Jan. 13, 2005
SportsLine.com wire reports

MUNCIE, Ind. -- Ball State wide receiver Dante Ridgeway will pass up his final year of eligibility and enter the NFL Draft after leading the nation in receiving as a junior.

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The 6-foot-1, 199-pound Ridgeway caught a Mid-American Conference record 105 passes for 1,399 yards. He was a second-team All-American and finalist for the Fred Biletnikoff Award, which goes to the nation's top wideout.

He led the nation in receiving yards per game (127.18) and receptions per game (9.55) and was second in total receiving yards.

"Dante Ridgeway and his mother made the decision they believe was best for Dante and his family," Ball State coach Brady Hoke said in a statement Thursday. "We hate to see Dante leave the Ball State football family, but we respect the decision he has made."

Ridgeway finished his career with 238 catches for 3,030 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Underclassmen have until Saturday to declare for the draft and until Wednesday to withdraw their names.

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