Marquess Wilson, whose career at Washington State came to a controversial end, has elected to take aim at the NFL.
Darren Bennett, Wilson’s high school coach in Tulare, Calif., said Wednesday that Wilson told him he has signed with an agent and is training in Florida. Signing with an agent ends an athlete’s college eligibility.
Bennett said he “absolutely” believes Wilson might have cost himself millions of dollars by leaving college before his senior season. CBSSports.com ranks Wilson as the 22nd-best wide receiver prospect for this year’s NFL draft and 187th overall. That would put him in the fifth of seven rounds.
Bennett said Fresno State was prepared to offer Wilson a scholarship. Bennett said he believes the 6-foot-3, 188-pound Wilson would have benefited from using a redshirt year next season (because of NCAA transfer rules) and his senior season to add weight and strength.
Never miss a local story.
“I wish the best for him, and I want him to be successful,” Bennett said by phone from Tulare. “I just worry … (that turning pro now is) not the best decision.”
Wilson, who holds WSU’s single-season and career receiving records, clashed with the new coaching staff and quit the Cougars with three games remaining in the 2012 season.
He publicly claimed WSU coaches were guilty of “abuse” in dealing with players. He quickly recanted, and WSU and Pacific-12 Conference probes concluded that no abuse took place.
Wilson has ignored repeated interview requests.
REDSKINS’ GRIFFIN UNDERGOES SURGERY
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III had two knee ligaments surgically repaired – including a reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament and a repair of a tear in the lateral collateral ligament – the result of a gruesome knee injury he suffered during Sunday’s playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
The injury puts the availability of Griffin in doubt for the start of next season and raises questions whether his dynamic style of play can – or should – be continued when he returns.
It was the second time Griffin’s ACL has had to be reconstructed; the first was when he was at Baylor in 2009.
It is unclear how long his recovery will take, but the tear in the LCL is considered by doctors to be a serious complication that could extend the time frame for his return well past the start of the 2013 season.
EAGLES INTERVIEW NOTRE DAME’S KELLY
The Philadelphia Eagles interviewed Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly for their coaching vacancy, a person familiar with the meeting said.
Kelly was the third college coach Philadelphia interviewed since firing Andy Reid on Dec. 31.
Penn State’s Bill O’Brien and Oregon’s Chip Kelly interviewed with the Eagles last week but chose to stay at their schools.
The Eagles have interviewed six candidates and plan to meet with four others.
News of the interview came two days after Notre Dame lost to Alabama in the BCS championship game, a 42-14 Tide blowout that was a sour ending to the Fighting Irish’s season. Kelly’s team entered the game 12-0.
In other coaching news:
• New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton signed a five-year contract extension that will run through the 2017 season. He had had agreed to the deal in principle on Dec. 29.
• The Cleveland Browns interviewed Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski for their vacant head coach position. Chudzinski, 44, has had two stints as an assistant coach with Cleveland.
Packers wide receivers Jordy Nelson (ankle) and Randall Cobb (flu) are expected to be ready for Saturday’s NFC divisional playoff game against San Francisco despite missing practice Wednesday. … The Chargers hired Tom Telesco, the vice president of football operations for the Colts, to be their general manager. … The Panthers hired Giants senior pro personnel analyst David Gettleman as their new general manager.
Howie Stalwick, contributing writer