Originally created 01/08/01

Michigan cornerback enters NFL draft



EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State senior cornerback Renaldo Hill is passing up a chance for a fifth year of eligibility to enter the NFL draft.

Hill, a three-year starter, could have petitioned the NCAA for a fifth year if he completed his undergraduate degree prior to the opening of preseason camp in August.

"With the academic course load I needed to carry to graduate, it would have been nearly impossible for me to get all of the work done," Hill said in a statement Saturday on the Michigan State athletic department's Web site.

"I certainly think I could have bettered my position for the NFL draft with another season in college, but it's in my best interest to enter the draft now. ... Ever since the first time I touched a football, it has been a goal of mine to play in the NFL."

The 5-foot-11, 178-pounder anchored a secondary that led the Big Ten and ranked seventh nationally in pass defense, allowing 164.1 yards per game. He was fourth on the team in tackles with 71 (55 solos, 16 assists), second in interceptions (three) and was third in pass breakups (11). Hill had nine career interceptions.