Miami defensive lineman Gregory Rousseau, the 2019 ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year, is opting out of the 2020 season and pursuing a pro career.
According to Matt Baker of the Tampa Bay Times, Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz was wrapping up a Zoom conference call with reporters on Thursday afternoon when he received the message from Rousseau.
Rousseau is considered a potential top-10 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
"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."
The 6-foot-7, 265-pound lineman led the ACC with 15.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss in 13 games last season as a redshirt freshman.
"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."
Rousseau saw action in two games as a true freshman in 2018 before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.
Rousseau is at least the fourth top-tier college player to sit out the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, along with wide receiver Rashod Bateman of Minnesota, cornerback Caleb Farley of Virginia Tech and linebacker Micah Parsons of Penn State.
--Field Level Media