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USC football: Joe McKnight will make himself available for NFL draft

January 8, 2010 | 10:40 am

Mcknight USC running back Joe McKnight said today that he will make himself available for the NFL draft.

"It's my first healthy season, and it's time for me to go," McKnight told The Times in a short telephone interview.

McKnight, a junior who rushed for more than 1,000 yards this season, was held out of the Emerald Bowl because the school's compliance department was investigating his relationship with a Santa Monica businessman who owned a 2006 Land Rover that McKnight was observed driving. The businessman also had once registered the website domain

McKnight said he did not base his decision on the recent revelation.

"I didn't decide to go [to the NFL] because of that," McKnight said.

He said he's excited about playing in the league.

"I just got to go work out and train for the combine now and see what happens," he said.

We'll have more later at

-- Gary Klein and Lance Pugmire

Photo: USC running back Joe McKnight stiff arms Notre Dame safety Kyle McCarthy during a game on Oct. 17. Credit: Michael Conroy / Associated Press