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Nebraska DT Maliek Collins: NFL 'seems like best decision'

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Nebraska defensive tackle Maliek Collins has played his last game in a Cornhuskers uniform.

Following their 37-29 win over UCLA in the Foster Farms Bowl, Collins announced he will forgo his final year of eligibility and enter the NFL draft.

"It's always been a dream of mine, and I got a good grade back," Collins said. "I talked it over with my teammates and I talked it over with coach [Mike] Riley, and it seems like the best decision for me."

Collins finished the season with 29 tackles, including seven for loss and 2.5 sacks, but did not record a tackle in Saturday's win against UCLA.

"This was a wise move based on what he knows," Riley said "I'd really like to coach him another year, but we'll enjoy watching him play."

In ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay's mock draft, Collins was projected as the No. 26 overall selection. He might not be the only Huskers defensive tackle to leave early. Vincent Valentine also requested an evaluation from the NFL regarding his draft stock.