Miami (FL) is expected to have one of the top defenses in the country in 2020. If that comes to fruition, they'll have to do it without one of its top stars. Redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Gregory Rousseau told coach Manny Diaz on Thursday that he will opt out of the 2020 college football season and prepare for the NFL Draft.
Diaz found out about Rousseau's decision in a message he received while on a Zoom press conference with local beat reporters, according to Matt Baker of the Tampa Bay Times.
Rousseau, a 6-foot-7, 265-pounder from Coconut Creek, Florida, led the ACC in tackles for loss (19.5) and sacks (15.5) despite starting in just seven of his 13 games for the Hurricanes last year. He finished second in the country in sacks behind former Ohio State star Chase Young (16.5). Rousseau was named the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year and made the first-team All-ACC team. His best game came against Florida State where he racked up four sacks and five tackles for loss.
The decision to forgo his redshirt sophomore season and prepare for the NFL Draft isn't much of a risk. Rousseau was projected as the No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft by CBS Sports writer Tom Fornelli, and is considered a potential top-five pick by the rest of our experts at CBS Sports.
Rousseau developed into a star even though he wasn't a top-tier recruit coming out of Champagnat Catholic High School. He was a three-star prospect and ranked No. 485 in the country in the Class of 2018.