- Associated Press - Thursday, January 6, 2011

RICHMOND, Va. | Junior tailback Darren Evans is leaving Virginia Tech early to make himself available for the NFL draft after a successful comeback from knee surgery.

Evans missed the 2009 season after surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. He led the Hokies with 854 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns this season.

Evans, who got married last winter, says the opportunity to play in the NFL and provide for his wife and young son played a huge factor in his decision.

Evans was part of a three-back rotation for the Hokies this season. Teammate Ryan Williams also is thought to be mulling over whether to turn pro or return to Virginia Tech next season.