Gaither to enter supplemental draft

Ineligible for 2007, UM tackle to try NFL

June 29, 2007|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

After two seasons playing for Maryland's football team, offensive lineman Jared Gaither announced his decision to enter the NFL's supplemental draft in July.

Gaither's decision came shortly after being declared academically ineligible for the Terps' 2007 season.

"This was a decision I came to after sitting down with my family and reviewing my academic situation," Gaither said in a statement released yesterday. "I felt my best option now was to enter the supplement draft, though I would like to come back and get my degree."

The rising junior from White Plains and Eleanor Roosevelt High logged 17 starts during his two years in College Park.

But the 6-foot-9, 350-pound tackle couldn't play college football again until the 2008 season.

"It's a decision he's put a lot of thought into," Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said in a statement. "He's expressed a desire to get his degree, but I think the opportunity to make a living and the chance to be successful at the next level was a deciding factor."

Gaither's best season came as a freshman, when he replaced injured veteran left tackle Stephon Heyer and earned third-team freshman All-America recognition from College Football News.

During his sophomore season, he started nine games at right tackle, but his grades suffered enough that he sat through spring practices in hopes of being eligible this fall.

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