|(AP Photo/John Bazemore)|
ATLANTA (Jan. 7) – Georgia Tech junior split end Dez White announced Friday that he will forego his senior season with the Yellow Jackets and make himself eligible for the National Football League draft in April.
The 6-1, 219-pound receiver from Orange Park, Fla., finished his Tech career Jan. 1 in his hometown with eight catches for 100 yards in the 2000 Toyota Gator Bowl in Jacksonville.
“Dez and his mother have done their homework, and they feel there is a good opportunity for Dez to come out for the draft this year,” said Tech head coach George OLeary. “I wish him and his family all the best and hope everything works out for him. Dez has done great things for Georgia Tech and our program, and his family has been solid behind us.”
White finished the 1999 season with 44 receptions for 860 yards, an ACC-best 19.6-yards-per-catch average, and five touchdowns. He also ranked third in the ACC and 17th nationally with 146.9 yards per game in all-purpose yardage. Last season, he ranked 27th nationally in kickoff returns (23.8 yards per return) and also lined up in the back field on many occasions, running the ball 11 times for 67 yards.
“We (Dez and his mother, Desiree Allen) got advice from some key people to see where I might go in the draft, and we decided it was best to do this now,” said White, whose Tech team loses all-America quarterback Joe Hamilton and receivers coach, Stan Hixon, who is now assistant head coach at LSU.
“I thought a lot about our team coming back next year and how it might help or hurt my standing with the draft. Coach Hixon left, and Joe wont be here, and they are two of the biggest reasons for my success at Tech. Its been a great career, with three bowl games and a co-ACC championship.”
White concludes his three-year tenure on the Flats tied for the Tech record in career touchdown catches with 14, and he ranks second in receiving yards (1,833) and ninth in receptions (90). He has returned more kickoffs (69) for more yards (1,701) than any player in Tech history except Drew Hill, with a career average of 24.7 yards per return.
He made the all-Atlantic Coast Conference second team twice and was the co-MVP of the 1999 Gator Bowl with quarterback Joe Hamilton.