SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) Syracuse offensive tackle Justin Pugh is forgoing his final year of eligibility to enter the NFL draft.
A three-time All-Big East selection, Pugh posted his decision on Twitter and the university followed with a press release late Thursday. He said media reports that Orange head coach Doug Marrone was a candidate for a head coaching job in the NFL did not affect his decision.
Pugh missed the first four games of the 2012 season recovering from shoulder surgery, but the Orange won six of their final eight games after his return, capping an 8-5 season with a victory over West Virginia in the Pinstripe Bowl.
Pugh, who has already completed requirements for a degree in finance, is ranked as one of the top offensive tackles entering the draft.