Miami's Gore still aiming high

RB Vernand Morency and NT Gabe Watson are both wisely leaning towards returning for their senior seasons.

Originally Published: December 27, 2004
By Todd McShay | Scouts, Inc.
The count of underclassmen who have officially decided to leave school early for the 2005 NFL draft has reached nine. The only addition from this past week is Temple LB Rian Wallace, who was expected to leave early.

The 6-2, 245-pound linebacker finished with 101 total tackles as a junior this season, but didn't make as many big plays as he had in the past. He notched just 5.5 tackles for loss and zero pass break ups in 2004, compared to the 19.5 TFL and six PBU he posted in 2003.

Wallace played inside linebacker in the Owl's 4-2-5 scheme this season, but he projects as a strongside linebacker in the NFL. Wallace has good size, strength and instincts, and also has adequate straight-line speed. There is a question about how fluid he is in coverage and how well he can change directions in space as a run defender. Wallace has enough upside to come off the board in the third round range, but he'll need to show good athleticism in his postseason workouts in order to secure a spot on the first day.

Todd McShay

ESPN Senior Writer