Marshall defensive end Vinny Curry is considering skipping his senior year at Marshall and entering the NFL draft, the Gazette learned Sunday afternoon.
West Virginia safety Robert Sands has already made up his mind, and plans to forego his senior season in Morgantown and declare for the draft.
Curry, among the nation's leaders in sacks and tackles for loss, has asked the league for an assessment of his estimated draft value. He planned to discuss the situation with Thundering Herd coach Doc Holliday and make his plans public today.
The 6-foot-5, 242-pound native of Neptune, N.J., has not signed with an agent, so his options remain open until Saturday, the NFL's deadline for early entry.
Curry sat out 2007 as a nonqualifier, and then gained eligibility and joined the Herd program the next year. His potential was apparent from the beginning, with 2006 Conference USA defensive player of the year Albert McClellan expecting him to turn out even better.
Should he stay, he could begin the 2011 season as the C-USA preseason player of the year, or pretty close to it. And that may be the best decision, barring other factors such as family hardship or classroom performance.
For one thing, prospects for the '11 NFL season remain uncertain as players and owners joust over a new collective bargaining agreement. It's unlikely that rookies, or much of anybody else, will get paid in the event of a lockout.
Second, NFL draft analysts haven't exactly put Curry on their radar. For example, Mel Kiper lists the top five seniors and non-seniors at defensive end, and Curry did not make the latter list.
Curry finished fifth in the nation in sacks with 12, exactly one per game, and was 13th in tackles for loss with 18, or 1.5 per game. He also broke up three passes, forced two fumbles and had 16 quarterback hurries, along with 94 total tackles.