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Miami Hurricanes: Top NFL draft prospect Gregory Rousseau opting out because of coronavirus pandemic

Manny Diaz got the news Thursday afternoon.
Miami defensive lineman Gregory Rousseau (15) celebrates a turnover and wears the turnover chain during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Central Michigan, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Miami defensive lineman Gregory Rousseau (15) celebrates a turnover and wears the turnover chain during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Central Michigan, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson) [ BRYNN ANDERSON | AP ]
Published Aug. 6, 2020
Updated Aug. 6, 2020

One of the state’s best college football players is opting out of the upcoming season.

Miami defensive end Gregory Rousseau won’t be playing this fall, Hurricanes coach Manny Diaz said. Diaz got the news at the end of a Zoom conference with reporters Thursday afternoon.

The 6-foot-7, 265-pound Rousseau is a potential top-10 pick in the next NFL draft. He was an all-ACC player as a redshirt freshman last season, leading the conference with 15 ½ sacks and 19 ½ tackles for a loss.

“We’ve had a great relationship with Greg, discovering him years ago when he was at Champagnat (Catholic),” Diaz said. “Outstanding young man. Want to thank him for everything he’s done for the Miami Hurricanes, and we’re going to support him in every way we can with him looking to achieve his dreams of becoming a great player in the National Football League.”

Related: Miami Hurricanes’ updated football schedule is here

Rousseau becomes the latest top-tier college player to choose to sit out. Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons is among the other newest additions.

“We want what’s best for him,” Diaz said. “If this is what he’s chosen, then we’ll support him. The team, our guys, it’ll be next man up, and our guys will be excited to play.”

Miami still has one of the best edge rushers in college football. Temple transfer Quincy Roche was the AAC’s defensive player of the year last season after racking up 13 sacks and 19 tackles for a loss for the Owls.