Bailey each received potential first-round grades at varying points last year; Franklin was the first Hurricane selected when the Denver Broncos took him in the second round 46th overall.
Miller joins wide receiver Tommy Streeter and defensive tackle Marcus Forston in declaring early for the NFL Draft.