- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 6, 2009

From combined dispatches

Hakeem Nicks decided his dominating performance in North Carolina’s bowl game was the best way to end a college career.

The junior wide receiver said Monday he plans to skip his final season and enter the NFL Draft after setting 14 school receiving records. Nicks leaves Chapel Hill as the program’s all-time leader in catches, yardage and touchdown receptions.

In his last game, the 6-foot-1, 210-pound junior had eight catches for a school bowl-record 217 yards and three touchdowns in the Meineke Car Care Bowl loss to West Virginia.

Nicks is the first Tar Heel underclassman to enter the draft since Julius Peppers left as a junior after the 2001 season.

“He was a gamer,” coach Butch Davis said on a teleconference with reporters. “The bigger the stakes, the better he played. We were very fortunate to have had him for the three years and certainly wish him the very best of luck. It’s something we hope happens for a lot of our kids in the future.”

BOSTON COLLEGE: Coach Jeff Jagodzinski has been invited to interview for the New York Jets’ job, a BC official told the Associated Press, and the school reportedly has threatened to fire him if he goes through with it.

Athletic director Gene DeFilippo would not confirm that he gave Jagodzinski an ultimatum, saying only, “I want a coach who wants to be at BC for a long time.” But ESPN.com reported Sunday night that Jagodzinski would not be welcome to return if he seeks work in the NFL.

A BC official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the school was not commenting publicly, said the former Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator committed to stay in Chestnut Hill longer than two years when he was hired. Leaving during the last week of recruiting also would put the Eagles at a disadvantage.

YALE: The school has hired Jacksonville Jaguars assistant Tom Williams, who will become the first black head football coach of the Bulldogs.

A person familiar with the decision confirmed the choice on condition of anonymity because a formal announcement had not been made. The school called a news conference for 2 p.m. Wednesday to introduce the new coach.

The 38-year-old Williams has spent the past two seasons working with the Jaguars defense and has been an assistant coach at Hawaii, Washington, Stanford and San Jose State.

SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI: Linebacker Gerald McRath is declaring himself eligible for the NFL Draft, according to school officials.

A native of Powder Springs, Ga., McRath was the Conference USA defensive player of the year in 2007.

ACC: Boston College’s Tyrese Rice and Wake Forest’s Al-Farouq Aminu earned the conference’s weekly basketball honors.

Rice was named player of the week after leading the Eagles to an 85-78 win against previously unbeaten North Carolina on Sunday. He had 25 points and eight assists in that game, one of three wins for BC on the week. Aminu was named rookie of the week after averaging 16 points, 8.5 rebounds and two blocks in wins against Radford and BYU.

Virginia’s Lyndra Littles was named ACC women’s player of the week.

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