MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Minnesota junior cornerback Willie Middlebrooks will forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft.
Middlebrooks is believed to be the first Golden Gophers underclassman to leave school early for the NFL draft. He has signed a contract with Drew Rosenhaus, a Miami-based agent who also represents Minnesota Vikings rookie and former Gopher Tyrone Carter.
The 6-2, 195-pound Middlebrooks had one interception this season before breaking his ankle against Indiana on Oct. 21 and missing the last four games. He is considered the fastest player on the Gophers' roster, running a reported 4.25-second 40-yard dash.
Rosenhaus said Middlebrooks could be a first-round pick.
"NFL teams are always looking for big, fast cornerbacks. They're very hard to come by," Rosenhaus said.
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