Welp, my day has officially been ruined.
Junior middle linebacker Lamar Myles announced this morning on 790 WKRD that he has signed with an agent and declared himself eligible for the 2008 NFL Draft.
Myles led Louisville in tackles last season with 128, a whopping 74 more than the Cards' next leading tackler, cornerback Bobby Buchanan. He finished the season ranked 16th in the country in tackles, and was named to the Big East's Second Team All-Conference defense.
Myles holds several U of L weight-lifting records, but his lack of size (6-1, 220 lbs) will still likely make him a second day selection at best.
Louisville was already losing its other two starting linebackers - Malik Jackson and Preston Smith - to graduation, so the loss of Myles means that a trio of career backups will be manning the middle in '08. Backup SAM linebacker Terrance Butler was also a senior.
Before last season, ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper called Louisville's linebacking corps the best in the country, but Willie Williams was dismissed from the team after making a minimal impact, Jackson's senior season was a huge disappointment after a stellar 2006, and Smith's play was plagued by inconsistency. Only Miles exceeded preseason expectations, and only Miles was honored by the Big East at the end of the season.
Simply put, there isn't one player on the roster we could ill-afford to lose more than Myles.
Best of luck Lamar.