Statements from McCoy and Wannstedt on NFL decision

January, 14, 2009
1/14/09
1:09
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

LeSean McCoy made it official today that he's leaving for the NFL draft. Here are the official statements from the Pitt star and his coach, Dave Wannstedt, about the decision:

McCoy:
"When I signed with Pitt out of prep school, I didn't know what to expect. I just knew in my heart that God had given me a second chance. As a result of a season-ending injury my senior year, I learned a humbling lesson. Nothing is promised to us and it can all be taken away in a moment.
 
"During my two years at Pitt, I have received an overwhelming amount of love and acceptance, starting from my first visit to the university all the way through the end of this season. I have been treated with respect, class and consideration. For that I am incredibly grateful.
 
"Recently there has been a lot of speculation regarding my decision to either stay in school or enter the NFL draft. I have frequently played both choices in my mind. I have considered my alternatives -- and  I have prayed.  I have made my final decision and will forego my junior season at the University of Pittsburgh to enter the NFL draft.
 
"I will always cherish the opportunity Pitt has given me. I wore No. 25 with pride and tried to represent my coaches, teammates, staff and Panther fans with class. I would like to thank everyone involved with the Pitt football program for a wonderful two years in Pittsburgh.
 
"On a personal note to coach Wannstedt: Thank you for your support, guidance and counsel. I take a part of you with me. Although I will be wearing a new jersey next season, I will forever be a Pitt Panther.
 
"One of my goals in coming here was to help my teammates and coaches bring Pitt back to its rightful place among the prominent teams in college football. We made big strides in that journey, and I believe coach Wannstedt, the coaching staff and my teammates will continue that upward climb next season and into the future.
 
"Hail to Pitt!"
Wannstedt:
"Four years ago I had the opportunity to watch a recruiting tape of a Harrisburg kid named LeSean McCoy. His tremendous talent was evident from the very first viewing and I said to our staff 'We have to get him to Pitt.'
 
"Of course, LeSean did end up at Pitt, a decision that has been a wonderful benefit to him, our football program and university.
 
"When you have exceptionally gifted players, you realize the NFL can be a reality sooner rather than later. Certainly that is the case with LeSean and we worked to make sure he had all the information needed to make the best decision about his pro prospects.
 
"LeSean ultimately has decided to enter the draft. While he had said earlier he would be returning to Pitt, I think during the past two weeks he finally had an opportunity to reflect on his opportunities. I know firsthand how enticing the NFL can be for young men, both financially and from the standpoint of realizing a lifelong dream of playing pro football. I told LeSean he would always have our support and we wish him only the very, very best."

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